British Telecom

Service Design

British Telecom (BT) is the world's oldest communications company, tracing back to 1846. As one of the world's leading communications service providers, BT caters to customers in 180 countries, and in the United Kingdom is the biggest fixed-voice and broadband provider, offering TV and mobile services nationwide.

The Challenge.

British Telecom hired me to skillshare service design methodologies to their Glasgow, Ipswich and Hatfield staff. The purpose of this was to encourage individuals within BT to identify and follow defined steps to resolve or evolve service design tasks.

It was hoped that long-term this would provide the empowerment needed to utilise creative methodology within departments (such as development) who may not commonly default to this process. Long-term the goal was for BT staff to pass-on this method of resolving service-based issues to other colleagues within the organisation.

My Approach.

Conveying service design methodology was carried by firstly capturing the process and the relevant exercises within a digestible and documented format. This provided those partaking in the sessions had a reference which they could refer to for future projects. This ensured too that workshop sessions were structured at a logical and fun pace.

Due to my temporary location (based in Glasgow for 3 day) I was required to develop the follow days documentation the night before. This enabled me to structure sessions based on my knowledge of the individuals present by focusing on what their strengths are, whilst supporting them with identified vulnerabilities.


Image: Teaching Glasgow BT Staff

Discover and Define.

The initial stage aimed to take the team through a series of core service design principles. This focused on researching users, the business plus the wider industry to provide a deeper understanding of the service design requirements.

1. Planning & conducting user research

I focused on defining our objectives, plus solidifying the logical steps that would be taken overall within this exercise.

2. User Profiles / empathy mapping

User profiles were developed through research and identifying segmental requirements. It was key to define profiles early on, and refine them throughout the process.

3. Experience mapping

Experience mapping was used as a research tool to capture the current practice of our identified users. We also used this during further concepting in order to facilitate additional iterations.

4. Capability map

We produced the initial draft of the service capability map, as this would prove to be an integral tool during the concepting phase, notably ideation, pain / gain-point analysis, concept prioritisation, maturity assessments and target state architecture.

Experience Map

Image: Experience mapping documentation


This stage let the team bring insights to life, through creating ideas and in-turn user-testing them. The culmination derived through picking the best approach and then building a business case for it.

1. Storyboard canvas

Using ideation cards and the value proposition statement, we brought our service to life using concept storyboards.

2. Value proposition

To motivate the teams to believe in their proposed service, they completed a value proposition task. This allowed the group to solidify their ideas and in-turn rationalise why this service why would be required.

3. Concept testing

In order to add value to our concept we tested it with intended users and individuals within BT (in-person and virtually). This provided further insights, and overall validation, whilst giving the team I was directly working with exposure to how to construct, commence and conclude user testing.

Video: Concepting


The final stage turned our idea into something tangible. Although I was teaching a group of professional developers, we wanted to prototype the concept, rather than develop a polished (and potentially incorrect) product.

Prototyping, in its purest of forms, required team members to fully immerse themself with the idea. Rather than clicking a series of buttons or links, they would have to walk individuals through finer details. This added pressure that testing material was logical and conveyed the teams ideas correctly.

Video: Prototyping


This was an enjoyable and satisfying project to work on. It provided me with the ability to teach individuals who weren't aware of creative processes. By revisiting service design methodologies, it allowed me personally to delve deeper into the logic behind it, and whether it works in a modern-day organisation.

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