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Home » RSM2518H – Service Design: Innovating Service-Based Organizations

RSM2518H – Service Design: Innovating Service-Based Organizations

General Information


Promotional Video

Applicable Emphases:
(m) = Main, (s)= Supplemental

  • Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Business Design (s)

Applicable Major(s):
(c) = Core, (r) = Recommended

  • Business Design (c)

Instructor Bio

Chris Ferguson is an Adjunct Professor and Executive in Residence at the University of Toronto. He is the founder of Bridgeable, North America’s largest Service Design consultancy and has received global recognition for the design of services, including the Fast Company Innovation by Design award (2019), Design Management Institute’s Design Value Award (2018), and the Service Design Network’s Global Commercial award (2017). Mr. Ferguson draws on his experience consulting on design and research projects with organizations such as RBC, Google, Genentech, TELUS, New York City Transit (MTA), and Mt. Sinai Hospital to teach design methods across multiple faculties. A passionate teacher, he excels at connecting theory and practice so that students leave with a theoretical understanding matched with practical tools and experiences that will enrich their careers. His work has been published in numerous media outlets internationally, including the textbook This is Service Design Doing, of which he was the co-editor. Mr. Ferguson is the proud recipient of the Rotman Excellence in Teaching Award (2018).


2-hour studio class –introductory theory, applied practice, and team-based project work

Course Mission

This course is aimed at students with prior experience or coursework with business design and/or service operations. The learning objectives are to:

  • Learn and practice the human-centered principles of service design for business innovation;
  • Practice how designers research, prototype and iterate a new service offering;
  • Learn and practice how to map existing service experiences (journey mapping) and co-design future state experiences (service blueprinting);
  • Learn how to integrate digital/AI/ML with traditional channels to create a seamless end-to-end experience that delights customers

Course Scope

In this course, you will learn how service designers take a human-centered approach to researching and designing solutions. Service Design is a subset of design disciplines that takes an action-oriented approach to co-design solutions with customers, citizens, or end-users. Service Design methodologies help us understand key pain points and preferences and prototype solutions based on the needs of actual consumers.

You will learn and practice service design techniques on an applied team project, developing compelling insights, co-designing and implementing an omni-channel solution. Service Design methods are being rapidly adopted by technology start-ups, management consultancies, governments, software developers, AI/ML, marketing, sustainability, communications, organizational development specialists, as designing desirable and usable services is fundamental to business success.

Evaluation and Grade Distribution

ComponentDue DateWeight
Individual Class ParticipationOngoing15%
Individual Reflections (2)Class 2 + Class 1235%
Group Project PlanClass 610%
Group Presentation and Report Class 1240%

Last Updated: 2022-09-29 @ 12:40 pm