This list represents a summary of the past thirty years of service design literature. The citations were compiled from the Emergence conference at Carnegie Mellon University as well as the Designing for Services project in the UK, service design syllabi at CMU and individual research. I've excerpted the abstracts and introductions to the papers and cross-referenced examples and concepts so that it's easy to follow the development of ideas such as "service blueprinting" across multiple papers.

Select any underlined term to filter the list, showing only papers that share that particular concept, example, author, journal or decade. If you'd like to help fill in the gaps by suggesting other canonical papers, e-mail the citations to service at howardesign.com. Thanks!

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The Service Encounter: Diagnosing Favorable and Unfavorable Incidents
Journal of Marketing, 1990
Mary Jo Bitner
From the article: "The service encounter frequently is the service from the customer's point of view. Using the critical incident method, the authors collected 700 incidents from customers of airlines, hotels, and restaurants. The incidents were categorized to isolate the particular events and related behaviors of contact employees that cause customers to distinguish very satisfactory service encounters from very dissatisfactory ones. Key implications for managers and researchers are highlighted."

Examples: Airlines, Hotels, Restaurants, Life Insurance

Compare with:
SERVQUAL: A Multiple-Item Scale for Measuring Consumer Perceptions of Service Quality
Service Behaviors that Lead to Satisfied Customers
Want to Perfect your Company's Service? Use Behavioral Science
An Empirical Investigation of the Impact of Non Verbal Communication on Service Evaluation