Skip to Main Content
of desiGn

Service Systems Workshop




Product/Services Design

Credit Hours


Explores methods and tools to design services with multiple stakeholders, elements, and delivery channels.

Services are increasingly dynamic, interconnected systems that need to be thoughtfully designed and choreographed. Service components can be tangible design elements–graphic, interaction, product, environments–or intangible elements such as roles, organizational structures, and incentives. Designing for services require new approaches and tools that help designers manage complexity throughout the design process.

This class will use a Service Design approach to explore opportunities. The result will be one or more opportunity landscapes illustrated by high-level concepts that can frame deeper design explorations in the future.

Learning Objectives

This course will teach Service Design methods and tools that address designing systems with multiple stakeholders, designed elements, and delivery channels. These tools will be used in a team-based project that starts with identifying an opportunity for a service all the way to crafting a service blueprint that documents the structure of the service. The final service solution will consider both the user experience as well as the operations necessary to support the service.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the definitions and categorizations of services
  • Explore the attributes of quality service experiences and the challenges of delivering one
  • Gain experience with the design challenges for large scale systems
  • Apply tools and processes to a team-based service design project and produce rough service experience prototypes

Format & Grading

Students will learn through a structured process beginning with primary research with appropriate stakeholders as well as secondary research to ground their understanding of the current landscape of the service industry.  Then they will employ a variety of lenses such as stakeholder analysis, examining the larger service system ecosystem, and looking at analogous services to ground initial hypotheses and opportunity areas. They will refine their ideas through co-design with stakeholders, and, if feasible, operational personnel.  Students will synthesize new service opportunities into one or more frameworks and visualize opportunity areas with high-level service sketches.

Enrollment Restrictions

No prerequisites. This course is open to all Institute of Design students. Students may take this course multiple times, non-concurrently, for a maximum of 12 credits towards their degree.