Modern Service Design Thinking on Traditional Culture-Based Services: A Case Study of the Service Businesses in Suzhou Old Town Areas

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10912)


This paper presents a case study that utilizes modern service design thinking techniques to investigate culture-based service businesses. The study is carried out in two heritage sites in Suzhou, which itself is a historical city located in the south of Yangtze River in China. Ethnographic methods are used to explore and collect the data. Service design thinking principles and methods are then applied to analyze the observed service businesses and identify common thematic issues and design opportunities. Service prototyping techniques are also used to review and rearrange a customer’s journeys in the services. The result shows that modern design thinking concepts such as the user-centered approach can provide fundamental transformations to those services. It also illustrates a more cross-cultural development with the cross-cultural encounter between the modern design techniques and the traditional culture-based services.


Service design thinking Cultural consumption Heritage sites 



This work is partially supported by the Service Design module delivered in the Industrial Design program in Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. We thank the participating students for their collected effort, which enriches and enables the work to have a broader access and inclusion of the service cases.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial DesignXi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool UniversitySuzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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