In our previous blog post, we delved into the details of Phase 1A Service Design Deep Dive Project: I publishblog post detailing the background, initial phases, and activities conducted. Currently, with the project successfully concluded, we are excited to share the outcomes of Phases 2 and 3 in this post. 


Our service design team embarked on the ‘I Publish’ project in 2023 Q1 with the goal of elevating the academic user experience in sharing research output and optimizing our library operations.  
The project unfolded in 3 phases:  
Phase 1: Understanding the researcher’s publishing journey (front-end)  -previous blogpost
Phase 2: Blueprinting the service operations (back-end)  
Phase 3: Inspiring a future-proof and user-centric repository experience based on the insights gathered. 
Phase 2: Blueprint Mapping – Understanding Back-End Structure

Following the completion of an extensive user journey map from the researcher’s perspective, our focus shifted to blueprint mapping in Phase 2. The primary objective was to comprehend the back-end structure, aiming to streamline operations and enhance collaborative efforts. This phase was crucial to understand how various components and back-end channels supporting the system integrate, the roles and teams contributing to the process, and their impact on the overall user experience. 

In the kickoff session marking the start of Phase 2, we introduced stakeholders to the project objectives, emphasizing the importance of blueprint mapping and stakeholder involvement for success. Simultaneously, we revisited our journey map, extracting insights on necessary teams, technologies, and processes. With this knowledge, we precisely mapped how underlying systems could impact the customer experience, recognizing and addressing gaps through in-depth interviews with experts. 

Blueprint Map

Observing how the back-end system works within the journey map structure was invaluable for us in finding the right direction to address real challenges and problems in our systems. It had a ‘mirror’ effect on our stakeholders, illustrating how back-end work aligns and touches users’ lives, and highlighting the user problems that arise at each stage of the journey.  

Key insights accumulated from the blueprinting map:

  • One-person team​: Relying on a single person for key publishing tasks risks knowledge loss, delays, and disruption if they leave or are overwhelmed.​
  • Limited personnel capacity​: A small team’s capacity constraints can lead to backlogs, delays, and frustrated authors, potentially causing missed opportunities for the university.​
  • Unclarity on internal processes’ flow and ownership​: Unclear internal processes and ownership can cause confusion, errors, and inefficiencies, potentially leading to overlooked tasks and a diminished researcher experience.​
  • Misaligned understanding on tools value proposition​: Differing interpretations of tool value can lead to underutilization, insufficient outcomes, and resistance to adopting new technologies within the team.​
Prioritizing and Selecting Opportunities: What Promises the Most?

Expanding from our user journey mapping approach, we identified challenges and opportunities within the service blueprint map. At every step, our design team framed opportunities using the ‘How might we…?’ format.

In a collaborative session with stakeholders, we presented the final version of the blueprint map. Following the review, we asked for stakeholders’ votes on each opportunity. Using a decision matrix, we ranked and selected the top three opportunities:

  • How might we improve the clarity and accessibility of publishing information?
  • How might we increase the awareness of TU Delft publishing services to the right target audience?
  • How might we improve the intake process?

We discovered that the main challenges occur in the early stages of the user journey when researchers need to find an appropriate publisher for their work. This aligns with our blueprint map, emphasizing the need for clarity in showcasing our offerings and precision in our intake process for TU Delft publishing services. This strategic approach positions our publishing service as a logical choice, offering researchers clear insights into what and how they can publish. The result is a more precise intake for our team, as researchers will be well-informed about the process, contributing to a smoother collaboration.  

Phase 3: Future Vision Session – Exploring Ideas and Solutions

Phase 3 focused on exploring potential solutions with the goal of enhancing services and communications while aligning with our users’ needs. The initial two phases and insights gathered at previous sessions were included. In a dedicated 4-hour future vision session, we delved into two specific opportunities that had been carefully selected from the blueprint map (see figure x): 

1.        How might we improve the researcher’s intake process? (selected from blueprint map)

Researchers can benefit from an improved onboarding experience for publishing that is introduced early in their research journey, raising awareness of available publishing services and opportunities. To achieve this, it’s important to address their concerns, targeting the right audience, choosing the appropriate format, and channel for their work, and enhancing their reputation, ultimately helping them in making informed decisions.

2.        How might we support researchers on tracking their research impact? (selected from user journey map)

Researchers want to track their work’s impact to secure funding, collaborate, and understand its influence on their research field. They value concise, impactful research summaries and desire control over how their work is presented.

During the session, we generated 191 ideas with our stakeholders on those 2 questions. We followed by a prioritization session where we placed the ideas on an effect/impact matrix to identify the most promising ones. We then selected two ideas to improve further.  

From Vision to Action: Refining Selected Ideas

Following the ideation session, where ideas were selected based on both generation and voting, tied to two distinct opportunity questions, we proceeded with the development of two selected ideas.

Idea 1: Publishing Bakfiets

(Opportunity Question: How might we improve the researcher’s intake process?)

The ‘Publishing Bakfiets’ project introduces a mobile knowledge hub aimed at enhancing the publishing intake process for researchers at TU Delft. This strategically positioned mobile unit will serve as a warm and accessible gateway to our publishing services, bridging the information gap and improving the overall onboarding experience.

Idea 2: Digestible Summaries 

(Opportunity Question: How might we support researchers in tracking their research impact?)

The ‘Digestible Summaries’ project proposes an AI-driven solution to automate the creation of concise plain-text summaries for research outcomes. Researchers will have user-friendly tools to generate custom summaries tailored to their specific audience, fostering collaboration between authors and readers throughout the summary creation process.

The future vision session was crucial in identifying potential service owners, time frames, possible limitations, and the necessary steps to turn these ideas into reality. During the session, stakeholders collaboratively discussed how the action points should be implemented. In the project’s subsequent stages, we will collaborate with service owners to successfully integrate these projects into our back-end services. 

For more information or inquiries about the project, feel free to contact the Library Service Design team at