Service Blueprint

Help the team understand the technological and human interactions that take place in a customer journey



Suggested Time

1-2 hours


Core team, stakeholders

Why do it?

  • To help everyone understand the touch points in the experience
  • To serve as a map of your service over time
  • To get an overview of all interactions, systems and integration points that support the user journey
  • To help improve a user’s journey by uncovering problematic areas in time

When to do it?

Early in Discovery or when anyone has difficulty expressing a workflow

What supplies are needed?

  • Whiteboard or digital version like Miro
  • Markers
  • Sticky notes

How to Use this Method

Sample Agenda & Prompts

  1. Draw these rows on the whiteboard:

    Row NameSteps 1 to n
    Physical Evidence?
    Customer Actions?
    Backstage - eg. services, databases?
    <Any other points, eg. sensors>?

    The customer/user actions row is always directly under physical evidence row. It is the user we are targeting; they are the “hero”.

    Tip: All projects/products are different, so you can always add different rows to the table as needed. See “Facilitator Notes & Tips” for a list possibilities.

  2. Move column by column through time, filling in cells with:

    Physical Evidence — What does the user first see? The physical evidence is not the interface they see, it is a monitor or cell phone.

    Customer Actions — What action do they do to access the service? What do they do next?

    Frontstage — How is the service visibly delivered? When a service is delivered, what is the name of the page that the user sees?

    Backstage — What helps make the service happen? The user does not see or directly interact with this.

    Other touch-points — What needs to happen in order for the backend to receive the information?

  3. Circle or star cells that:

    • Need more clarity through research and exploration
    • Need validation because there’s product risk
    • Are pain points which should be fixed or improved
    • Are opportunities to measure the quality of the service
    • Are opportunities for cost savings or increased profits
    • Are moments that are loved by the customer and should not be lost

Success/Expected Outcomes

You’ve succeeded when everyone has a shared understanding of the entire workflow and the areas that have the most pain

Facilitator Notes & Tips

Compared to a journey map, service blueprints focus more on the process than the customer experience.

Service blueprints are especially useful for:

  • Multiple interactions spread over time (closing and re-opening an app)
  • Many mediums of interaction, controlling physical products, customer service

Optional rows

  • Time - some services are provided at different times or have steps that take varying amounts of time to complete
  • Thoughts/Emotions - understanding emotions of fear/anxiety provides context to customer decisions
  • Phases - services can unfold over time; e.g. rent, use, return
  • Split up Backstage - breaking backend technology into Employees, Data, Apps, Infrastructure, Name of Dept/Team can clarify various domains of the service
  • Photos / Sketches - the team can visualize a step using pictures or drawings
  • Challenges - the team can discuss difficulties within the existing process
  • Ideas - the team can generate solutions that solve pains

Optional lines to draw between rows

  • The line of interaction - this is the point at which customers and the service interact
  • The line of visibility - beyond this line, the customer can no longer see into the service
  • The line of internal interaction - this is where the business itself stops, and partners step in

Service Blueprints: Laying the Foundation by Izac Ross of Cooper