Searching for Definitions for Service Design - What do we mean with Service Design?

Janne-Valtteri Nisula
Laurea University, Espoo, Finland

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Ingår i: ServDes.2012 Conference Proceedings Co-Creating Services; The 3rd Service Design and Service Innovation Conference; 8-10 February; Espoo; Finland

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 67:18, s. 171-175

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Publicerad: 2013-10-16

ISBN: 978-91-7519-482-0

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


This paper explores the origins and meaning of service design. The purpose is to explore the concept of service design as used in services marketing & management and design discipline. The paper tries to bring forth some of the most used definitions for service design. The paper is explanatory by nature. The aim of the paper is to create more discussion on what do we really mean with service design.

A limited literature search was conducted to find out different definitions given for service design. The search was conducted by using two different scientific databases. Term "service design" was used in the search limiting the results to abstracts. These searches produced some 375 hits. Part of the articles were read and analyzed in search for definitions for service design. Articles that contained some definition for service design were chosen for a closer study.

There were several findings in the study. First it became evident that very different meanings are being placed on service design. Secondly very few clear definitions were found; some definitions were very wide some very focused. Thirdly many scholars didn’t define service design even it played an integral part in their paper.


Service design; service development; literature review; definitions for service design


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