Service Design Reading Guide

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:

Level 2. Getting Warmed Up

Armed with the primers, I suggest you start reading these articles:

If you’re still into it and want to properly start studying the subject, I suggest these three classics:

And if you’re comfortable reading Swedish, this book is a great read:

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:

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/

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.

Director of Service Design and Human-Centered AI at inUse. PhD and Associate Professor at Halmstad University. Father of two. I ride my bike to work.