Service Design

Service design is hot. Services are increasingly parts of design solutions, both in industry and in society. At the same time, design is becoming more multidisciplinary and the design approach is being applied to a wide range of problems.

Service design is a specific design-perspective which is both user- and provider-centered: the needs and capabilities of end-users and providers are two starting points for the design process, each representing important concerns of clients: to fulfil needs and to support learning processes and capability development. Design solutions can be quite complex: rather than designing a single object for a single target group of users, different stakeholders and new technologies are combined to develop solutions that are dispersed over time and space. In order to work collaboratively with these different stakeholders (users, clients, designers, developers and other parties), designers are increasingly becoming the 'facilitators' of innovation processes.


The first IDE Master Class on Service Design (2013) focused on getting acquainted with the service design developments and exploring some of the tools. With a mixture of lectures, discussions and exercises, the 2015 IDE Master Class zoomed in on the crosslink of user centred ideation and implementation: how can we translate user insights into service propositions which can be actually implemented?

The Master Class in 2017 extended on this in two ways. First, we look at tools that help us pay attention to the relation between users and service providers. Second, to consider how service design is a strategic design activity that also represents a need among clients to enhance their capability to co-create and co-produce services with a broad range of stakeholders.

Learning objectives

During this master class, you will:

  • gain insights into current developments in the design field and understand what service design comprises;
  • learn techniques (like journey mapping) to design new service propositions while focusing on the experiences of users and providers;
  • explore new service ideas by creating stakeholder maps, blue prints and early business models;
  • learn to prototype for services and involve stakeholders for feedback.


  • Overview of latest trends in the design discipline and how service design is understood by different disciplines;
  • Practical assigments with techniques such as journey mapping, service prototyping, stakeholder maps and service blue prints;
  • Process steps towards developing a service concept and getting stakeholders on board;
  • As a case topic we will work both on commercial services (e.g. automotive services), non-profit or mixed services (e.g. healthcare services);
  • Many case examples from industry and government services.



2013 and 2015