Service Design Academy

Courses for Business

5-Day Design for Innovation and Impact

Next course: August 29th, 2020

Courses details

Who is it for?

We have created this masterclass in such a way that relative newcomers to the field can fully understand it, but it is smart and rich enough to keep intermediate trainees on their toes.

It helps challengers in organisations to make a difference.

It’s for organisations who are ready to embrace design thinking and service design methodology.  It nurtures design leadership, builds service design capacity and creates a community of practitioners through a fun and immersive learning experience.

Working with our Consultants you will design the learning you need to adapt for the future, drive innovation and better understand your customers and stakeholder

5-day service design course
5-day service design course
Making positive change on a pink post-it note

How will we benefit?

You will walk away with skills and confidence to start running Service Design projects back in your workplace. The ‘learn by doing’ approach will equip you with the ability to:

Course Leads

katie bio image

Katie Murrie

SDN Accredited Master Trainer

Robbie Beautyman, man with black shirt

Robbie Beautyman


jo bio image

Dr Jo McNicoll

SDN Accredited Professional

Kim Anderson girl with stripey top

Kim Anderson

SDN Accredited Professional

The Details

Delivered over 5 days onsite or remotely over 25 hours, these live and interactive sessions cover

People sticking post-it notes on the blackboard
I want a change post-it notes among lots of other notes
The double diamond on a yellow background

User Research

Setting the scene. You will be introduced to Service Design focusing on User Research, and we will jump straight into tackling the brief set by you. You will be introduced to different methods of user research, learning by doing, conducting user research in teams to discover and uncover insights from all users and stakeholders. We will cover everything from methods and techniques to ethics and consent. You will gather, collate and sort user findings before starting to define what the barriers and opportunities are, based on research findings.

“Our experience with every member of the SDA team has been fantastic. The team are skilled, knowledgeable and absolutely focussed on developing the right solutions for us as an organisation. The co-design approach, as you would expect, was engaging, challenging and rewarding. This was made all the better by the enthusiastic and fun approach the team bring to everything they do”

Stephen McGowan, Creative Design Lead Centre for Civic Innovation
Development & Regeneration Services, Glasgow City Council

Problem Definition

Next you learn all about framing, analysis and synthesis. The exercises and insights from your User Research will support you and your team to sense check/reframe and will help you to visualise and identify the gaps. Teams will take part in further user research activities and observation tasks. Teams will be introduced to and will create their own user research wall to start to make sense of the user findings, where the data might lead and what you still need to find out. You’ll have time to get to grips with all of the findings gathered using service design tools, such as personas and empathy mapping.

Co Design

Now that you have a defined problem founded entirely on user research and you have been introduced to a toolkit for idea generation, you are ready to learn and practice codesign. You will be introduced to the key principles and elements of co-design, facilitation and the power of prototyping. You and your team will design, structure, plan and prototype.


You will facilitate a co-design event in response to the wicked problem, utilising the tools and methods introduced so far. This immersive approach allows you to facilitate a co-design event using a service design approach in a safe learning environment. Collating and analysing all of the insights and ideas gathered, you and your team will prototype solutions. Tools and methods that help you think about potential value and impact of solutions will also be introduced, before you present your initial prototypes to a visiting critical friend and iterate on prototypes based on feedback and discussion.

User Testing and Presentations

The final sessions are all about iterations, user testing and final presentations.  Testing your solutions in reality to break, improve and home in on a final prototype to present. You will be introduced to project planning tools and the Business Model Canvas to help prepare your presentations, thinking about how your prototype could become a deliverable. Finally, we look at the best way to tell your story, how to create your own narrative to help others understand the user need, whilst refining your prototypes at the same time.