This list represents a summary of the past forty years of service design literature. The citations were compiled from the Emergence conference at Carnegie Mellon University as well as the Designing for Services project in the UK, service design syllabi at CMU and independent research. I've included the abstracts and introductions to the papers and cross-referenced examples and concepts so that it's easy to follow the development of ideas such as "service blueprinting" across multiple papers.

Select any underlined term to filter the list, showing only papers that share that particular concept, example, author, journal or decade. If you'd like to help fill in the gaps by suggesting other canonical papers, e-mail the citations to service at howardesign.com. Thanks!

Filter: Papers authored by Lynn Shostack | View all papers

Ms. Shostack is senior vice president in charge of the Private Clients Group at Bankers Trust Company. A former vice president at Citibank and chief of staff of that institutionís Investment Management Group, she has headed the marketing committee of the American Bankers Association Trust Division and chaired the American Marketing Associationís special task force on service marketing. Author of a marketing management column for The American Banker, she also serves on the editorial advisory board of the International Journal of Bank Marketing and the Service Industries Journal [1984].

Breaking Free from Product Marketing
Journal of Marketing, 1977
Lynn Shostack
From the article: "It is dangerous to take the marketing concepts that apply to products, and try to transfer them to services. Products are tangible; services are not-and that makes a lot of difference in how you market them."

Examples: Airline Travel, Automobile Transportation, Citibank, McDonalds

Compare with:
Putting the Service-Profit Chain to Work
How to Design a Service
European Journal of Marketing, 1982
Lynn Shostack
From the article: "Suggests that behavioural hypothesis, which rearranges or alters any element, by design or accident, will change the overall entity, just like changing bonds or atoms in a molecule creates a new substance, and this is known as molecular modelling ó and this can help the marketer to better understand any market entity. States that the first step towards rational service design is a system for visualizing this phenomenon, enabling services to be given proper position and weight in the market entity context. Proposes that people are essential evidence of a service and how they are dressed or act has a bearing on this. Identifies benefits, standards and tolerances, and discusses modifications using tables and figures for emphasis. Concludes that modelling and blueprinting offer a system for marketers which can lead to the kind of experimentation and management necessary to service innovation and development."

Examples: Amusement Park, Fast Food Chain, Automobile Transportation, Airline Travel, Dry Cleaners, Tax Return Preparation, McDonalds, Corner Shoeshine

Compare with:
Designing product/service systems: A methodological exploration
Service Blueprinting: A Practical Tool for Service Innovation
Blueprinting the Service Company: Managing the Service Processes Efficiently
Designing Services that Deliver
Harvard Business Review, 1984
Lynn Shostack
From the article: "The service sector contributes substantially to the US gross national product, however, little effort has been directed toward applying the rational management techniques so common in the goods-producing sector to the design and operation of services. It has been assumed that good service is a function of the particular style of an entrepreneur or business and that it cannot be quantitatively analyzed. A method is presented to turn the trial-and-error process of service design into a rational, systematic process. In designing a service, the processes constituting the service must be identified, areas of potential service breakdown isolated, the amount of time required for service delivery determined, and a standard of service delivery time must be established to ensure profitability. Alternative methods of delivery should be examined, and means of highlighting tangible evidence of the service for consumers should be identified. The service should make customers feel special, requiring hiring, training, and performance standards which stress courtesy and credibility."

Examples: H&R Block, McDonalds, Walt Disney, Corner Shoeshine, Discount Brokerage