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10 service design resources you should know about

Published on 04 Oct, 2019

You’re a business owner, looking for ways to improve your company’s service design. Or maybe you’re a student considering the service design route, but you have no clue where to start. Or you’re just a curious cat and you want to know more about service design. In this article I'll share my top 10 service design resources.

As a service designer, I often get asked about the most valuable or my favourite service design tools, templates, and methodologies. That’s why I wrote this list, to give you insight into the tools I like, my preferred methodologies, and the different trainings I highly recommend. Enjoy!

Service Design Thinking / Service Design Doing

This is Service Design Thinking is an absolute must for newbies. It introduces service design as a new way of thinking and explains the tools, process, approach, and background.

What I find even more interesting is the follow-up edition of the book, the This is Service Design Doing Book. It’s more of a practitioner’s handbook and shows you how to apply service design thinking in the real world with a comprehensive set of resources.


A toolkit for innovators, rule-breakers, and changemakers, that’s what Gamestorming calls their work. I’m particularly fond of their book and have already prepared numerous workshops with it. Thanks to their tips and the possibility to mix and match different exercises, guiding workshops becomes a breeze. With Gamestorming, you’ll never run out of inspiration for your next co-creation session.

IDEO Brainstorm Guidelines

Brainstorm sessions that went nowhere, we’ve all been there. The goal of brainstorming is not a perfect idea, it’s the collaboration, abundance of ideas, and openness to wild solutions. The last thing you need is someone who, instead of coming up with something new, only talks about why the ideas mentioned won’t work. This kills creativity and shifts the group’s mindset from a generative to a critical one. The only way to develop solid ideas is to come up with lots of them so that you can choose.

IDEO also knows this, that’s why they came up with a set of seven short rules that unlock the creative power of a brainstorm session. Take five minutes before your brainstorm to read these out loud and I assure you, the creative juices will be flowing! Check out their 7 rules.

Service Design Training

Are you ready to grow your service design skills? Do you want to discover how service design can help you solve problems in a creative way? Would you like to build excellent end-to-end services with your own toolkit of service design techniques?

Then the Leap Forward Service Design Training is perfect for you! It forms the basis for implementing the most important principles of service design in your organisation. You gain practical experience and knowledge about a range of methods for service design that help your organisation offer high-quality end-to-end services. We organise multiple trainings a year, check for the upcoming dates.

Ghent Service Jam

Ghent Service Jam is a part of the Global Service Jam. Every year, together with my lovely co-hosts María and the Service Design Network, I host the Ghent Service Jam. It’s an annual three-day worldwide event, as part of the Global Service Jam, organised by service design enthusiasts. It’s all about creative problem solving and co-creating new service prototypes in just 48 hours. This is the perfect event for service design novices and experts to meet, co-create and above all, have fun!

Kingdom Cards

Kingdom is a playful, but powerful card game that builds winning service strategies for your organisation. The game is developed by my Knight Moves colleagues and was selected as a finalist for the Global Service Design Award 2016 in the Methodology category.

The cards can be used in various ways and for different purposes. My favourite Kingdom game is “create your crest”, in which you develop and determine strong core brand values. Discover the Kingdom Cards.

Co-creation exercise create your crest with Kingdom Cards during the workshop.

Service Design Network

Without Service Design Network many service design initiatives wouldn’t see the light of day. Service Design Network is the leading non-profit organisation. They’re committed to global growth, development and innovation within the practice of service design. I highly recommend attending their annual global conference.

The global network encourages people to build local communities and bring together practitioners, academics and students, in order to advance the discipline. That’s also how Peel, Knight Moves and the University of Antwerp founded the Belgian Chapter. Check out their page. Also make sure to look out for the many events they organise.

Experience Architect Postgraduate

Leap Forward joined forces with their fellow designers at Duke & Grace (previously Wijs) and InThePocket to co-create a new postgraduate education program for Artevelde Hogeschool. The Experience Architect postgraduate is perfect for aspiring service designers, UX designers, project managers...

This one year program consists of five different modules. We start out with user research, move on to ideation and prototyping, then to idea to MVP, eventually go-to-market, and finally, we cover the run mode.

Context cards

If you work with different clients you’ve probably already experienced how complex collaboration often becomes in projects. There are experts in various fields, lots of ideas, everyone is involved but there is no common vision, and nobody is accustomed to working with each other… Sounds familiar?

To make this process smoother and more efficient, I often use Context Cards. It’s a set of visual cards that provide graphic elements to support communication, share valuable insights and make more informed group decisions.

Co-creation exercise using context cards to create a stakeholder map.


ARENA is a biannual service design conference that will leave you inspired and rich in learnings. The conference invites hands-on action on some of the most relevant design topics of today and tomorrow. Every edition is hosted around a new topic and previous editions were held around Education, Human-centred Organisations, and The Future of Work, just to give a few examples.

You can find all details about previous and future editions on Want to stay up to date on new events? Subscribe to our Leap Forward newsletter, we’ll keep you posted!

Design expert addresses seated audience with presentation during ARENA.