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Curated Resources

7 Service Design Resources for Greater Social Impact

Lots of people are talking about service design these days. But what exactly is service design and how can designers and nonprofit communicators apply service design tools and practices to improve their work?

Constructive’s Senior Strategist, Titania Veda likes to say that service design is the process of improving existing services and creating new services to fulfill the needs of people—whether it’s online or in person. Great services are verbs rather than nouns—they focus on the jobs people need done or the problems they need fixed rather than the typical activities used to do so. Most important, great service design is created within the context of the lived experience of the people for which it’s created. 

As designers, all of our work—whether it’s branding, UX, UI, or brand experience design—falls underneath the umbrella of service design. And since most nonprofits are essentially service design businesses for social impact, service design offers a huge opportunity for nonprofits to be more effective in their missions. By taking a human-centered approach to our work with clients, service design provides the strategic lens needed to assess the value we create for our clients in the social impact sector—and evaluate how well our efforts support them in their own mission-driven work. 

In this edition of Constructively Curated, Titania has selected a few of her great service design resources, spanning books, courses, online communities, and beyond to introduce service design in an approachable and comprehensive way. We hope you’ll find the resources interesting and that they spark conversations and new ways of working service design practices into your organization. 

This is SD Thinking Basics Book 

If you are still confused on what service design is or looking for the basics, this book is great. With more than twenty three international authors it presents a broad and simple introduction to service design through principles, individual perspectives, adaptable SD tools, case studies and more. 

Service Design Show

The Service Design Show is a website filled with interactive courses, interviews, articles and practical tips all focused on the development of your service design skills. The founder Marc is the co-founder of The Netherlands first service design agency and emphasizes a human-first approach to design and teaching you the fundamentals.

Service Design Today 

We recommend digging into this presentation to hear the perspectives of many senior design professionals on the evolution, current state, and future of service design as a discipline. Developed from the 2016 research of Matteo Remondini, this report hails from London, the city that is considered the birthplace of service design. 

A Service Design Community Slack Group 

Want to connect and interact with other Service Design professionals around the globe? This Slack workspace gives you the opportunity to do just that with various channels, opportunities for knowledge-sharing and discussion, events and local chapters to engage with. More than four thousand professionals have already joined. 

This is Service Design Doing: Method Library

This free online method library makes getting to work easy by offering instructions, guidelines, and tips-and-tricks to allow you to exercise key methods of service design in interactive and engaging ways. The activities span all areas of service design from research to ideation to prototyping and facilitation.  

A Collection of Service Design Tools 

Similar to the above method library, Service Design Tools is a site with an open collection of tools and tutorials to get you started on approaching tasks with a service design mindset. This site will take you through the entire design process allowing you to answer the when? who? what? and how? questions that are sure to arise.

More Constructively Curated

8 Resources for Nonprofit Social Media Strategy

7 Resources to Support the LGBTQ+ Community in the Workplace.

8 Resources for Effective Data-Driven Storytelling


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