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!
From the article: "This paper describes the outcomes of a one-year pilot research study and outlines the routes for the two-year wider study to follow.
The research was prompted by the growing interest in the UK in design and its contribution to business performance, and the need to replace anecdote about 'best practice' in organizing and utilizing design with information about more 'general' practice.
After defining design as 'a course of action for the development of an artefact' and suggesting that design activity pervades organizations, the paper describes the methodology used to examine how design is organized. Using matrices to explore the interaction of design with other business functions the report suggests that 'silent design' (that is design by people who are not designers and are not aware that they are participating in design activity) goes on in all the organizations examined, even those which have formal design policies and open design activities.
It is the scope and nature of 'silent design', and its conflict and/or cooperation with formal design activity, which will form the basis for the hypothesis on which the wider investigation will be built."
Examples: London Business School, Design Council
From the article: "Over the past decade design has emerged as a potent economic force in both the manufacturing and service sectors of Western industry. The notion of technology-led is now being replaced by technology- and design-led. The emergence of design, however, has been problematic for industry. Technological developments are relatively clear-cut: design developments are not. The formulation of effective design policy and the management of design are fraught with difficulties for companies. The research reported in this paper sought to investigate current practice and attitudes towards the management of design in British industry. This involved a survey of senior managers from major companies in Britain. A similar survey has been carried out in the USA which will be reported in a later paper. The main findings to emerge were (a) the existence of four distinct types of company, each with their own approach to design, (b) the pronounced effect a design manager has upon attitudes within a company and (c) the clear distinction between the manufacturing and service sectors. The practical implications of the research are discussed here with reference to the management of design in companies."
Examples: London Business School, Manufacturing Industry, Service Industry
From the article: "In the design discipline the methodological implications of product/service systems rarely have been discussed even though design components play a critical role in the development of PSS. This paper explores the disciplinary domains that may offer methodological suggestions for the design of PSS. The first part of the paper focuses on the design of PSS from a designer's perspective, emphasizing the role of designers in developing innovative PSS. The second part outlines methodological tools that can be used when dealing with specific aspects of the design activity focused on PSS."
From the article: "The service concept plays a key role in service design and development. But while the term is used frequently in the service design and new service development literature, surprisingly little has been written about the service concept itself and its important role in service design and development. The service concept defines the how and the what of service design, and helps mediate between customer needs and an organization’s strategic intent. We define the service concept and describe how it can be used to enhance a variety of service design processes. As illustrations here, we apply the service concept to service design planning and service recovery design processes. Employing the service concept as an important driver of service design decisions raises a number of interesting questions for research which are discussed here."
From the article: "Recent research projects have looked for social innovations, i.e., people creating solutions outside the mainstream patterns of production and consumption. An analysis of these innovations indicates the emergence of a particular kind of service configuration—defined here as relational services—which requires intensive interpersonal relations to operate. Based on a comparative analysis between standard and relational services, we propose to the Service Design discipline an interpretative framework able to reinforce its ability to deal with the interpersonal relational qualities in services, indicating how these qualities can be understood and favored by design activities, as well as the limits of this design intervention. Martin Buber's conceptual framework is presented as the main interpretative basis. Buber describes two ways of interacting ("I-Thou" and "I-It"). Relational services are those most favoring "I-Thou" interpersonal encounters.
Examples: Living Room Restaurant, Walking Bus, School Bus, McDonalds
From the article: "This article reports on the recent evolution of service design toward becoming transformational. Services are less discussed as design objects and more as means for supporting the emergence of a more collaborative, sustainable and creative society and economy. The transformative role of design is combined with the potential transformative role of services. The term “transformation design” as set forth by Burns, Cottam, Vanstone, and Winhall (2006), has been associated with work within communities for socially progressive ends, but also with work within organisations to introduce a human-centred design culture. The intrinsic element of co-production of services in transformation design necessitates the concomitant development of staff, the public and the organisation. In this way, service design is entering the fields of organisational studies and social change with little background knowledge of their respective theories and principles. This article proposes the adoption and adaptation of principles and practices from organisational development and community action research into service design. Additionally, given the huge responsibilities associated with transformative practices, designers are urged to introduce reflexivity into their work to address power and control issues in each design encounter."
From the article: "With the growth of mobile and social computing, interaction designers are increasingly being asked to design services and systems intended for societal change. In this paper, we argue that current interaction design approaches, inspired by user experience and user-centered design, are insufficient to appropriately take on these new challenges. We propose, instead, that our community considers a service design framing to complement what is already being done in the field. We describe the process of service design, and give examples of service design framings in several projects. We show that a service framing offers a systemic approach that better address the complex stakeholder relationships, yields outcomes in the form of product-service systems, and focuses on how value can be co-produced between customers and stakeholders."
Examples: Starbucks, Flipboard, Etsy, Mechanical Turk, Vine, Instagram, Tiramisu, The Snackbot, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp, Shazam