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A journey map with key operational processes mapped underneath, used to capture and assess how a service organisation completes various tasks across a user journey.


  • A tool to evaluate how efficiently an organisation completes steps in the user journey.
  • A tool for visualising and prototyping changes to organisational processes, systems and tools.

Use when

  • You want to look for opportunities to improve operational efficiency.
  • You want to solve user pain points that you identified during user research.

Service blueprints are not

  • Journey maps – Journey maps are visual representations of a service experience from a user’s point of view. Service blueprints map out operational processes underneath journey maps.


Service blueprints are important service design tools. Often you can’t improve a service experience unless you change something operational about the service organisation.

Key terminology

Front of house: All user-facing touchpoints and interactions should be visualised directly beneath the user journey.

Back of house: Systems, processes, tools and staff that are hidden from the user, but critical to the completion of each step in the journey; usually presented underneath the front-of-house interactions.

Line of visibility: A dotted line placed on the journey map to indicate which elements of the operation a user can witness and which are hidden from view.

Pain point: An issue, problem or moment in the experience that is likely to cause negative emotions or perceptions for users (e.g. form is hard to find).

Reviewed 15 April 2020

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