Sequential Learning

We want learners to come away knowing how to build a service and then have a reference for when they are on a project. 

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ISDI is known for its sequential approach to designing a service.  The sequentil approach appears in three online courses and three separate books that can be used independently or with the online courses.

Each help learners grow their knowledge and skills

Steven J. Slater

It Began With a Challenge

Co-founder Steven J. Slater, after decades of designing, improving and deconstructing services, began a global search for a reliable reference to design a service.

To this date, he has found none.


Early on his career, Steven was an award-winning business journalist. So it was not out of the realm when a friend challenged him to write a book: How to design a service.

Steven and his challenger came up with a six-month timeframe to complete the project. Instead it took three and a half years.

Sequential Learning Divided
Into Three Volumes

The Apprentice

Volume I

The Journeyman

Volume II

The Master

Volume III

Reliable Content

Steven and partner Naomi Lantzman spent 48 months assembling the content for how to design a service..

– Writing out the sequence for designing service,
– Filling in what he could from his own experiences,
– Researching gaps in the sequence,
– Uncovering the origins of some common methods and tools,
– Testing ideas and theories that he himself had not used.
– And lots and lots of re-writing.

Why Was Content Separated Into Three Volumes?

Volume I, covering the foundation of service design, is for learners who have not been exposed to service design.

Volume II covers models and tools and tips – taking learners through the steps and process of designing a service.  This is intended as part reference, part refresher, but also for those who have a foundation and want to progress.

Volume III, which covers shaping user experiences, is for those learners who have designed services and want to improve their skills.

Reliable Content

Why Three Volumes?

Some learners didn’t want 

Three years after publishing Be Relevant!, ISDI  books – The Apprentice, The Journeyman, and The Master – were adapted into self-paced online courses of the same name. Ever since the courses have been in steady demand.

Each course is divided into six modules, each with in-depth topics, all of them with instructional videos, case studies, vignettes, diagrams, templates, and terms and their definitions.


"I use what I've learned here. "


J. Johns. Design Firm Sr. Manager. USA

"You are doing important work for our service design community. THANK YOU!."


P. Linkletter.  Professor. UK

"I encourage my team to continue their education with ISDI."


J. Patel. Service Designer. India