Elaborate the customer view


Elaborating the customer view allows the project to form an empathetic understanding of the customer, their situation, and what the customers are trying to achieve.

Customer-centred design services have been identified as critical to creating better public services.

Service design involves planning and organising the components of a service to make it more effective for the customer, shifting the perspective from the agency to that of the customer. This is sometimes called an 'outside in' approach, or customer-centred service design.

The service design approach combines what is:

  • desirable from a customer's perspective
  • viable from the agency's perspective
  • technically feasible.

Employees are an important source of business knowledge and information and should be engaged to understand their perspective.

For further information on service design methods see the NZ Government Service Design Guideline, https://webtoolkit.govt.nz/guidance/service-design/.


The aim of this stage is to:

  • consolidate and clarify the initial understanding (from Prepare) of what people do and prefer.


Actions which may be carried out during this stage include:

  1. Work with a service designer to identify the required service design.
  2. Engage a service designer and business analyst to plan and carry out the service design.
  3. Select the techniques to be used.
  4. Create service design artefacts, for example:
  • service design blueprint
  • service design concept report
  • paper or electronic prototypes.

5. Create an initial user story map from the service design material to support release planning.

6. Present this work to the project team, and include in the business case.


The usual outputs from this stage include:

  • a customer journey map
  • a service design blueprint
  • a service design concept report
  • a presentation of the prototype
  • user story maps
  • additions to the business case (often as appendices).

Tools and templates

Tools that may be helpful during this stage include:

  • understanding the customer
  • collecting customer views
  • describing the customer experience
  • usability testing
  • ethnography

These tools and related templates are available on the Accelerate downloads page or consult the UK Government Service Design Manual www.gov.uk/service-manual.


Page last updated: 13/04/2016