This Is Service Design Methods

Expanded Service Design Thinking Methods for Real Projects

Marc Stickdorn, Adam Lawrence, Markus Hormess, Jakob Schneider

Publisher: O'Reilly, 2018, 233 pages

ISBN: 978-1-492-03959-4

Keywords: Creativity, Product Management

Last modified: Feb. 16, 2020, 11:08 p.m.

In this book, you'll find 54 hands-on descriptions that help you do the key methods used in service design. These methods include instructions, guidelines, and tips-and-tricks for activities within research, ideation, prototyping, and facilitation. This is the print version of the method companion to the book This Is Service Design Doing (#TiSDD). It includes the same content that you can find free on the book website,, but nicely revisualized and presented in a professional bound format.

Caveat: While methods are the building blocks of a service design process, owning a pile of bricks does not make you an architect or even a bricklayer. Success in doing service design certainly requires a mastery of these methods. However, you must also be able to combine them into a process that fits the context and needs of your organization and guide people through this new way of working.

This book only contains the building blocks — the methods. It doesn't detail how to assemble them into a cohesive design process or how to plan or manage it. Neither does it describe why people should invest in service design nor explain how to bring service design to life in your organization. For all of this (and more), please read This Is Service Design Doing.

  • Introduction
  1. Research Methods
    • Methods of data collection
    • Desk Research
      • Preparatory Research
      • Secondary Research
    • Self-Ethnographic Approaches
      • Autoethnography
      • Online Ethnography
    • Participant Approaches
      • Participant Observation
      • Contextual Interviews
      • In-depth Interviews
      • Focus Groups
    • Extra: Interview Guidelines
    • Non-participant Approaches
      • Non-participant Observation
      • Mobile Ethnography
      • Cultural Probes
    • Extra: Co-Creative Workshops
    • Co-creative Workshops
      • Co-Creating Personas
      • Co-Creating Journey Maps
      • Co-Creating System Maps
    • Methods of Data Visualization, Synthesis, and Analysis
      • Building a Research Wall
      • Creating Personas
      • Mapping Journeys
      • Mapping Systems
      • Developing Key Insights
      • Generating Jobs-to-be-done Insights
      • Writing User Stories
      • Compiling Research Reports
  2.  Ideation Methods
    • Pre-ideation
      • Slicing the Elephant and Splitting the Ideation Challenge
      • Ideas from Future-State Journey Mapping
    • Extra: Journey Ideation with Dramatic Arcs
    • Pre-ideation
      • Ideas from Future-State System Mapping
      • "How might we …?" Trigger Questions from Insights and User Stories
    • Generating Many Ideas
      • Brainstorming
      • Brainwriting
      • 10 Plus 10
    • Adding Depth and Diversity
      • : Bodystorming
      • Adding Depth and Diversity: Using Cards and Checklists
      • Adding Depth and Diversity: Ideation Based on Analogies and Association
    • Understanding, Clustering, and Ranking Options
      • Octopus Clustering
      • Benny Hill Sorting ("Thirty-five")
      • Idea Portfolio
      • Decision Matrix
    • Reducing Options
      • Quick Voting Methods
      • Physical Commitment
  3. Prototyping Methods
    • Extra Theatrical Methods — An Introduction
    • Prototyping Service Processes and Experiences
      • Investigative Rehearsal
      • Subtext
      • Desktop Walkthrough
    • Prototyping Physical Objects and Environments
      • Cardboard Prototyping
      • Prototyping Digital Artifacts and Software
      • Rehearsing Digital Services
      • Paper Prototyping
      • Interactive Click Modeling
      • Wireframing
    • Prototyping Ecosystems and Business Value
      • Service Advertisements
      • Desktop System Mapping (Aka Business Origami)
      • Business Model Canvas
    • General Methods
      • Sketching
      • Mood Boards
      • Wizard of Oz approaches
  1. Facilitation Methods
    • Three-Brain Warm-up
    • Color-Chain Warm-up
    • "Yes, and …" Warm-up
    • Red and Green Feedback


This Is Service Design Methods

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

Disappointing *** (3 out of 10)

Last modified: Feb. 17, 2020, 10:49 p.m.

A companion to This is Service Design Doing, or rather so they claim. In reality, it is only a limited set of models, with very bad descriptions. Feels like it has been written only for the authors to make more money of the concept (and I fell for it, sometimes I am an idiot …).

There are a lot of better books on methods out there, and even as a complement to the authors other book, this is pretty useless, as the descriptions are so shallow and the book is sprinkled with meaningless pictures, probably to make it thicker.

Avoid it.


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