Service Design Books

The service design community has little in the way of formal literture on the topic so I created a shared resource for designers to recommend important reading from other disciplines.

I designed and coded the site and then reached out to service designers from around the world to contribute their picks and rate the selections.

Community Site

Service Design Books
Service Design Books

The Problem

Formal books on service design are few and far between so designers have tended to look elsewhere. The skills and values come from other sub-branches of design as well as other disciplines such as economics, psychology or theatre. But these connections aren't always obvious.

My Approach

The early service design community lacked a shared canon, but every designer has their own favorites and many had already written about these selections on weblogs or through Twitter. I saw the potential for a neutral ground for the community to create a shared library.

I began by scouring the web for popular reviews and compiling my own visual rhetoric for sharing books on design. What makes for a helpful review? What tools would do justice for the widest array of picks? How to integrate the community?

At the same time, I knew that the process needed to be streamlined to encourage contributions. Not everyone has time to photograph their selections or write a reveiw. Book listings needed to look good with a minimum of fuss.

My Solution

I created a custom framework in PHP using the Amazon API and Google Books to create a system for automatically importing information. Contributors could edit everying about a listing and add details like chapter information or photos. Others could comment or make their own edits.

Service Design Books supports a range of engagement from simple tagging or rating to more complex contributions such as adding a new book or uploading a photograph.

Since its launch the collection has grown to over 100 books with participation from around the world.