Focus, Goal and Roles in E-Service Design: Five Ideal Types of the Design Process


New technology means new opportunities for both the private and public sectors. Service-oriented solutions based on e-services are no exception. Such solutions can support efficient and flexible collaboration between actors, as well as enable opportunities for the design of new and highly innovative services. However, service-oriented solutions also mean a number of challenges. In order to successfully design e-services, a number of strategic choices have to be made by the service provider organization, such as deciding on the roles to be played by the provider and customers in the design process, and deciding which focus should govern the design. For example, should the e-service design focus on fit into the provider’s IT architecture; should the e-service design focus on fit into the provider’s internal processes; or should the e-service design focus on the interactions with the customers? In this paper, we present five different ideal types of e-service design that can support such choices. The five types differ in their views on the main goals of the e-service design; their views on the service providers’ and customers’ roles and responsibilities in the design process; and their views on the focus of the e-service design process. We also present the benefits and drawbacks of the different ideal types, and describe how real cases of e-service design can be categorized according to these types.