This method, commonly called service safari, is a great tool for exploring the user experience of an existing service.

You will assume the role of a fictional but realistic user of the service, and you will document your experience. It is a valuable and fun way to gain first-hand knowledge of how the service works.

An advantage of doing a service safari is that you do not have to recruit real users. It is therefore quick to get started with this method.

Follow the steps below to get started. Feel free to work in pairs.

1. Determine the start and end point

It is important that it is clear which service you want to investigate. Decide what is the start and end point of your safari.

Example: You examine how residents experience the labor market administration's study and career guidance service. Should you start your safari when the resident sits down with their study and career counselor for a first date, or when they call AMF to find out what support they can get?

Tip! Write down briefly what larger context your survey is part of. What happens before and after using a service often affects the experience of the service.

2. Book the test of the service

As soon as you know which service to explore, you can book an appointment with those who offer the service. In your invitation, you should describe what you do, what information you are looking for and how this should be used. Be clear that the purpose of your survey is not to evaluate employees, but to gain a better understanding of the service.

Let the service staff know that they do not have to prepare anything. They can treat you the way they treat any customer. Finally, it may be a good idea to add something about your motives for researching the service, so that employees feel compelled to work with you.

Create your role

You know who your target audience is (maybe you wrote it down in your challenge canvas, box 4). Based on your knowledge of the target group, create the role that you will play during the service safari. Consider:

  • What is the user's motive for using the service?
  • What does he want to achieve by using the service?
  • What are the user's strengths and weaknesses, as well as obstacles in her life that affect how she can use the service?

Build your user's background history with details that will help you play the role.

You can even try to think of questions that are likely to appear during the safari and prepare answers to these. Finally, do not forget to give your role a name!

Tip! If you work in a larger team, you can create different target group characters, each with specific user motives and goals. You can split up and do two or more safaris to find out the similarities and differences between the users' experiences.

4. Get started

If you work in a team, decide who plays the role of user. One or more come along to document.

Those who document observe in silence and record what is relevant to the experience individually, for example:

  • What is the environment (comfortable, uncluttered, lively)?
  • How do the staff act (welcoming, formal, relaxed)?
  • What kind of material is there (brochures, computers)?
  • What kind of information is exchanged?
  • Are there any obvious emotional expressions?
  • Did the user reach his goal?

Tip! You can consider whether it would be helpful to record audio or film the service safari so that the team can review it again, or share it with other stakeholders later. Remember to ask the staff if it's okay and explain why you want to record.

5. Reflect shortly after the service safari

It is good to take a moment to reflect after each examination. You will then have time to review your notes, discuss observations that were particularly interesting or surprising, and reflect on how the method worked.

Are there any questions or practical things you would do differently during the next service safari?

6. The service safari is complete

Good work! Now it's time to go through all the data you have collected from the service safari, and possibly from other methods, to find patterns.

If you follow the guide, go back for the next step.

4. Examine the need