Can You Design a Service?

I’m a little mortified to be a year late discovering Can You Design a Service? [PDF 4.8MB] by the Danish agency 1508. It’s easily the best publication on service design I’ve seen for evangelizing the practice. Just top-notch work.

The whole thing is designed to be skimmed but the content also repays a closer read. Six brief case studies showcase service design’s range while examples for Aarhus citizen services and a kindergarten in Cophenhagen provide a closer look at the process. The publication ends with a bit about methods and approach but nothing too deep. This isn’t really a book for service designers; it’s a book for people who might never have thought to ask the question posed by the title.

One note on the format: the publication is designed to be read with facing pages like a magazine (it’s available as an option in both Acrobat and Preview). The online presentation is nice to browse, but I’d encourage you to actually print out a copy, spiral bind it and give it away when you’re done.


  1. I’d missed this too. Excellent, thanks!




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