IED Barcelona Workshop 2012

If you’ve found this page, then you have probably been at my service design workshop at Escola Superior de Disseny and are looking for the notes.

Instead of putting together many different PDFs, I’ve pretty much included all my slides into one master PDF, which you can download here. It’s about 42.2MB, so it’s probably better not to do this on your phone on a 3G network.

The brief and schedule for the workshop project can be downloaded as a PDF, but it is also below.

Here are the notes on qualitative design research approaches.

I mentioned a few different services and examples in my talks. Here are a few of them:

If I think of any more (or you remind me about some), I’ll update this list.

IED Barcelona Workshop

5th-8th October 2012

Aims and Methodology

This course aims to introduce the student to the thinking and methodology of service design. Through a mix of presentations and workshop activities carried out in small teams, students will learn by doing as they develop a service proposition. This will start with insights research before moving onto developing the service concept, a service blueprint and, finally, prototyping key touchpoints. The final concepts will be pitched in a 10-minute presentation and critique session at the end of the workshop.

Competencies and Results

By the end of the workshop the students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of service design history, theory and philosophy
  • Use a range of research methods to gather and synthesise insights
  • Develop a service proposition through key methods, such as blueprinting and experience prototyping
  • Relate the final design back to the needs discovered in the insights as well as to a business proposition

Workshop Theme

Scheduled for completion in 2012 (!) the Barcelona Design Hub (DHUB) will soon have a new building. Like many large institutions, the building acts as the place where people should go to receive the information. But this is a broadcast model of culture, which sits awkwardly with the contemporary network culture. In the network knowledge is discovered and dispersed from the bottom up, not top down and comes to you, not you to it. Does everyone really need to go to the DHUB building to experience what it has to offer as an institution? Or is it possible to develop services that allows it to occupy a presence in the lives of the city and its inhabitants beyond the walls of the new building?

This is a challenge for all institutions museums, libraries, galleries, educational institutions and more as they move into the digital world and full into the 21st Century. What does the DHUB offer in the age of e-books, Twitter, a thousand and one design blogs, Wikipedia and Google? What is the importance of such a landmark building in the city and do such buildings still have relevance? Who uses it and why? Can it reach across the city in different ways? What is the essence of the DHUB as a service and how can and will this change? These are just some of the questions you’ll need to address in this brief.

The brief is intended simple a vehicle for you to get your minds around service design as a way of thinking and to use some of the methods, but it is much easier to learn this by doing rather than by just hearing about it. A multi-touchpoint institution going through a change makes for a good business case to look at. I’m open for discussion of another theme and the following schedule is subject to change based upon the existing competencies of the students.


Day 1 - Monday


From Products to Services

  • An Introduction to Service Design philosophy, methods and processes
  • Understanding People & Relationships - Gathering Insights
  • Challenges for the future of Service Design


Today, you will go out into the city, learn from people you meet, gather other insights and begin to develop a new service that engages in the street environment of Barcelona. Today you will:

  • Interview potential users in the city and gather data, stories, facts.

  • Define one clear user need that can drive a new service idea.

  • Develop an initial concept for a DHUB service that people can access and find value in across the city.

Day 2 - Tuesday


The Service Ecology

  • Exploring the Service Ecology
  • Developing the Service Blueprint


In order to develop your concept into a more comprehensive service proposition you will need to detail the complexity of your idea. Today you will:

  • Map out the service ecology
  • Design a service blueprint that details how people may use the service across relevant channels
  • Develop a user journey that explains how people learn about, join and use the service

Day 3 - Wednesday


Developing the Service Proposition & Experience Prototyping

  • Developing the Service Proposition
  • Prototyping Service Experiences
  • Measuring services


Once you have got a sense of what your concept might be, you need to work on it to refine it and work out what needs to be designed. This means moving back and forth from individual details and the overall picture, including the business case. How is the service run as a business? What’s the revenue model? What needs to be created to support the experience? And, most important, what should the experience be. To do this, you need to get designing and

  • Visualise how the service might appear in key touchpoints.
  • Prototype 3-5 of these in some form (sketches, cardboard, mock-ups, etc.).
  • Convince us that your idea must be made real.
  • Develop your presentation pitch.

Day 4 - Thursday AM


Presentations will be done in the form of a 10 minute pitch (maximum - pitches will be mercilessly cut off after 10 mins!). You should get across the following:

  • The Big Idea. A one line headline and a brief introductory description of what your project is and the service proposition (approx. 1 minute).
  • A quick overview of your process and blueprint (approx. 2 minutes).
  • Storyboard sequence/journey description with key touchpoint sketches/prototypes and a voiced explanation of the process (approx. 7 minutes).

Background Information

If you would like to know more about service design, I can offer some papers and PDFs when I’m there. You can also check out:

Selected Literature

Bitner, M. J., Ostrom, A. L., & Morgan, F. N. (2008). Service blueprinting: A practical technique for service innovation. California Management Review, 50(3), 66.

Goodwin, K. (2009). Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human-Centered Products and Services. Indiapolis: Wiley.

Heapy, J. & Parker, S. (2010). Journey to the Interface. London: Demos. Available free for download here:

Hollins, W. & Hollins, G. (1991). Total Design: Managing the Design Process in the Service Sector. Financial Times.

Kimbell, L. (2011) Designing for Service as One Way of Designing Services. International Journal of Design, 5, 41-52.

Lvlie, L., Polaine, A., & Reason, B. (forthcoming). Service Design: From Insight to Implementation. New York: Rosenfeld Media.

Lusch, R. F., & Vargo, S. L. (eds.) (2006). The Service-Dominant Logic of Marketing: Dialog, Debate, And Directions. New York: M.E.Sharpe.

Mager, B., Maffei, S., & Sangiorgi, D. (2005). Innovation through Service Design. From Research and Theory to a Network of Practice. A Users’ Driven Perspective. Paper presented at the Joining Forces: International Conference on Design Research, Helsinki, Finland.

Miettinen, S. & Koivisto, M. (2009). Designing Services with Innovative Methods: Perspectives on Service Design, University of Art and Design Helsinki

Moggridge, B. (2006). Designing Interactions. The MIT Press.

Reason, B., Downs, C., & Lovlie, L. (2008). Service Thinking.

Shostack, G.L. (1984) Designing services that deliver. Harvard business review, 62, 133-139.

Stickdorn, M. & Schneider, J. (2010), This is Service Design Thinking: Basics - Tools - Cases, Amsterdam: BIS Publishers