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 Thanks!

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SERVQUAL: A Multiple-Item Scale for Measuring Consumer Perceptions of Service Quality
Journal of Retailing, 1988
A. Parasuraman
From the article: "Quality of service is becoming an increasingly important differentiator between competing businesses in the retailing sector. In today's fiercely competitive marketplace, characterized by similarly priced, look-alike product offerings from a variety of retailing firms, clear winners will be the ones that provide excellent service quality. The paper describes the development and potential applications of a multiple-item instrument--called SERVQUAL--for measuring customer perceptions of service quality. "

Examples: Appliance Repair and Maintenance, Banks, Long-distance Telephone, Credit card

Compare with:
The Service Encounter: Diagnosing Favorable and Unfavorable Incidents
Service Behaviors that Lead to Satisfied Customers
An Empirical Investigation of the Impact of Non Verbal Communication on Service Evaluation