EXTRACT

Blueprint

“A blueprint encourages creativity, preemptive problem solving
and controlled implementation.”
Lynn Shostack
Tool Step

Role of this tool

Filling in a Blueprint is useful because it breaks down our new product or service into its component parts and helps us think systematically about how the different elements fit together. Blueprinting can also help in deciding which elements to prototype and in what order. With this understanding we can work out a practical way of prototyping the most important elements within the available budget and materials.

A blueprint has five chronological steps:

1.  Aware: How do users (e.g. customers, consumers, hospital patients) of our new product, service or process become aware of it?
2.  Join/Find: How do they join the service or find the product?
3.  Use: What happens when they use it first?
4.  Continue: What is the user experience on continued use?
5.  Leave: How do they leave the service or dispose of the product?

100% Open ToolKit

How do we use it?

Each of these 5 steps can be examined from the two points of view: Front stage; Back stage. The Blueprint tool helps to visualise this. We work with partners or a team to complete the five steps of the Blueprint table.

1. Front stage. What are the touch points?

This maps and details a user’s experience over time as they interact with three different aspects of a product or service called touchpoints. Each touchpoint can be prototyped.

Touchpoint 1: Physical stuff e.g. a doctor’s waiting room (the layout, the reception desk, the seats)
Touchpoint 2: Information e.g. the doctor’s website, signage or leaflets
Touchpoint 3: Encounters with people e.g. speaking to the receptionist on the phone to book an appointment, your greeting at reception, the doctor’s bedside manner.

2. Back Stage. What happens behind the scenes?

We turn our focus to the infrastructure, materials and behaviours that need to happen behind the scenes in order for our new product, service or process to work. What roles will people have to play to deliver a service? What rules are there at different stages of the process? What tools are needed at each stage?

Next, we answer the question: Which stages and touchpoints are we going to prototype?
Having mapped out our Blueprint we now need to agree which parts of it we are going to work on and in what order. Many products, services or processes will have tried-and-tested components within them so we can ignore those for now. Which elements are going to be most important to the user? Which will users notice most, or be prepared to pay for? Which elements solve problems or unmet needs that no other competitors do currently?

Finally, on the tool we circle the elements that we want to prototype and we agree the order.

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Tool

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Worked Example

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