Service Design Award 2020

Submission categories:

The Service Design Award has three separate categories: two for professionals and one for students. The entry platform will be live to register and update your submission from February 17 until November 6, 2020.

Professional projects must be validated by an external client or, in the case of an in-house project, an internal client. There are two professional subcategories: commercial and non-profit.

Student projects may be submitted if you are currently studying or graduated from 2019 onwards. The submitted project must have been undertaken during your studies and validated by your university, an external stakeholder or user group.

Keep in mind that it can take time to gather relevant results from the outcomes of a service design project. So, don’t just consider your current projects—consider submitting older projects if the results have only recently become apparent or measurable.


Dates and Prices:

Extended deadline - November 6, 2020

Early bird Submission Dates & Prices: February 17 - April 4, 2020

  • Professional SDN members: 120 Euro
  • Professional non-members: 200 Euro
  • Student SDN members: 40 Euro
  • Student non-members: 80 Euro

Regular Submission Dates & Prices: April 5 - October 30, 2020

  • Professional SDN members: 180 Euro
  • Professional non-members: 260 Euro
  • Student SDN members: 50 Euro
  • Student non-members: 100 Euro

*There is an additional 7% VAT charge for entrants within Germany
**There is an additional 7% VAT charge for entrants in Europe, except those with a VAT number

SDN perks and privileges for Service Design Award winners

  • On-stage recognition/celebration at SDGC21
  • Special SDGC21 ticket price*
  • Finalist exhibition at SDGC21
  • International recognition, trophy and winner's badge
  • The showcase of your project in the SDN case study library
  • Discussion/interview on the Service Design Podcast regarding your project
  • Feature articles in Touchpoint, the International Journal for Service Design
  • One-year free membership for your team

*Special price of 495,00 Euro per ticket for SDGC21 is available for all project teams who submitted for the Service Design Award 2020. Price for student project teams is 390,00 Euro per ticket.

Enter your work


What to Submit:

An entry consists of four separate parts, please use the templates provided for submission parts 1, 2 and 3. Keep in mind that this year work will be judged anonymously, so please do not use your team, organisation, university or client names or branding anywhere in the submission or the images. The client signature will be validated at SDN to ensure a real client or user was involved, but will not be shared with the jury until finalists are selected to maintain anonymity.

Maintaining anonymity: In case you have images of artifacts or project outputs that have your organisation logo or your client’s logo or another highly recognisable branding visible, please either a) blur or cover the branding in the photograph so it is not visible or b) submit different photographs, sketches or diagrams without branding.

  1. Single-page summary (click here for template) for judging & media coverage with a maximum of 450 words. Save as a PDF file named 'Summary_Your Project Title'.
  2. Submission report (click here for template) A maximum of 5 pages - 2.350 words.  You are allowed 1 additional A4 page only to be used for endnotes and references (if you have referenced academic articles or publications for example), these references will be excluded from the word count. Save as a single PDF file named 'Report_Your Project Title'. If the entry exceeds five pages or the word limit, this content will not be considered by the jury.
  3. A single-page, signed validation to confirm your work. This will be viewed by judges in the final round of judging once finalists have been selected.
    1. For professional submissions, this should come from your main client (click here for professional template).
    2. For student submissions, this should come from an external stakeholder or professor who oversaw your work (click here for student template).
  4. Visual document (6-15 pages) of photos or graphics about the project for judging & project promotion (high resolution, RGB, single PDF, maximum size 15MB). We strongly recommend that you supplement your written submission with photographs, graphics, and/or service design artifacts that will help the judges better understand your project. Artifacts that are helpful for the judges include, but aren’t limited to: user journeys, service blueprints, stakeholder maps, personas, or other tools or outputs employed in your work.

Submitting your Project:

All parts of the entry must be uploaded to the entry system. Entries must be uploaded to the Service Design Award website by 23:59 CET November 6, 2020. No physical entries or additional materials are accepted. Further details about the entry requirements below.

Questions or problems? Write to us at and we’ll help you!

Keep in Mind:

  • The Importance of Good English
    Service Design Award only accepts submissions in English. However, we would encourage professionals and students who have completed work in a language other than English to translate their project into English and submit the translated paper/project. 
  • Clear Communication
    Clear, concise entries are easier to read and understand and make a stronger impression on the jury. The single-page summary is preferentially reviewed by jury members. Making this as interesting as possible increases the chances of your entry being noticed.
  • Evidenced Results
    The jury is looking for evidence of what results were achieved, not why a particular approach was chosen. Prove conclusively the cause and effect between service design and the results of your submission. Provide evidence of targets set in the overview of the project being met in the impact of your work.
  • Scale of Impact
    Provide an analysis of all effects, not just the primary results of the project. Often, a better customer experience also includes more satisfied employees and better financial results. However, keep in mind that all the effects must be substantiated.

Other Entry Criteria: 

  • Disqualification
    Entries submitted to the Service Design Award must be true and comply with the rules. An entry that is found, subsequent to judging or the Award Ceremony, to have been based on false or fraudulent information may be disqualified and have its Award withdrawn.
  • The right of the judging panel
    The jury’s decision is final. The jury has the right to reject entries that do not comply with the entry rules. The jury has the right to move an entry from one category to another, if appropriate.
  • Confidential information
    Submitted materials, which contain sensitive or confidential information, must be clearly labeled as confidential. The summary poster must be devoid of any confidential information.
  • Copyright
    By submitting an entry to the Service Design Award, each entrant is responsible for acquiring the approval of the client and/or consultant for submitting the work, on behalf of themselves and their clients/consultants. Furthermore, by submitting an entry to the Service Design Award, the entrant allows the Service Design Network as organiser of the Award, the right to reproduce all or part of their entry, except for that which is labeled confidential, at any time in the future. The organisers reserve the right to give permission to third parties to publish the whole or any part of the submitted material as part of the Award, Award benefits or reporting thereon. This includes publication in the Service Design Award Annual.