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Title: A Pattern Language for Design of Touch Point Ecosystems
Supervisor: Prof U. A. Athavankar
TheThe concept of “Touch Point” has acquired currency and clarity in the past few years. A Touch Point is an entity with which a customer interacts in an encounter with a service provider. Several such encounters take place over the period of relationship. The relationship, comprising several encounters is mediated through a range of Touch Points, both human as well as technology based that must work harmoniously. The network of Touch Points deployed by the provider form an ecosystem which continuously evolves as new contexts and technologies emerge. A framework that helps in designing the individual Touch Points and the ecosystem, taking into account the supportive technology and the business processes would be beneficial. The framework must necessarily be agnostic of technology, or specific configurations of Touch Points. While techniques and tools belonging to various disciplines like Interactions Design and Service Design abound, such a framework is currently missing. Pattern Language approach, originally proposed by Christopher Alexander in architecture and later adopted in several domains, such as Software Design, Interactions Design, Web Design and Collaborative Work was found to be suitable. Accordingly, a Pattern Language for Designing Touch Point Ecosystems is being developed. The outcome of the work is expected to be a new perspective on the Service Encounter construct, a proposal for the structure of “Touch Point” and a taxonomy which can help in the design process, and the Pattern language, comprising about one hundred and thirty patterns which address a wide range of service contexts. A method for application of the Pattern Language which can help multidisciplinary teams to collaboratively and efficiently arrive at the design solutions is also proposed.