Topic outline

  • AMUO-C3006 - Basics of Service Design, Lecture, 29.5.2024-10.7.2024

    Basics of Service Design course is an online course. The course material is uploaded regularly before and during the educational process, so please follow this space regularly. 

    AMUO-C3006 - Basics of Service Design 

    Responsible teacher: Dr Helena Sustar, Aalto University, Learning Services,   

    Where: each Wednesday from 18:00 to 20:00 via Zoom, Helsinki Time 

    Attending the first introduction course lecture is mandatory.

    Important: Lectures are not recorded. Recording of lectures by the participants is not allowed.  

    Course term: 9 lectures (Lectures 6, 7, and 8 are Workshop sessions)

    Workload: 54 hours (online lectures, group work and independent study)

    Grading: Pass/Fail

    Course Language: English 

    Topic: Zoom Link to last Reflective lecture on 10th of July
    Time: Jul 10, 2024 06:00 PM Helsinki
    Join Zoom Meeting
    Meeting ID: 633 5650 7359
    Passcode: 610174

    Note! Course grades and certificates 

    The course grades will be published in Sisu 30 days after the last lecture 


    For any other questions, get in touch with

    Please do not send me emails regarding certificates unless the issues are related to the grade itself.


    Course description

    Redesigning sustainability services is a red thread in this service design (SD) course. Due to limited recourses, climate change, and the urgency to reduce consumption, I selected the sustainability theme. This course starts with discussing SD and its possible future developments. Secondly, it presents the essential SD tools and stages of the design process to utilise these tools. Then, the course studies meanings, user experiences, and co-creation value. Lastly, different SD tools are adopted and tested in the online co-design workshop.

    Content and course structure

    The course runs online. The classes are delivered via a weekly two-hour lecture, concluding with a discussion. Each lecture combines two components: theoretical and practical. The theoretical part will familiarise you with relevant SD theory and terminology via lessons, homework and assigned readings. Course participants will employ the practical part via a circular services case analysis, different assignments, exercises, tasks completed individually and in a group, and a one-day practical co-design workshop.

    Learning outcomes

    • to understand different service design components and dimensions

    • to get familiar with service design terminology

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

    • to practice how to prototype service design concepts


    • Practical assignments: completed every week and submitted on MyCourses (each Saturday at 23:00) 

    • Readings: read while also answering related questions, weekly submissions on MyCourses (each Saturday at 23:00) 

    • Participation in the SD workshop and completed the final assignment

    Week 1 Put your service design lenses on 

    The lecture introduces products, service(s), service design, and different fields where service design is used in practice. The class answers questions about what service design is and what SD principles are and presents examples of current services. The lesson concludes with examples of domains where SD is utilised.

    Week 2 Systemic and holistic understanding of contexts with SD tools 

    The lecture starts with the Double Diamond, the design process, SD-related terminologies and several elementary SD tools like interviews, circular business models, future scanning tools, Persona, a workshop, customer service journey and Blueprint.

    Week 3 Designing meaningful services     

    The lecture discusses different aspects of meanings in services, the role of meaning, service moments, service experience, and reflection on existing services. Finally, the class touches upon strategic design and sustainable development goals. 

    Week 4 Rethinking value in a changing landscape 

    The class starts with value evolution and new value emerging paradigms in the Anthropocene. Furthermore, we discuss collaboration and facilitation in the co-design cases following co-creation, co-production, and an explanation of empathic design. 

    Week 5 Personalised customer experiences                                                  

    A lecture differentiates between meaning and experiences, explains the anatomy of designing for customer experiences, and discusses the typology of experiences. The lesson concludes with six dimensions of experiences and their implications in the organisational context.

    Week 6, 7 & 8 Service experimentation workshop 

    We will use the results from analysing selected circular services to experiment and develop transformative services that resist the unexpected events we face.   

    Week 9 Service design learning ecology

    The last lecture concentrates on the final course assignments, including presentations, feedback, and critical discussion of the assignments and the entire course.