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2022/2023  KAN-CBUSV2037U  Service Design and Innovation (T)

English Title
Service Design and Innovation (T)

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
Max. participants 80
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
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 01-02-2022

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 (see section 13 of the Programme Regulations): 2
Compulsory home assignments
1. Individual assignment: Finding, reading and providing a 1 page summary of 2 peer-reviewed papers on service design, 1 page in total covering both papers. The review must include reviews of a specific/type of method which is of particular importance for the project or a review on how other designers have dealt with a problem or solution similar the project the student is working on.

Oral presentations etc.
2. Group assignment: The students will be participating in design group work (min. 2 people). This is also the exam group. Hand in a 3-page (excluding references) work-in-progress findings of the project, formatted according the description of exam procedure for the report. The document must have a working title, problem formulation along with the context of the project, summary of methods in a table and the design methodology, and the outcomes as insights in the form of illustrations, quotes, and design decisions & dilemmas. The content of the document are presented in the class by the exam groups as part of three different presentations.

Retake of both assignments:
If a student cannot participate in one or two of the compulsory activities due to documented illness, or if a student does not get the activity approved in spite of making a real attempt, then the student will be given an extra attempt before the ordinary exam date. This extra attempt is a 10 page home assignment which will cover the two mandatory activities, as well as reflections on the project domain, theories, methods, and approaches.
Service design and Innovation:
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, see also the rules about examination forms in the programme regulations.
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
The report must be accompanied by a poster detailing e.g. problem, process, outcomes and findings. The poster must be in print, i.e. similar to a conference poster. The format and style of the poster is decided by the students.
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-point grading 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 (i.e. a "conference poster") and the written group report.


This entails that student groups 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/) as well as 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. (NB: Not if the exam is on-line due to e.g. COVID-19 contingency exam forms!)

The short paper report 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, structure and pedagogical approach

Service Design (SD) can be described as the activity of orchestrating people, infrastructures, digital- and other components of a service to improve its quality and create customer centric services that provide good user experiences as customers engage with a company or an organization.


In this sense, SD is the ongoing planning, creation, and evaluation of front and backstage activities to provide a high quality service to a customer. Whilst the idea of service design has a particular history, much work in the field today is highly interdisciplinary, and takes place with an eye towards rich and continuous stakeholder engagement as well as user or customer experience. Service Design forms the backbone of many organizational processes where customer centricity are key to the provision of elegant, efficient, effective, and memorable services.

Goals for Service Design include considerations of 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. This course will engage with both practice-oriented literatures as well as the theoretical backdrop that informs these practices.


Following this, students will be equipped with both conceptual as well as creative service design attitudes and sensibilities that can help inform innovative design processes in businesses and organizations. It will include approaches to both customer/user data collection and creative processes to aid the construction of innovative product-service concepts. Particular attention will be given to the work on prototypes and prototyping in the effort to design innovative and valuable service touchpoints for a broader service infrastructure.


Key tools will be highly eclectic, but cover UX-oriented sketching, service design mapping, blueprinting, prototyping, scenario exploration, personas, and a variety of tools for data collection and user-centered work.

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 any company 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 simply "goods" in the form of products. Service design generally focuses on companies that deliver additional values to products through the orchestration of a service effort. Alternatively, services can be considered as extensions of the activities of more traditional product-oriented companies.

Student activities will mainly be centered on their own case, drawing on the academic literatures in service design and adjoining fields.
Feedback during the teaching period
The course provides 3 'design critique' session where students will present their design case and preliminary thoughts on data collection and ideas/solutions. The teacher as well as the student peers will be tasked with giving constructive feedback and critique to the presentations.

The course is run with lectures and exercises/workshops, making sure that approximately half of the activities (= 24 hrs) are 'hands on' design oriented, giving the students a supervised space for homing in on their solution. The teacher will give continous feedback on student activities and give feedback to students after in-class presentations.

Office hours and feedback online seminars are provided, and can be used by groups for feedback on their progress with their design project.
Student workload
Lectures 24 hours
Preparation for class 100 hours
Workshops 24 hours
Exam and preparation 58 hours
Total 206 hours
Expected literature

The literature can be changed before the semester starts. Students are advised to find the final literature on Canvas before they buy any material.



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

Research articles 


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.



Last updated on 01-02-2022