Critical analysis of the MINDS methods for designing technology services

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

Management and Interaction Design for Services (MINDS) is an interdisciplinary method that consists of two service design perspectives to enable the design of innovative technology-based services. The management perspective involves contributions from service management, marketing, and operations, which bring process-oriented models, create innovative value offerings, and provide multiple interfaces. The interaction perspective involves interaction design, as well as the whole design-oriented technology sector. Interaction design makes significant contributions to service design by addressing human involvement in digital technology and pleasing technology artefacts. (Kaptelinin, 2006)

The MINDS method addresses management and interaction design perspectives to update technology-based services. While the management perspective is focused on creating new value propositions, the interaction design perspective appeals to a technology background that is more visual and loosely structured. The MINDS consists of MSD’s three levels (the service concept, service system, and service encounter), although it fails to guarantee that design decisions are consistent from the strategic to the service encounter levels. This can be viewed as a major challenge for service organisations (Goldstein, 2002). MSD’s models address the management perspective by processing some operations and technology components of service design. These models are then involved in other models from the interaction design perspective that are oriented on the experience with technology and the design of technology-based interfaces.

The human activity modelling notation is supported by the service design process and value network. For instance, when it comes to the design of travel services, the design team has to start the routine from focusing on the activity and mapping the different services used to co-create a value constellation experience (airlines, hotels, travel insurance, and so on). The service concept and its positioning in the value constellation of offerings can be organised into affinity diagrams, which are required to brainstorm new service ideas for the value network. The integration of these two models enables service innovations and brings technology design decisions to the new level. While the service concept determines the service benefits that create the value proposition to customers, the service system determines the way people enable frontstage and backstage processes. To design the service system, MINDS involves the service system navigation and storyboards, which are not always effective in terms of design decisions regarding specific customer activities. Thus, they need to be combined with scenarios because it will allow reinforcing the storytelling aspect of storyboards.

For designing the service encounter, MINDS appeals to service experience blueprints from the management perspective, as well as interaction sketches from the interaction design perspective. Will blueprints of the front-stage and backstage processes support particular customer actions in specific service interfaces? In many cases, they are effective enough to visualize the technology-based interfaces of the service encounter and systematise the disposition of interface compounds for software engineering development. In such a combination, these models will determine the set of customer and service interface operations. Thus, MINDS will be able to manage complementary perspectives and enable service design as an interdisciplinary sector (Baldauf, 2007).

The MINDS method features some limitations which leave some space for future research and analysis. Thus, it is not optimised as the best possible mix of methods and models. Instead, it provides an improvement over available methods and models that address research and sort out organisational problems. Also, evaluating improvement contributions is a challenge that requires a profound understanding of the problem. This kind of evaluation can also be a challenge for MINDS (Carrol, 1999). This requires a proper theoretical background and a strong involvement of all stakeholders to reflect on the results. In terms of future research, using MINDS in other service sectors can strengthen the method by determining potential extensions such as the conceptualisation of additional perspectives and developing other models by updating the current proposal.

An expansion of these models in software engineering can enable the deployment of designed services. New challenges, such as the Internet-of-Things and context-aware systems, can also encourage further improvements and adaptations of MINDS. Smart service involves context-based systems that can read, interpret, and adapt their operations without human interventions (Baldauf, 2007). Apart from exploring further connections with technology, higher integration of employees and customers can enable considerable inputs for further extensions of this method. Thus, the MINDS method is well-positioned to leverage the value-based capabilities of technology and service innovations (Baldauf, 2007). Future research and analysis will also use the MINDS method to enable such technology-enabled service innovations.



Carrol, J., 1999. Five reasons for scenario-based design. In Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences.. s.l., s.n., pp. 43-60.

Goldstein, S. J. R. D. J. a. R. J., 2002. The service concept: the missing link in service design research?. Journal of Operations management, 20(2), pp. 121-134.

Kaptelinin, V. a. N. B. 2., 2006. Acting with technology: Activity theory and interaction design. s.l.:MIT press..

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