Materials and Resources

There is no ‘one book’ for this course, but rather a number of books you should be familiar with on a range of many topics that touch on the development of your idea and its development into a sustainable prototype.

If there was ‘one book‘ for the course, then this would be it: This is Service Design Doing with it’s practices, approaches, and numerous case studies to guide you on your way.

The general approach we will be using is one of design thinking and service design. These are also known as human centred design. Design thinking is  now being used at Harvard Business School, and in other places focusing on leadership. A simple example of how Design Thinking can be used in organisation can be found in ‘Better Service, Faster: A Design Thinking Case Study‘.

Toolkits to Download, Read and Use 

Each of these offers a range of ideas and approaches that you can use in your projects. There is some overlap between them, but each also offers a slightly different approach too.

The Complete Beginners Guide to UX Research will help you determine the type of research you need to use for your project.

Festival Design Toolset from the Scottish service design agency Snook.

IDEO Human Centred Design Toolkit  from IDEO.

d:school Bootcamp Bootleg from Stanford d:school.

Digital Storytelling Handbook from Digital Commonwealth.

Service Design Toolkit from Namanh and Design Flanders with technique cards and other resources.

General background

The Design Council provides various research papers and other resources explaining the business case for using design approaches. This is about developing ideas based on empathy with your customers, and not just about using nice graphics.

FactFinder: The Value of Design offers figures of how businesses have benefited from incorporating design to improve their business. The interesting part starts around page 30.

Leading Business by Design includes useful case studies with more details about how design improves business and connects with customers to develop a better experience.

The Cluetrain Manifesto by a group of visionaries, who consider and explain the impact of social media before it existed. Go download an appropriate version from bottom of the linked page and read it so you know who are the important people.

Service Design

This is Service Design Thinking provides a primer and background in tools that can be used on all types of projects in order to ensure you develop a suitable engaging service.

Service Design by Andy Polaine, Lavrans Løvlie, and Ben Reason provides a useful in-depth view of the service design process with explanations about why the process works and clear examples showing how it works.

Change by Design by Tim Brown introduces the ‘design thinking’ approach that is a component of service design with clear examples and theory from his experience at IDEO.

Value Proposition Design by Alex Osterwalder will help you clarify the main essence of your idea so that it is easily explainable to anyone so that you only work on a business plan if and when necessary.

Managing the Design Factory by Donald Reinerstsen provides a clear introduction to systems theory that the output of the whole process is more important than optimising any one output. This also explains the theories behind Goldratt’s Theories of Constraints as illustrated in his novels. You can find a condensed version of this material and much more in Reinertsen’s Flow book.

Impact Mapping by Gojko Adzic explains how to quickly determine the optimal path you can take in your development process aimed at organisations using lean, agile and service design approaches so that you know which path will offer the most optimum return for your effort.

Ideas and their Presentation

Start with Why by Simon Sinek explains the importance of ‘why’ (or the TED talk) you’re doing what you do so that you can explain it in context of how you aim to achieve what you’re building.

Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath (short video) tells us the importance of stories in providing memorable content and marketing materials for our services.

Blah, Blah, Blah: what to do when words don’t work by Dan Roam will help you say anything with a series of pictures so that you can better explain your ideas.

Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds will help you build better slide decks for whatever purpose you need. The newer design edition also has a section on video development too. You’ll find presentaion tips on his blog.


Self-Motivation and building a better you

The Flinch by Julien Smith, explains why you’re your own worst enemy when trying new things and provides paths to overcome the resistance.

Do the Work by Steven Pressfield explains more about ‘the resistance’ and how you can win the war against your self doubt.

Linchpin by Seth Godin explains why you need to focus on connecting people and building networks of people so that you can grow your usefulness to organisations.

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking when the Stakes are High explains how to use a number of tools so that you help ensure conversations stay in dialogue instead of ending poorly.

Pragmatic Thinking and Learning by Andy Hunt will help you become more aware of how you learn best and why this is the case. It is a good companion to the Rock book below.

Your Brain at Work by David Rock will help you to be aware of how your brain works so that you can learn to work with your it, instead of having it stop you achieve your aims. This explains what you find in Smith’s and Pressfield’s works.

Drive and To Sell is Human by Dan Pink will help you set up suitable policies to motivate yourself and your team, while also pointing towards selling strategies for your services.

Philosophy for Life: and Other Dangerous Situations by Jules Evans will help you learn to understand how you change your approach to life using Greek philosphers so that you can: people can know themselves and their unconscious assumptions and beliefs; we can use our reason to change our beliefs, and thus our emotional responses as they are linked, and; we can create new habits of thinking, feeling and acting.


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