Education, Research

Managing a Change Strategy for a Website using Service- and Human-Centered Design

August 30, 2019

Jonna Seilonen, Media Management MA student, Department of Culture and Media, Arcada UAS

Supervisor: Dr. Nathalie Hyde-Clarke             Examiner: Dr. Owen Kelly


My master thesis is based on website service development. It analyses how a change strategy may be managed for a website based on user preferences and recommendations. The aim of the study is to provide recommendations as to how a change strategy may be managed, and how a website that offers the best service to users in the target group may be designed based on user preferences and recommendations. Service Design concentrates on customer experience touch-points, and excludes any service disturbing features (Tuulaniemi, 2011). Due to advances in digitisation, primarily human-delivered service is now divided by technology, and the increased need for Service Design. Technology can help information searches, but at the same time it is more difficult for users to navigate the website. User´s expectations have increased because of the opportunities provided. As expectations are higher, the need to understand customer needs and expectations develops in parallel. Service design offers useful tools to humanise technology (Brand F. et al, 2016). Human-Centred Design puts an emphasis on user participation in the system development process, specifying technological solutions and helping by articulating the visual appearance of the service (Stickdorn and Scheiner, 2011).

The study was implemented with qualitative research as it gave significant insight from a small number of key respondents. Results were gathered and analysed carefully based on an evaluation  of earlier research. The content of the interviews and suggestions for the website change strategy were then analysed using SWOT.

It is important to remember that this study only shows one aspect of the process. Behind the scenes (website design) is a team of employees with different backgrounds and roles working together. Usually there may be a no-table overlap between the specialists, but they need to understand one another and be able to collaborate (Stickdorn and Schneider, 2011). The study also proved that change management is hard. It is especially challenging to change things in an organisation if they have been done the same way for years (Jefferson and Tanton, 2013). Managers must be prepared to lead their organisations through constant change processes, and accept that leading change is difficult (Sylvie et al. 2008).

I used many Service- and Human-Centred Design tools to manage the change strategy for this study, such as brainstorming, mind-maps, the Business Model Canvas for illustrating projects, interviews as part of qualitative research and the Customer Map to analyse and record customer´s needs. After user research has been collected, I recommend using SWOT Analysis to analyse results and findings, the Gantt chart detailing timing and tasks complemented in phases, and a Critical Path Analysis chart  to show tasks and processes.

This study is relevant for those in the Media Management profession as it provides recommendations as to how a change strategy may be planned and implemented. The limitation though is that this study is based on one media channel touch-point, the designer website. However, the steps may be implemented in other studies in the future in order to determine how this approach may be improved going forward.

My degree has allowed me to grow in my professional capacity while actually testing the approach, as I was responsible for managing the change strategy for the website at my place of business. The process and concept developed my own capacity and skills to describe and structure the activities, so that I can contribute to future interaction between the service provider and the customer, and thereby create a valuable online experience.


Key readings:

Brand F. M., Løvlie, L. and Reason, B., 2016, Service Design for Business: A Practical Guide to Optimizing the Customer Experience, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, Hoboken, New Jersey, USA, Available from: ProQuest Ebook Central

Jefferson S. & Tanton S., 2013, Valuable Content Marketing, Kogan Page, London,UK

Kurokawa T., 2015, Service Design and Delivery: How Design Thinking Can Innovate Business and Add Value to Society, Business Expert Press, New York, USA, Available from: ProQuest Ebook Central

Tuulaniemi J., 2011, Palvelumuotoilu, 3rd Edition, Talentum Oyj, Helsinki, Finland

Schneider J. and Stickdorn M., 2012, This is service thinking: Basics-Tools-Cases, BIS Publishers, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 373373

Sylvie, G. et al, 2008, Media management: A case book approach. 4th Edition, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC, New York, USA


The full thesis may be downloaded from from September 2019.

Are you looking for tools to manage the rapidly changing media industry? Or do you find yourself in the media industry struggling to see the bigger picture? Learn more about our MA in Media Management here: