Minimum lovable service illustration

Lead paragraph

The Minimum Lovable Service tools help designers to prototype service ideas or concepts. That version of a new service which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about users with the least effort.

PREPARATION: up to 15 minutes
DURATION: 45-60 minutes
TEMPLATE OR GUIDELINES: Minimum Lovable Service template
FACILITATORS: 1 per workshop
RESOURCES: Pens, Post-its, a large sheet of paper or whiteboard
PARTICIPANTS: 3–30, design team, partners, community members, etc.
EXPECTED OUTCOME: Concept validation

Minimum+Lovable means it’s a mix between those two; minimum enough to solve the users’ problem and engage them. MLS is a prototype to test the core of a service idea or concept.


State the selected “How Might We” statement.

Based on your HMW statement define the criteria and select the suitable participants.

Organize a meeting with the selected participants, and prepare the results of the idea filtering by printing out the handful of ideas in cards or Post-its (visual way) as well as personal, journey and system maps. Gather the necessary resources and supplies. Print enough MLS Canvas in A3 or bigger. Alternatively, draw it on a whiteboard. Think about what expectations will be set up-front, how you will start and end the workshop, and how much time participants are expected to dedicate to this activity.

Pass out pens and Post-its to everyone and give each group of 3-4 a large printed MLS template, or draw it on the wall or whiteboard, on which to stick Post-its.

1. Write the service benefits of the MLS onto Post-its, and then decide what is required for the minimum lovable service. In other words, only the bare bones that make the user fall in love with the service. On the right side of the template write the rationale behind the decision: they why these benefits. Then, into the box below stick all Post-its with the benefits that were left out (and why).

2. A Minimum Viable Service (MVP) is a prototype that focuses on the most important part of a product or service. It is typically offered to a group of potential customers. The most important aspect of the prototype is viability in order to test the core of the value proposition, to learn from it and to be able to replicate the idea. This is not a pilot project, which instead is designed to test the final product with a selected customer group.

Analyze data, discuss the results and write up the key outcomes from this exercise.

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