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2018/2019  KAN-CBUSV2023U  Service Design

English Title
Service Design

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
BUS Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Mads Bødker - Department of Digitalisation
Main academic disciplines
  • Information technology
  • Innovation
  • Experience economy
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 07-02-2018

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Identify, use and compare selected methods and tools from the field of service design
  • Do in-depth analysis and documentation of customer needs and other stakeholder needs and requirements in a service system
  • Apply findings from empirical work to service innovations
  • Reflect on broader methodological aspects of various methods within the field of service design
  • Develop and present a comprehensively documented and motivated prototype of a service design and use expressive visualizations of a service
  • Actively use prototyping methods and tools to produce and evaluate a service design prototype
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved: 2
Compulsory home assignments
Finding, reading and providing a 1 page summary of 2 peer-reviewed papers on service design.

Oral presentations etc.
Participating in design group work (min. 2 people). This is also the exam group.
3 presentations of ongoing design work.
Service design:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Oral group exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2-5
Size of written product Max. 5 pages
Assignment type Project
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

The exam will be a group oral examination based on a poster. This entails that students must prepare a five-page paper (excluding references, but not exceeding six pages including references) in the ACM "Extended Abstracts" format (download template here: https://chi2018.acm.org/chi-proceedings-format/) and an A1-A0 poster presentation that takes its outset in their service design work. 
The poster must be brought to the exam in printed format.
The short paper must contain a brief description of the project as well as a theoretical and methodological critique of, and reflections on, the design process and the results obtained.

Course content and structure

Service Design (SD) can be described as “the activity of planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service in order to improve its quality and the interaction between service provider and customers” (Wikipedia, accessed 19.11.2012). Whilst the idea of service design has a separate history, much work in the field today is highly interdisciplinary takes place with an eye towards rich and continuous stakeholder engagement as well as user or customer experience.

It might be possible, and even desirable, to setup a range of criteria or goals for SD. These could include usefulness, usability, efficiency, effectiveness and desirability, mirroring criteria often used in the evaluation of software. However, the interdisciplinary nature of Service Design is important since it gives practitioners a means with which to address more comprehensive landscapes of the customer context rather than focusing exclusively on a single perspective or a single artefact.
Following this, a major challenge that this course will take up is to use a service design attitude and sensibility to inform innovations and working/expressive prototypes. Key tools will be highly eclectic, but cover UX oriented sketching, service design mapping, blueprinting, prototyping, scenario exploration, personas, and a variety of visual/video tools for data collection.

Description of the teaching methods
First and foremost, the course is intended as a practical and industry-relevant design course. Thus, students must, within the first 2 weeks establish contact with a service providing company or a company that could be relevant for a service design intervention. This can be companies that provide services in any sector; health, entertainment, insurance, public or civil services (e.g. policing, housing, cleaning, care etc. etc.), HR, information, transport, banking, value-added goods etc.
NB: It should be noted that often a good target for service design innovations is a company that delivers more than mere goods – service design generally focuses on companies that deliver additional values to their goods through various service efforts.

Student activities will be centered on their own case.
Feedback during the teaching period
The teacher will give continous feedback and give feedback to students after in-class presentations. Office hours are provided.
Student workload
Lectures 24 hours
Prepare to class 100 hours
Workshops 24 hours
Exam and prepare 59 hours
Expected literature

Polaine, A., Løvlie, L., & Reason, B. (2013: Service Design: From Insight to Implementation. Rosenfeld media, 1st ed.

Research articles (tentative).


Blomkvist & Holmlid (no date). Service Prototyping According to Service Design Practitioners, available: http:/​/​www.servdes.org/​pdf/​blomkvist-holmlid.pdf


Buchenau et al. (2000). Experience Prototyping, Proceedings of DIS ’00, Brooklyn, New York, 2000


Clatworthy, S. (2011). Service Innovation Through Touch-points: Development of an Innovation Toolkit for the First Stages of New Service Development, In International Journal of Design Vol.5 No.2 2011


Coughlan et al. (2007) Prototypes as (Design) Tools for Behavioral and Organizational Change: A Design-Based Approach to Help Organizations Change Work Behaviors, in The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Vol. 43 No. 1, March 2007 1-13


Cross, N. (1982), Designerly ways of knowing, in Design Studies, vol. 3 no 4 October 1982 pp. 221-227


Goldstein et al. (2002). The service concept: the missing link in service design research? Journal of Operations Management 20 (2002) 121–134


Iacucci et al. (2000). On the Move with a Magic Thing: Role Playing in Concept Design of Mobile Services and Devices, in Proceedings of DIS ’00, Brooklyn, New York, 2000


Junginger & Sangiorgi (2009). Service Design and Organizational Change: Bridging the Gap Between Rigour and Relevance, in Proceedings of IASDR 2009, Rigor and Relevance in Design, Special Session on Rigor in Service Design Research. Seoul, South Korea


Kimbell , L (2009): Beyond Design Thinking – Design-as-Practice and designs-in- practice, Paper presented at the CRESC Conference, Manchester, September 2009.


Kimbell, L. (2010). From user-centered design to designing for service, Paper presented at Design Management Conference, London 2010


Kolko (2010). Abductive Thinking and Sensemaking: The Drivers of Design Synthesis, in Design Issues: Volume 26, Number 1 Winter 2010


Latour, B. (2005). Introduction to ’Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory. Oxford University Press, 2005


Mager, B (2008).‘Service Design’ in Design Dictionary, Birkhäuser, Basel (2008)


Morelli (2002). Designing Product/Service Systems: A Methodological Exploration, in Design Issues, Vol. 18, No. 3, (Summer, 2002), pp. 3-17


Salvador et al. (1999). Design Ethnography, in Design Management Journal, Vol. 10, No. 4, Fall 1999.


Sangiorgi & Clark (2004). Toward a Participatory Design Approach to Service Design, in PDC-04 Proceedings of the Participatory Design Conference, Vol 2, Toronto, Canada, July 27-31, 2004


Segelström et al. (2009). Thinking and Doing Ethnography in Service Design, in In Proceedings of IASDR 2009, Rigor and Relevance in Design, Special Session on Rigor in Service Design Research. Seoul, South Korea


Strömberg et al. (2004). Interactive scenarios—building ubiquitous computing concepts in the spirit of participatory design, in Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 2004 (8), 200-207.


Wasson (2000). Ethnography in the Field of Design, in Human Organization, Vol. 59, No. 4, 2000.


Bonus: Four interesting places to go on-line:
What is a business case in service design?
http:/​/​www.designcouncil.org.uk/​about-design/​Types-of-design/​Service- design/​The-business-case/​
The main network for service design professionals:
http:/​/​www.service-design- network.org/links
Overall introductions and general links to service design resources:
Extremely interesting articles and annotated links to the classics:

Last updated on 07-02-2018