Peter Morville on Service Design

In a new article over at Semantic Studios Peter Morville offers an overview of service design, information architecture and UX design. He proposes that information architecture might be the bridge that connects the two approaches.

Morville shares an example of an experience map intended to serve as a boundary object for catalyzing conversations among designers, users, and stakeholders:

If we’re to design coherent multi-channel services and experiences, we must add new visuals to our toolkit. For starters, we should complement service-centered blueprints with user-centered maps that show the full array of choices and channels that people navigate every day.

It makes a lot of sense for information architecture to be part of the conversation when it comes to service design. The Service Design Network is sponsoring the upcoming German information architecture conference in Cologne and the IA Summit hosted a workshop on the topic earlier this month.

By the way, pay attention to the stat in that workshop overview article and be sure to read the comment at the end for some concerns service designers need to address.


  1. It makes sense for all aspects of design to be part of the service design conversation, as services aren’t created using one specific skill or by one type of designer. It’s great to see service design getting attention from more design disciplines as a place to focus design work.

  2. Jeff

    I mention information architecture because it doesn’t tend to come up in conversations about service design the way graphic design, interaction design and environmental design usually do.

    Which is odd because it seems more relevant to the structural relationships that lie at the heart of service design.

  3. Samantha Starmer

    Agreed that it is excellent to call out the relationship of IA specifically to service design; I’ve been using IA as my backbone for UX/CX stuff for so long that I sometimes forget that isn’t necessarily true of everyone.

    There is absolutely no way you can have a good experience without the information being consistent and optimized for the channel/touchpoint. And where else can good IA be such a hero?




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