About the Institute

Service Designers



Our Story

We launched ISDI to share our knowledge of Service Design. We set out to develop a book of knowledge (BoK), a foundation, for the practice of service design.

We came to believe a BoK, created in collaboration with other service designers, would codify the practice and establish a benchmark of knowledge.

With a BoK, service designers can assess their professional development, and employers can evaluate their service designers. Service designers benefit by having a road map to build their career, and employers benefit from a graduated benchmark from which to hire and promote.

ISDI’s existing BoK also lays out service design techniques in a logical sequence for designing a service, from ideation, to design, and to prototyping and testing. We know of no other resource that attempts to codify service design and create steps service designers can follow to accomplish their services.

With the evolving BoK, it only made sense to provide education, inform service designers. So we developed courses and accompanying workbooks—The Apprentice, The Journeyman, and The Master. The courses are individually paced, designed with exercises for collaborating with other service designers.

Those who complete our three central courses earn an ISDI certificate of completion.

ISDI has also adapted the material for workbooks, guides, and workshops for trainers to use.

Through all these materials, we have made great attempts to translate our service design experiences, and those of others, into clear, understandable language with models and tools accessible for any level of practitioner.

ISDI began with the idea to spread the practice of service design around the globe, so organizations can realize its benefits and prosper.  By your participation as a service designer, you are helping us achieve that mission—and by applying service design techniques to solving organization challenges, large and small, you are playing a role improving the lives of others through user-centric services.

About the Courses

The institute evolved after exploring how service design techniques were being used in different industries and the benefits they received. After a year of research, the results were disappointing. Academia had the idea of Service Design correct, but it was highly theoretical and out of touch with real-world Service Design practice.

We made it our mission bring clarity, organization and real-world application through the approaches of systems engineering, behavior psychology and usability to Service Design — the way it was intended.

Practical Learning Sets Us Apart

We built a series of courses to provide learners with a foundation to design and develop better services. The curriculum is unique because the techniques are taught in sequential order. To us, it was important that the courses be taught with a focus on practical application. You’ll learn from service design experts who have delivered new services and lines of business to leaders of organizations across public, private and non-profit sectors. Steven J. Slater, a master Service Designer, has 30 years experience designing services. Naomi Lantzman, a certified Instructional Designer and professor, has 20 years experience teaching and practicing.

Through our experience, we found that others seemed to misinterpret Service Design, combining some of the techniques with User Experience and Design Thinking. These fields of study actually share little in common with Service Design. We began developing a book of knowledge together to lay a foundation for real Service Design, one in which others could use practically, but also build upon through their experiences. When we compared this book to other books published on Service Design, we noticed that ours was the only one that was accessible to the beginner. Our book was developed to be practical and layout Service Design, end-to-end, the way one would develop a service. Based on popular demand for our book, we then pursued sharing this knowledge globally, with the primary goal of playing our part to solidify the Service Design discipline. This way, others can pick up the techniques and improve the services we all rely on and improve economies around the world.

Meet Your Instructors

Steven J. Slater

As a service design pioneer, Steven has put his skills to use for building lines of service, otherwise known as new lines of business. He practices service design from a systems engineering approach supported by modeling and analytics.

For nearly twenty-five years, Steven has successfully transformed the performance of a wide range of organizations in professional services, healthcare, financial services, hospitality, energy and utilities, consumer packaged goods, telecommunications and IT as well as government agencies, trade groups, fundraising organizations, and cause-related nonprofits through Service Design techniques.

Naomi Lantzman

Naomi Lantzman has developed dozens of digital marketing, web development and graphic design courses for universities and colleges, and continues to teach in classrooms and online for a number of colleges and universities.

Specializing in helping non-profit fundraising organizations grow their donor base and increase donations, she uses service design methods and tools, including journey maps, digital communications, and touchpoints. Naomi also provides consulting services and works closely with commercial businesses, as well, developing e-commerce experiences and complete marketing campaigns.

Can You See Yourself Here?

Learn from service design experts who have delivered new services and lines of business to leaders of organizations across public, private and non-profit sectors.


Service Design from a Leadership Perspective

Board Members

Service Design that Improves Decisions


Service Design for a Holistic Understanding


Service Design for Your Career Advancement