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(Service) Design Thinking for Startups and Innovators


27 May 2019

A half-day course for those working in startups to learn how to apply service design thinking to drive success. 09:00-13:00 at FORUM Factory, Berlin.

Are you working for a startup, or in another high-pressure innovation environment? If so, ask yourselves these few questions:

  • Have you got a rich, deep understanding of your target customers, beyond those few you spoke to as you started out?

  • Do you fully grasp the context in which those customers use your product, in terms of both their lifecycle and the associated products and services they interact with?

  • Have you determined and described what your ideal service experience should be?

If you can't confidently answer "yes" to those questions, service design thinking can provide the answer.​

Lean Startup meets service design

Behind the rapid growth of today’s internet giants are techniques and terminology that originated in Silicon Valley, such as Lean Startup, customer development, experimentation and ‘Product-Market fit’. Eager to match those successes, today’s startups and innovations labs follow largely similar approaches.

And while startups involve customers in the creation of their “products”, the insights gained are often shallow. Furthermore, several key attributes of a service designer’s approach are nowhere to be found. Deep contextual research, co-creation and designing from a holistic and systemic perspective are simply not in a typical startup’s playbook. Here is where service design thinking can step in. By adapting the ways that service designers work and think to the unique pace and pressures of a startup, even more successful outcomes can be achieved.

In this workshop, you'll be introduced to new techniques and learn new insights that harness the power of service design thinking.

What you'll learn:

  • The value of service ecosystems and journey mapping to product owners and product teams

  • A variety of research and prototyping methods that deliver far better insights than “pains” and “gains” alone

  • Ways to adapt design sprints to become more “service aware”

  • The Service Perspective for Innovation canvas that complements the Value Proposition and Business Model Canvas to provide a services perspective

Workshop structure

The workshop consists of a mix of theory and hands-on activities, in which attendees apply the tools themselves. At the completion of the workshop, they will have learned new techniques and new insights that will help them in creating tomorrow’s innovative products and services.


Half-day course format

When you're working for a startup, time is precious. This compressed course format delivers actionable learnings and equips you with new tools, all in a half-day. You can be back at your desk after lunch time, ready to apply them to your challenge.


Who's this course for?

Startup founders and owners, product managers, product owners, (digital) product designers, UX and interaction designers, heads of product, heads of design, delivery managers and strategy directors. Innovation specialists and coaches (Lean Startup, Agile, growth hackers, etc.) can also expand their skillsets with this course.

Why service design for innovation?

In their quest towards identifying, developing and scaling their winning business model, startups are always looking for techniques to give them an advantage. We think service design offers just that. Read more about the value it brings at Service Design for Innovation.

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