Topic outline

  • Responsible teacher: Helena Sustar, @helena.sustar,   

    The course material might get change before the course start, so please watch this space regularly.

    Where: Väre Building, Otaniementie 14, Espoo

    Room: Q101 

    Course term: 9 lectures

    Days: Tuesday 17:30 – 20:00, and Saturday 9:00 – 12:00 & 13:00 – 16:00

    Workload: 54 h (26 hours lectures and other classroom education, 28 hours independent study)

    Grading: Pass/Fail

    Course Language: English (Finnish)

    Twitter: #AaltoOpenSD 

    Note! Course certificates 

    For grading results and course certificates please contact Mr. Heikki Hassi at  

    or visit  Certificates and transcripts of records - in English:

    Todistukset ja opintosuoritusotteet - in Finnish:


    Course description

    This service design course starts with the discussion on what the service design is and what are its possible future developments. Secondly, presents the most important service design tools and stages of the design process where these tools can be utilised. Then, the course looks into meanings, user experiences and the value co-creation. Lastly, different service design tools are adopted and tested in the co-design workshop setting.


    Content and course structure

    This course is combined of two components: theoretical and practical. Theoretical part get student familiarised with important service design theory and terminology via lectures and assigned readings, which are discussed at lectures. The practical part is utilised via tasks; exercises and homework, which students complete at home and one-day practical co-design workshop.

    • The course provides an overview of the current and emerging uses and roles of service design

    • We explore core terminologies, theories, methods and examples of design, planning and other creative professional roles in the context

    • The aim is to familiarise students with recent knowledge in the design field and to develop their skills in applying design approaches


     Learning outcomes

    •    to understand different service design components and dimensions

    •    to get familiar with service design terminology

    •    to know the most common service design tools and when and how to use them

    •    to practice how to prototype service design concepts



    •    Completing all weekly course practical assignments (homework, tasks) weekly submissions at My Courses (each Monday 23:00)   

    •    Readings: answer questions, weekly submissions at My Courses (each Monday 23:00)   

    •    Participate in the service design workshop completed final assignment – visualisation of service design learning ecology

    Before the course start 

    see Materials >  Pre-reading 


    Week 1          Tuesday 8th of January 2019

    Introduction & What is Service Design?

    Lecture starts with an introduction to products, service(s), service design and different fields where service design is applied. The lecture aims to answer questions like:  What is Service Design?, What are service principles?, Why meaning is important in service design?, What are experiences in service design and how they are related to meanings?, Why services have to be human cantered? The lecture concludes with examples of areas where service design is utilised.


    Reading 1 and Homework 1: Observations

    Submit to My Courses on Monday 14th of January at 23:00 


    Week 2           Tuesday 15th of January 2019              

    Service Design components & Service Design Tools in Discover & Define stage

    The lecture presents Double Diamond Design Framework, Service Design related terminology e.g. touchpoint and some of the most important service design tools like Interviews, Persona, Affinity Diagram, Workshops, Observations, and Customer service journey


    Reading 2 and Homework 2: Blueprint 

    Submit to My Courses on Monday 14th of January at 23:00 


    Week 3           Tuesday 22nd of January 2019

    Service Design Tools in Develop & Deliver stage                    

    Lecture presents service blueprint: the customer experience of the organisation system and their components the front-stage (the environment, objects, people) and the back-stage (the processes, physical and IT infrastructure, management, HR). Also service prototyping and storytelling are explained. At the end of this lecture also the final course assignment of your learning service ecology is explain.


    Reading 3 and Homework 3: Planning Co-Design Activates for organisation/company inside your theme (transport services, food shopping services etc.) 

    Submit to My Courses on Monday 28th of January at 23:00 


    Week 4               Tuesday 29th of January 2019


    Lecture introduce collaboration in the Co-design cases, then the demonstration of co-design and service design planning, then Co-design and facilitation, Co-creation, Co-production (value-co creation, etc.) and Empathic design.


    Reading 4 and Homework 4: Customer Experiences

    Submit to My Courses on Monday 4th of February at 23:00 


    Week 5               Tuesday 5th of February 2019

    Meaning & Experiences                                                    

    Lecture introduces the anatomy of designing for service design experiences, values, meanings and service experiences and how are your experiences created?


    Reading 5 and Homework 5: Analyse an Existing Service inside your core theme (healthcare services, banking services etc.)

    Submit to My Courses on Monday 11th of February at 23:00


    Week 6, 7 & 8       Saturday 16th of February 2019  

    Service Prototyping Workshop                                                                        

    Morning: Workshop – First part

    Lecture covers Meanings, Service experience, reflecting on existing services and the different aspects of Services, from meanings towards services, Meanings in Services, Role of Meaning, Service Moments, and Envisioning.

    Afternoon: Workshop – Second part

    Lecture focuses on service prototyping and redesign of the existing services by using five different prototyping service design tools.

    Homework: The Final Assignment due to 26th of February 2019  

    Submit to My Courses on Monday 27th of February at 23:00


    Week 9             Tuesday 26th of February 2019 

    Service Design Ecology Presentation = Portfolio

    Lecture focuses on the final course assignments presentations, feedback and critical discussion of the final course assignments aiming at how to present complexity in a visual way.