Conference article

Facilitating in service design using desktop walkthroughs

Johan Blomkvist
Linköping University, Sweden

Fredrik Wahlman
Linköping University, Sweden

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Published in: ServDes2018. Service Design Proof of Concept, Proceedings of the ServDes.2018 Conference, 18-20 June, Milano, Italy

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 150:68, p. 812-821

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Published: 2018-07-05

ISBN: 978-91-7685-237-8

ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


This paper uses a combination of empirical sources to discuss the use of desktop walkthroughs. Desktop walkthrough is a design tool that uses a collaboratively built miniature environment that allows participants to interact with abstract concepts such as service processes and flows. Facilitation of desktop walkthroughs in literature focus on utilitarian goals, while a closer examination finds that it is used for a multitude of purposes. This paper captures experiences from using desktop walkthroughs from the perspectives of a design student, a design researcher, in-house designers and service design consultants. The examples of using desktop walkthroughs shows that purposes include: marketing oneself as consultant, educating participants, selling design as a method (prototyping more specifically), and pushing participants to leave their comfort zone and generate more innovative ideas. Finally, we go through aspects to consider in relation to the facilitator role and what motivates the use of desktop walkthroughs.


desktop walkthrough, facilitation, tools, co-design


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