Stickdorn & Schneider’s 5 principles of service design thinking

Marc Stickdorn and Jakob Schnieder’s book “This is Service Design Thinking” offers foundational insights into service design.

The book introduces five key principles that underpin service design thinking:

This principle emphasises the need to focus on all users affected by the service. Instead of just designing for the end consumer, service design thinking considers everyone involved, including front-line staff, managers, and third-party vendors. The objective is to create a service that meets the needs and expectations of all these users.

Service design is a collaborative process, often involving various stakeholders, including end-users, in the design process. Co-creation ensures that all voices are heard, and solutions are crafted considering diverse needs and viewpoints. This collaboration can lead to more innovative, practical, and accepted solutions.

A service is often perceived as a sequence of interrelated actions or events. Service design visualises this as a “service blueprint” or “customer journey map,” which lays out the service process step by step, from the customer’s first interaction to the last. By sequencing, designers can identify pain points, opportunities, and touchpoints in the service process.

Intangible services are made tangible through physical artefacts. For instance, a boarding pass makes the service of air travel concrete, or an app interface embodies the service of online banking. By making the intangible tangible, customers can understand, evaluate, and appreciate the service better.

Service design thinking takes a holistic view of all the related components of a service. This means looking at the entire environment where the service exists, from the more extensive ecosystem to the minutiae of individual touchpoints. By doing so, designers can ensure that the whole service experience is cohesive and consistent and delivers value to the user.

Are you building something interesting?

Get in touch