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Prototyping as a Qualitative Inquiry in Fuzzy Front-End of New Service Development

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Title
Prototyping as a Qualitative Inquiry in Fuzzy Front-End of New Service Development
Author
Lee, Seunghoon
Advisor
Park-Lee, Seungho
Keywords
prototyping, new service development, fuzzy front-end, novice designer, user engagement
Issue Date
2022-08
Publisher
Graduate School of Creative Design Engineering
Abstract
Prototyping has been an ever-evolving activity in design with the expansion of the design field – from physical objects to software and then towards service and experience. In service design, prototyping represents the amalgamation of different aspects – i.e., forms, purposes, where it is situated in the design process, and the context of use. Despite the abundance of literature on prototyping in design, how prototyping can help novice designers validate service concepts for the real-life context in the front-end needs more attention. This thesis aims to shed light on how prototyping helps novice designers and clients mitigate the vagueness in front-end service concept design, specifically focusing on the explicit role of engaging (potential) users. By revisiting three service concept design projects that included user workshops utilizing prototypes, semi-structured interviews were undertaken with six student designers and three client personnel with visual stimuli as a reminder of the workshops. Inductive thematic analysis unveiled how the quality of conversation between designers and (potential) users varied by the intentionally adjusted attributes in prototyping. Additionally, the result identified the situated challenges and implications of prototyping in different organizational contexts. The findings show that the ambiguity intrinsic to the front-end design is challenging for novice designers, which later gets resolved by engaging with (potential) users, refining service concepts, and having a consensus with clients. I hope this thesis suggests a practical guide for novice designers in realizing their design intention into prototyping activity to conjugate the fuzzy front-end as a space for exploring design directions.
Description
Graduate School of Creative Design Engineering Depa
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