Service Design 101

Service design is a huge topic spread all over the web! We've done our best to collect a starter list of reading that can help get anyone started in their exploration and learning. 

Suggestions on how we can make this list better are encouraged, be sure to contact us with your ideas!

What is Service Design?

Service design is a human-centered design approach that places equal value on the customer experience and the business process, aiming to create quality customer experiences, and seamless service delivery. Service design helps organizations see an end-to-end, surface-to-core perspective, enabling understanding services from a customer perspective. Service design is rooted in design thinking, and brings a creative, human-centered process to service improvement and designing new services. Through collaborative methods that engage both customers and service delivery teams, service design helps organizations gain true, end-to-end understanding of their services, enabling holistic and meaningful improvements.

Key Terminology


A service is a means of delivering value to clients by facilitating outcomes that clients want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks.


The collective whole of all channels, services, touchpoints, and interactions in your business.

Opportunity Space

An area of your service or business in which you want to focus (e.g. Onboarding, Customer Retention, Help & Support, etc.)


A specific medium in which interactions take place.


A single point of interaction between the customer and the service.


A use case that plays out over time that involves your customer's experience combined with your organization's backstage processes and systems.


An iconic use case of a customer's experience of your service.


A breakdown of both the end-to-end customer experience as well as the surface-to-core backstage of your business process, systems, actors, and policies.


The part of your service that the client can see and experience.


The part of your service that happens "behind the scenes" and is not visible to the customer.

Links and Resources


PSD Links and Resources

Books to read

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