The tickness of the front office

I read very interesting blog post by Irene Chong on service design. Besides other interesting insights I appreciated the focus on blueprinting, because it propose an articulation of the touchpoint (what Norman would define the moment of truth and others woud design as touch points), in 4 “layers”:

(1) the physical evidence;

(2) the customer actions;

(3) the onstage contact/employee actions;

(4) the backstage contact/employee actions

I’ve seen many studies on service design which just distinguished a front office from the back office, this post instead is magnifing this thin line of the touchpoint and emphasising the various elements of the interaction.

On the other hand the back stage here is just mentioned as such, without the articulation that I’ve seen (and used) in other cases. This is probably due to the design perspective proposed by some schools, which focus on service design as interaction, whereas I’m more confortable with a more systemic view of interaction design, which also includes the design of the system in the backoffice.

In this perspective the design of a service (or a Product Service System, PSS) should be consist in designing new element in people everyday life and in business practice, on the basis of the interaction taking place in the service encounter/Touch point/moment of truth.

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