Call for papers | Submit your abstract until December 16th 2023

Touchpoint – The Journal of Service Design provides a window into the discussion of service design, facilitating a forum to debate, share and advance the field and its practices. In addition, it aims at engaging clients to listen in on the discussion, learn about the field, and become involved in the development and implementation of service design for their organisations.

Service Design Implementation

One can imagine the design process as the designer’s own journey; one that moves from 'defining' to 'delivering', and invariably encounters some difficulties along the way. Although we have a range of creative tools and methods at our disposal as we progress, it's typically the last phase we see as the biggest challenge: implementation.

Despite the maturity of our discipline, and the breadth of skills and experiences applied to projects, seeing our work successfully brought to fruition is (sadly) a perennial struggle. Service design implementation as a topic has been covered in the pages of Touchpoint previously, but we feel it's important enough to revisit.

Implementation challenges can occur in different contexts. For external service design teams, the collaboration with the (client) organisation often ends with the delivery of a service strategy, encapsulated in artifacts such as personas, journey maps, high-fidelity prototypes and blueprints. But there's often a struggle to implement that service vision, for myriad reasons. Partially in response, service design teams are increasingly becoming embedded in organisations, helping bridge that implementation gap. In theory, their role allows them to both launch and maintain the service, increasing the chances for success. 

Regardless of the setting in service designers work, even more hurdles are being put in our way. The global pandemic and remote working has changed the way work gets done, and how service providers deliver services. Digital technology has driven service innovation and AI is increasingly  enhancing or completely replacing human-delivered services. Service designers are also taking on more complex business and social challenges, which themselves come with greater implementation challenges, as we integrate services into complex systems. 

So, in the next issue of Touchpoint, we want to explore the practical aspects, challenges, and successes in translating service design outputs into tangible, impactful solutions. Successful implementation!

Among the questions we'd like to see answered:


  • How are service designers incorporating tools and methods from behavioral and organisational design and change into our toolkit?
  • What is the role of service design in the maintenance of dynamic, data-driven services?
  • With teams becoming geographically dispersed between remote and in-office locations, how are service designers ensuring collaboration and co-creation remain core to the service design mindset, to drive implementation?
  • How are service designers building bridges across fragmented, complex business systems?
  • Beyond initial implementation, what roles are service designers playing in the ongoing maintenance and iteration of live services?
  • What advances have design teams made in mapping the service implementation journey?
  • What are the current highest barriers to successfully implementing a service design and strategy, and do these differ with things such as sector or organisational size?
  • What methods are service designers using to measure the ongoing performance of newly-implemented services? Do dashboards or other specific tools adequately assist us?
  • What lessons can in-house design teams provide external design teams when it comes to implementation?
  • What types of visualisations are being used to create boundary objects that communicate to (and align) large and diverse inter-disciplinary teams around a shared service vision?

We welcome contributions from throughout the service design community, as well as those with knowledge and experience in this theme, to contribute to this issue. By doing so, you will be helping service designers make the next step towards an even more mature practice of our discipline.

Regular sections

Besides handing in articles related to this issue’s feature, you are also invited to hand in content for the other regular sections of Touchpoint, which are not related to the theme of the issue:

  • Cross-Discipline: Highlighting the connection between service design and other disciplines
  • Tools and Methods: Introduction and evaluation of techniques and activities for service design projects
  • Education and Research: Insights from academia and research. 


Abstract submission:

Read more and submit your abstracts via the online form until 16 December 2023 (23:59 CET).

We are looking forward to many inspiring contributions! 


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