There is a lot of interest in Service Design, and there is tons of information to digest. In this post, I have focused on books and articles that I found useful during my years in the field. (There are tons of podcasts and great talks on YouTube and Vimeo, but that’s stuff for another post.)
Make sure to check out my Skillshare class on Customer Journey Mapping if you find this topic interesting.
So, here we go:
Level 1. Primers
Super-fast introduction to three common concepts: Design Thinking, Customer Journey Mapping, Service Blueprints, and Experience Mapping:
- Design Thinking 101 – Nielsen Norman Group
- When and how to create customer journey maps – Nielsen Norman Group
- “Blueprints are the gateway drug to Service Design — Adaptive Path’s Guide to Service Blueprinting
- Service Design Tools
Level 2. Getting Warmed Up
Armed with the primers, I suggest you start reading these articles:
- The Principles of Service Design Thinking — Interaction Design Foundation.
- Service Blueprints — Communicating the Design of Services | Interaction Design Foundation
If you’re still into it and want to properly start studying the subject, I suggest these three classics:
- Polaine, A. et al. (2013). Service Design — From Insight to Implementation.
- Lusch, R., Vargo, S. (2014). Service-Dominant Logic – Premises, Perspectives, Possibilities. Cambridge.
- Penin, L. (2018). An introduction to service design: Designing the Invisible. Bloomsbury.
And if you’re comfortable reading Swedish, this book is a great read:
- [SWEDISH] Holmlid, S., Wetter-Edman, K. (2021). Tjänstedesign – principer och praktiker. Studentlitteratur.
At this stage, I would also encourage you to read up on design and information technology history. In order to see the trajectory of the future, you need to reach back in time to see the historical vectors. Two very quick ways to get an overview are the following pieces on medium.com:
- Szczepanska, J. (2017). Design thinking origin story plus some of the people who made it all happen.
- Service Design Magazine (2018). A Tiny History of Service Design.
Level 3. Into the Wild
Alright, now you’re ready to look for more material on your own. These suggestions (in alphabetical order, so pick whatever strikes your fancy) could be good starting points.
There is also a recent (2020) collection of recommended readings compiled by The Service Design Show here: https://www.servicedesignshow.com/recommended-books/
- Abilla, P. (2010). Lean Service: Customer Value and Don’t Waste the Customer’s Time
- Bettencourt, L, Ulwick, W. (2008). The Customer-Centered Innovation Map. The Customer-Centered Innovation Map
- Brugnoli, G. (2009). Connecting the Dots of User Experience.
- Carlzon, J. (1987). Moments of Truth. Moments of Truth — Jan Carlzon, Tom (FRW) Peters, Jan Carlzon — pocket(9780060915803) | Adlibris Bokhandel
- Court, D. (2009). The Consumer Decision Journey. The consumer decision journey | McKinsey & Company
- Customer Experience Matters (2016). Customer Experience Matters® | Connecting Brands, Leaders, Employees, and Customers
- Design4Services. Service Design
- Designing CX
- Diller, S. et al. (2005). Making Meaning: How Successful Businesses Deliver Meaningful Customer Experiences
- Erwin, K. (2011). Consumer Insight Maps: The Map as Story Platform in the Design Process
- Flom, J. (2011). The Value of Customer Journey Maps: A UX Designer’s Personal Journey.
- Fredrickson, B.L., Kahneman, D. (1993). Duration Neglect in Retrospective Evaluations of Affective Episodes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1993. Vol.65. №1.45–55
- Golub, H. et al. (2000). Delivering Value to Customers. Delivering value to customers | McKinsey & Company
- Grocki, M. (2014). How to Create a Customer Journey Map.
- Haven, K (2015). Your Brain on Story.
- Hoski, K., Goddard, P. (2015). 5 Essential Components of Effective Customer Journey Maps.
- Interaction Design Foundation (2017). The Principles of Service Design Thinking — Building Better Services | Interaction Design Foundation
- Kalbach, J. (2016). Mapping Experiences — O’Reilly Media
- Lecinski, J. (2011). Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) — Think with Google
- Leciski, J. (2014). ZMOT: Why It Matters Now More Than Ever — Think with Google
- Lichaw, D. (2016). The User’s Journey — Rosenfeld Media
- McKinsey (2016). The CEO Guide to Customer Experience.
- McKinsey (2017). Customer Experience: New capabilities, new audiences, new opportunities.
- Meroni, A. (2011). Design for Services (Design for Social Responsibility)
- Meroni, A. et al. (2011). Design for social innovation as a form of designing activism: An action format.
- Meirelles, I. (2013). Design for Information: An Introduction to the Histories, Theories, and Best Practices Behind Effective Information Visualizations
- Reason, B., Løvlie, L., Flu, M.B. (2015). Service Design for Business: A Practical Guide to Optimizing the Customer Experience
- Rawson, A. et al. (2013). The Truth About Customer Experience
- Risdon, C. (2011). The Anatomy of an Experience Map | Adaptive Path
- Ruiz, L. (2014). Service Design 101 | Cooper
- Schauer, B. (2013). Exploratorium: Mapping the Experience of Experiments | Adaptive Path
- Service Design Books.
- Shostack G. L. (1982). How to Design a Service: European Journal of Marketing: Vol 16, No 1
- Spraragen, S., Chan, C. (2008). Service Blueprinting: When Customer Satisfaction Numbers are not Enough.
- Stickdorn, M., Schneider, J. (2012). This is Service Design Thinking.
- Stickdorn, M., Hormess, M.E., Lawrence, A., Schneider, J. (2018). This is Service Design Doing.
- Smith, G. (2010). Experience Maps: Understanding Cross-Channel Experiences for Gamers. nForm — We help our clients create great websites, apps, and intranets for their customers.
- Spengler, C. (2010). 360° Touchpoint Management — How important is Twitter for our brand?
- Temkin, B. (2017). Customer Experience Leads to Recommendations (Charts For 20 Industries) | Customer Experience Matters®
- Young, I. (2009). Mental Models — Rosenfeld Media
- Tate, T. (2012). Cross-Channel Blueprints: A tool for modern IA — Tyler Tate
- Thunderhead (2015). The Cost of Crappy Customer Experiences.
- Ulwick, A. (2005). What Customers Want: Using Outcome-Driven Innovation to Create Breakthrough Products and Services: Anthony Ulwick: 9780071408677: Amazon.com: Books
- Ulwick, A. (2003). Turn Customer Input into Innovation.
- Westerman, G., Bonnet D., McAfee, A. (2014) Amazon.com: Leading Digital: Turning Technology into Business Transformation eBook: George Westerman, Didier Bonnet, Andrew McAfee: Books
- Wreiner, T. et al. (2009). Exploring Service Blueprints for Multiple Actors.
- Wärnestål, P. (2017). Klara, färdiga, … broms! — Att få startskottet att gå för ditt kundresekartläggningsprojekt — inUse Experience
Level 4. And then…?
Service Design is a field that moves fast and evolves contiunously. So there is no way this list can be complete and up-to-date at all times. As a Level 4 player, you have the power to search and find great stuff on your own. If you want to stay in the forefront, keep an eye on academic journals in various fields, such as Marketing, Informatics, HCI, Business Management, and more. That’s the beauty of an interdisciplinary field!
Good luck, and keep in touch if you have any tips on readings you think should be listed here.