Touchpoint Vol. 8 No. 2

Thinking and doing are the theme of the future issue of Touchpoint.

The “thinking” aspect refers to design thinking. Whether you see it as a mindset or as a methodology, one thing is clear: The buzz and appeal of design thinking has awakened more organisations to the value of good design. And alongside the success of design pioneers driving business success - Jonathan Ive’s influence at Apple spring to mind - it has been a (sometimes indirect) boon for service design.

Aimed squarely at businesspeople whose business cards never have the word “designer” on them, it aims to bring about transformation through a new way of thinking. Similarly, service design offers a design process and methodology that is adapted to service systems. It has been especially well-received due to its suitability when designing the complex service systems of today.

From cover stories in the Harvard Business Review, to dedicated curricula at major business schools such as Stanford University, design thinking offers a potent partner for service design. So where and how can we join forces to make each other even stronger?

And lets move towards “doing”. Service design has always aimed at more than “thinking”; it is really about “doing”. Through improvements and innovation, our discipline has been reframing and reshaping systems. 

Correspondingly, the authors of “This is Service Design Thinking” are hard at work crafting a follow-up to their well-known “black book”. It’s title? “This is Service Design Doing”. Building on the success of the first book, and supported by the training programmes that have popularised design thinking, their new book will focus more on the practical aspects of carrying out service design - the methods and tools that newcomers to the field are hungry for.

In this issue of Touchpoint we’d like to explore both topics further:

  • How has design thinking played a role alongside service design?
  • Have there been examples of symbiosis, where both have joined forces to deliver even better results?
  • What is the relationship between “thinking” and “doing”?
  • How can we avoid confusion when clients are confronted with two successful concepts that might be perceived as alternatives?    

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 to and evaluation of techniques and activities for service design projects
  • Education and Research: Insights from academia and research. 

Abstract submission

At the bottom of this page, you find the 'submit an abstract' button. By clicking the button, the abstract submission form will be shown. If you are a SDN member, abstract submission can also be made via the SDN member dashboard, under the ‘Contributions’ menu.

On the submission form, you will need to fill in, besides your contact information, the following data:

  • Category: Please arrange your submission in one of the Touchpoint sections (Feature, Cross-Discipline, Tools and Methods, Education and Research).
  • Scope of your contribution: Please indicate which length of article you would prefer to write if your abstract gets accepted. Short article:  700 – 800 words (approx. 2 pages) / Medium article:  1100 – 1400 words (approx. 4 pages) / Long article:  1900 – 2200 words (approx. 6 pages).
  • Title: title of article with 5-8 words.
  • Abstract: Abstract (max. 2000 characters) should outline the objective, the structure and the type of contribution. 
  • Relevance to service design: Brief description (max. 300 characters) on why your article is interesting to service designers and the service design discipline.
  • Biography:  short biography (max. 300 characters) including background, key activities and projects. 

The editorial language of Touchpoint is British English. Articles in American English will be corrected by our proofreaders accordingly, but to make the process easier, please stick to British grammar and spelling. 


30 June 2016: Deadline for abstract submission
15 July 2016: End of abstract evaluation by the Editorial board | Acceptances sent to authors
31 July 2016: Deadline for full article submission
31 August 2016: End of article review phase (article might be resent to authors for edition)
Sept./Oct. 2016: Layout phase | Article ready to be published

Become an author of Touchpoint and help to advance and codify the service design field and its practices. We welcome contributions from agency- and client-side practitioners, as well as from academia.

We look forward to your contribution!

We invite you to collaborate on Touchpoint

Submit an abstract
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