The Idea Lab

The Idea Lab is an information resource for service designers, where we share knowledge, including models and tools. By helping to grow and nurture service design through ideas, we hope to bolster the field of service design and careers of service designers.

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Service Design News and Ideas

Why Services Fail: Not Customer Service!

Why Services Fail: Not Customer Service!

Improving customer service will rescue a failing service, some argue. Not true. Even though this notion fuels an entire industry around customer service, it is not based on solid ground. Friendliness, responsiveness . . . are all problems for HR, not designers....

Got an Idea for a Service? Here’s How to Evaluate its Merit

Got an Idea for a Service? Here’s How to Evaluate its Merit

It is so much easier to dismiss a new idea than explore its merit. Many organizations are risk-adverse and executives simply find it easier to say “no” to avoid disruption. That thinking, however, results in missed opportunities. Quickly evaluating new ideas helps...

Exceed User Expectations at your Peril

Exceed User Expectations at your Peril

Its plainly impractical to exceed user expectations, it sets up providers for failure when their services can no longer meet user expectations.

Prototyping Services Case Study: Storm Rescue Operations

Prototyping Services Case Study: Storm Rescue Operations

As Dorian moves its way up the U.S. coast, I’m reminded of our prototyping exercises for FEMA, our crisis communications team hunkered down for two weeks, devising plans for how FEMA would respond and operate its communications for future disasters

Smart Cities: Opportunities for Service Designers

Smart Cities: Opportunities for Service Designers

(Part of an ongoing series of potential service design opportunities.  International Service Design Institute) I am continually on a search for emerging opportunities for service designers. So far I’ve discovered service designers will be called upon to solve some of...

Steve Jobs – A Service Design Pioneer

Steve Jobs – A Service Design Pioneer

Steve Jobs, hoping to heighten shopper experiences, began experimenting with touchpoints early on in the evolution of Apple, according to his biographer. His first attempt was a cyber café, an idea built around demonstrating Apple products. But that proved unworkable...

With Service Design Prototyping, Patience is Key

With Service Design Prototyping, Patience is Key

Henry Ford and James Dyson share in common that they only realized success after multiple prototypes over the course of a decade or more, with the Model T and the Dyson cyclonic vacuum. Henry Ford explored at least nineteen designs prior to coming up with the iconic...

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