01 See Blomkvist, J., Fjuk, A., & Sayapina, V. (2016). “Low Threshold Service Design: Desktop Walkthrough.” In Proceedings of the Service Design and Innovation Conference (pp. 154-166). Linköping University Electronic Press.
02 While we experience a lot of reservations in participants toward sketching or drawing, there are less objections to building and playing through. The focus on visualization that is present in many publications in the design field might be a bias that stems from the fact that designers are traditionally trained in these fields. To be able to use the skills and talents of all participants in a co-creative setting, there should be a balance across any media that are useful and available (written/spoken word, acting, building, sketching, etc.).
A desktop walkthrough helps the design team to quickly simulate a service experience using simple props like toy figurines on a small-scale stage (often built from LEGO bricks or cardboard), and test and explore common scenarios and alternatives.  The critical deliverable is not the model of the map/stage but the experience of playing through the service experience step by step.
The desktop walkthrough is one of the signature methods of service design. It helps to make the experiential process nature of a service – a story unfolding over time – tangible. Compared to paper tools like customer journey maps, desktop walkthroughs allow service concepts to be iterated at a much faster pace. New ideas can be instantly identified, tried, and tested. The service concepts get refined quickly. On the other hand, walkthroughs are very engaging as well as easier to do for a lot of participants.  They especially help:
- To get a shared understanding within your team about the end-to-end customer experience
- To identify the critical steps in the journey
- To identify any other key elements or problem areas that need to be addressed
- This makes it a great method to do before you invest too much time and effort on creating a beautiful visualization of a customer journey.