Service Design Tools

Roberta Tassi’s 2008 thesis on Service Design Tools presents a grammar of the practice. As a student at Politecnico di Milano she investigated how communication design techniques are typically used within a service design framework.

Her thesis organizes 45 different tools (such as storyboards, affinity diagrams and role playing) into a taxonomy arranged by design activities, representations, recipients and contents. For example, which tools feature narrative, or which might be used for co-design? Which activities are appropriate for stakeholders as opposed to designers? Each tool includes an overview, references and in many cases a brief case study. This is an extremely well-designed resource with deep content.

She’s also enabled a bit of feedback. If you’ve got a case study to suggest for any of the tools, send an e-mail her way.

Update: Looks like I miscounted. I was playing around with the page URLs to see how high the numbering scheme went, but it turns out that there are no tools one through five. I’d love to see a comprehensive index of all the tools on a single page so I could go through them one by one.


  1. Thanks for your review and your precious suggestion. We were actually implementing some features that are now on line.
    First of all there was the need to give more visibility to what happens inside the collection (last entries, interesting comments, related news). All these information are currently shown directly in the home page.
    A farther update concerned the comprehensive index of all the tools, that is now available in the section called tools and that allows a different access to the contents of the archive.




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