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 Mary Jo Bitner | View all papers

Ms. Bitner is Professor of Marketing and PetSmart Chair in Services Leadership W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University [2006].

The Service Encounter: Diagnosing Favorable and Unfavorable Incidents
Journal of Marketing, 1990
Mary Jo Bitner
From the article: "The service encounter frequently is the service from the customer's point of view. Using the critical incident method, the authors collected 700 incidents from customers of airlines, hotels, and restaurants. The incidents were categorized to isolate the particular events and related behaviors of contact employees that cause customers to distinguish very satisfactory service encounters from very dissatisfactory ones. Key implications for managers and researchers are highlighted."

Examples: Airlines, Hotels, Restaurants, Life Insurance

Compare with:
SERVQUAL: A Multiple-Item Scale for Measuring Consumer Perceptions of Service Quality
Service Behaviors that Lead to Satisfied Customers
Want to Perfect your Company's Service? Use Behavioral Science
An Empirical Investigation of the Impact of Non Verbal Communication on Service Evaluation
Servicescapes: The Impact of Physical Surroundings on Customers and Employees
Journal of Marketing, 1992
Mary Jo Bitner
From the article: "A typology of service organizations is presented and a conceptual framework is advanced for exploring the impact of physical surroundings on the behaviors of both customers and employees. The ability of the physical surroundings to faciliate achievement of organizational as well as marketing goals is explored. Literature from diverse disciplines provides theoretical grounding for the framework, which services as a base for focused propositions. By examining the multiple strategic roles that physical surroundings can exert in service organizations, the author highlights key managerial and research implications."

Examples: Hotels, Restaurants, Professional Offices, Banks, Retail Stores, Hospitals, Ticketron, Federal Express, Supermarket, 7-11, Cinnamon Roll Bakeries, Airports, Club Med, Benihana, Scandinavian Airline Systems, Fast Food Chain, Supermarkets, Department Stores, ATMs, Miniature Golf

Compare with:
Clueing in Customers
Service Blueprinting: A Practical Technique for Service Innovation
California Management Review, 2008
Mary Jo Bitner

Examples: Hotels, Yellow Transportation, ARAMARK Parks & Resorts, Marie Stopes International Global Partnership, San Francisco Giants

Compare with:
Blueprinting the Service Company: Managing the Service Processes Efficiently
How to Design a Service
Designing product/service systems: A methodological exploration