Case Studies

Service design is a powerful process that is transforming how governments, industry and organisations
engage their users in the innovation process. The following case studies have been selected to illustrate
the variety and impact that service design can have on a range of services.

If you would like to add your case study to our database please contact

Click on the tags below to filter the case studies based on themes.


Design thinking within three public services in Silesia, Poland

Following a series of successful projects with the private sector, the team of Design Silesia (Marshall’s Office of Silesia) wanted to develop a project for public sector service design. To ensure that local expertise was developed and the aim was to create a team of skilled and experienced service designers in the region of Silesia. […]

View details »


Sharing data and addressing hard to reach NEETs in Cardiff

Background  Young people identified as not in employment, education or training (NEETs) often have complex needs that need to be fully understood in order to get them on the road back to employment or education. To tackle this The City of Cardiff Council worked with service designers from PDR (International Centre for Design & Research) to develop […]

View details »


A digital enablement service for people with early stage dementia

Much has been achieved both nationally and locally for people with dementia and their carers. However, gaps remain and we need to plan for the future predicted increase across health, social care and the third sector. At the same time significant budget cuts are being made to social services in the uk and care budgets […]

View details »


Pointr: Helping young people access employment & education quicker in Cardiff

PDR, The International Centre for Design & Research in Cardiff set out to design a new service that reduced the confusion that young people experienced and made finding employment education quicker. There are more than one million young people unemployed in the UK, each costing the government an estimated £153 per week. As well as […]

View details »

mios4 - resized for thumbnail

A social design project to promote meaningful encounters at street level

Client: Flemish Association of Cities and Municipalities Partner: Design Flanders Run by: Studio Dott & Pantopicon Museum In Our Street.  Improving social cohesion at street level What was the problem? This project was the result of a study concerning social cohesion on street level of Design Flanders and the VVSG (Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities). The research […]

View details »

Service design Levenk thumbnail

Improving the situation for street prostitutes in Eindhoven

Levenskracht. Service Design for Street Prostitutes in Eindhoven  What was the problem? Between the years 2000 and 2009, the City of Eindhoven spent 500,000 euro of tax money per year for the so called Tippelzone, a legitimate area in Eindhoven where drug-addicted street prostitutes could ply their trade. The priority goal of this project was to find an […]

View details »


Putting children at the heart of a social design project

T+HUIS Oud Woensel. putting children at the heart of a social design project  What was the problem? The T+HUIS Oud Woensel project is an on-going project to support the development of children in the neighbourhood Oud Woensel in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. The founders of T+HUIS, Dennis Meulenbroeks and Sara de Boer, lived in the neighbourhood and […]

View details »

fathers thumbnail

Engaging fathers through social innovation

Client: Social Innovation Lab for Kent (SILK) Design Agency: Engine Location: UK Engaging Fathers. Co-designing with dads services for family centre ‘Sure Start’  What was the problem? There is a growing recognition of the need to support fathers’ involvement in their children’s’ lives. Evidence is mounting to demonstrate the numerous long-term benefits this has for children. Seashells, a […]

View details »

cornwall 50 plus thumbnail

Getting people over 50 back to work in Cornwall

Works 50+: Getting people over 50 back to work in Cornwall What was the problem? Currently in the Cornwall Region, over 29.000 of those eligible to work are unemployed. Of them, 40% are over 50, and most are likely not to find work again. By 2017, approximately 34,4% of the workforce will be over 50. What […]

View details »

genk soup thumbnail

The ‘Soup Station’ for commuters in Genk

Client: City of Genk  Partner: Design Flanders Location: Belgium Post Ford Probes. The ‘Soup Station’ for commuters in Genk  What was the problem? The automobile factory in Genk (Belgium) closed its doors in 2014. The decision affected 10,000 workers and the immense terrains of the factory will now have to look for new activities. How can we develop […]

View details »

case study yellowwindoe

The Service Design project of the municipality of Rijkevorsel

What was the problem? The municipality of Rijkevorsel is a rural municipality that attaches considerable importance to providing quality services to its citizens. Effective communication, clear visibility for the organisation, adequate internal organisation and an attractive and accessible town hall are all important aspects for this municipality. The challenge mainly involved finding a way to […]

View details »

school sampler case study thumbnail

A tool for imaging the French school of tomorrow

The school sampler: a tool for imaging desirable visions of the French school of tomorrow  What was the problem? Each Region in France finances the building and maintenance of its high schools, manages its operating budget, and purchases the necessary materials and equipment for teaching, IT and A/V purposes. Considerable investments such as these involve a forward- […]

View details »

westerlo castle

Service design in the castle of Westerlo

What was the problem? Westerlo has a town hall not every municipality can boast. It uses a hundred-year-old castle as its location for weddings, receptions and exhibitions. But the building is not always that practical for providing modern services and receiving customers and visitors. Installing network cables in walls of a meter thick, and improving […]

View details »

ADHD- Norway image thumbnail

Improving the quality of services for children with ADHD in Norway

Services for the transition from kindergarten to school of Norwegian children with ADHD  What was the problem? Improving healthcare services can be challenging. Complicated organizational structures and the use of outdated technology, typical to healthcare institutions, don’t support continuous improvement. Design as an approach offers an alternative way to improve services. The Director of The […]

View details »


Optimising Lennik’s municipal service model through user-centred design

What was the problem? Lennik, known for its rich history and vast educational landscape, is the beating heart of the Pajottenland region. With almost 9000 inhabitants and a favourable location, Lennik is a trade and service hotspot in the region. Lennik’s municipal services were known for their strong digital focus, but over time both the […]

View details »

Carte-LycéO - thumbnail

Lycéo: the free, prepaid debit and discount card for school-related purchases

Lycéo: the free, prepaid debit and discount card for school-related purchases What was the problem? The Champagne Ardenne Region has its eyes set on a new priority: young people. The Regional Council has a youth department, although its functions are divided among many others, including: professional training, work-study, education, economy, culture, etc. Departments working transversally however can […]

View details »

HU square

A new meeting place for the University of Utrecht

HU-square. A new meeting place for Hogeschool Utrecht What was the problem? The Hogeschool Utrecht is one of the largest institutions for higher education in The Netherlands, and is after the University of Utrecht, the largest educational organisation in the area. For the moment, its 37,000 students and 90 departments are all located across the city. These […]

View details »

genk case study

Design innovation on the Vennestraat in Genk

What was the problem? The shops and restaurants of the Vennestraat in Genk are remarkably multicultural: Bistro ‘t Vennehuys, the Greek chip shop, La Posta, Casa Paglia, ‘t Konijntje, Dudemsa, and others. Together they form the ‘Street of the Senses’, as the city and the merchants promote the Vennestraat since 2007. Since the recent closure […]

View details »

france casestudy

Building the elected official’s work environment in Nord-Pas de Calais Region

What was the problem? Two-thirds of officials are newly elected, many find themselves in unknown territory as they discover for the first time the responsibilities of a newly-elected regional official. How does one become elected, and how do the pieces of a person’s experience fit together throughout his/her entire term and career? What is his/her […]

View details »

library case study

Designing the library of the future

What was the problem? In 2017 the Oslo Public Library will open its doors in a new landmark building on the waterfront. The design of the new public library building has generated a huge amount of attention and public debate in the city of Oslo. However, the core value of the library – the services […]

View details »

museum uterkct case study

Museumkwartier Utrecht

What was the problem? The museum neighbourhood of the Dutch city Utrecht is famous for its cathedral, its close connection to the canals and the many museums located there. The museums aim at growing the total number of visitors from 800.000 to 1 million a year. Also, now that a new train station will be […]

View details »

thumbnail healthcare case study

Making health insurance easily accessible online

What was the problem? Forty million Americans will become newly eligible for health coverage when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is fully implemented in 2014. Some will be enrolling in health insurance for the first time, while others will experience changes that provide increased access to affordable health coverage. In anticipation of […]

View details »

Izegem_service_0 thumbnail

Renovating Izegem Town Hall

Service Design project: Izegem Town Hall  What was the problem? The town of Izegem detected that the city registry offices were too small. They did not have enough space and were not ergonomic. The idea to renovate the building thus popped up quickly. Several brainstorming sessions later however, it seemed that the idea was not specific enough. […]

View details »

partas case study

Embedding service design skills within Dublin’s youth services

Background Youth unemployment is one of the biggest social and economic challenges in Ireland. Between 2014 – 2015 levels of youth unemployment were as high as 25.9%. Long spells of unemployment can have serious long-term effects on individuals, including reduced earnings and social exclusion. Partas is a social enterprise based in Tallaght, South Dublin that […]

View details »


Reducing carer fatigue in Sligo

The Background In Ireland, dementia affects over 41,700 citizens aged over 30. Most of these (around 26,104) live at home and are supported by an informal carer, typically a family member. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It’s a terminal illness that develops slowly, causes memory, thinking and judgement impairment and may […]

View details »

maasland huis

A co-designed service concept for elderly care in Maasmechelen

Maaslands Huis is the social housing agency of the village of Maasmechelen (Belgium). They see their target audience getting older. To cater to these elder tenants, Maaslands Huis wanted to extend their offering with care and other services. The question to be addressed was: “which services need to be present in a living environment, to […]

View details »


Redesigning the social inclusion scheme

Background In 2014 the number of people unemployed in France rose to 3,488,300. That means the number of people looking for a job has risen by 5.8% from 2013-2014 resulting in a significant increase in people claiming Revenu de Solidarité Active (RSA). RSA is a welfare benefit aimed at reducing the barrier to returning to […]

View details »

geel case study

Centralising social services in Geel

Background In Geel social services were previously delivered by two organisations; The Centre for Social Welfare and the City Hall. These departments would often work in isolation from one another, causing confusion for citizens. Budget constraints have also affected how departments in Geel provide services, resulting in a clear need for them to provide ‘more […]

View details »


Design-led Innovations for Active Ageing in Antwerp

Client: DAA Project Design Agency: Yellow Window and Namahn Project Partner: Design Flanders Location: Belgium The loneliness of elderly. Design-led Innovations for Active Ageing in Antwerp What was the problem? In this project, the conflict is the ageing of the general population and its associated loneliness as one of its major problems. The goal of […]

View details »


The world of Nestor. An online tool for better designing services for the elderly

Client: Department for Care for the Elderly of the Social Welfare of Ghent Design Agency: Pars Pro Toto Project Partner: Design Flanders Location: Belgium The world of Nestor. An online tool for better designing services for the elderly. What was the problem? Pars Pro Toto, a full service design agency from Ghent, developed ‘Wereld van […]

View details »


The Good Kitchen food service

Client: Municipality of Holstebro Design Agency: Hatch & Bloom Location: Denmark The Good Kitchen. Improved food service equals better life quality for elderly people. What was the problem? In autumn 2007 the Danish idea- and design agency, Hatch & Bloom was assigned to design a new meal service for The Municipality of Holstebro. The goal […]

View details »


Towards the future House for Disabled People (HDP) in Val d’Oise

Client: HDP of Val d’Oise Design Agency: User Studio Project Partner: La 27 Region Location: France Towards the future House for Disabled People (HDP) in Val d’Oise What was the problem? The House for Disabled People (HDP) was created for the inclusion and citizenship of disabled people through the French law concerning equality in rights […]

View details »

ZuidZorgChallenge2 thumbnail

ZuidZorg’s plan for independent living.

What was the problem?  ZuidZorg is one of the main providers of primary care and social services in the south of The Netherlands, providing care from newly born children to elderly people living in their own homes. Few elderly relish the prospect of moving to a retirement home, despite the wide range of care and […]

View details »


Service design for the hospital hospitality of the Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht

What was the problem? The Universitair Medisch Centrum (University Medical Center) of Utrecht wants to improve its services and hospitality for its patients. Except the medical treatment itself, also the environment and the experiences of visitors of the hospital itself have an influence on the effectivity of the healing process. That’s one of the reasons […]

View details »

177_southwark-banner thumbnail

Southwark Council’s Rise platform

What was the problem? One of 33 boroughs in London, Southwark Council provides a multitude of services to over 250 000 residents. Southwark wanted a way to connect policy-making with the everyday lives of families in the borough, to ensure that they were as effective and sustainable as they could be, making a real difference […]

View details »

624_health-conn thumbnail

Access to healthcare for older residents in Buckinghamshire

What was the problem? In recent years local authorities have been encouraged to embed a culture of engagement and community empowerment when developing services, with the view to achieve real service improvement and more economical delivery. This process of involving the community in decision-making at all levels is set to bring about a transformation in […]

View details »

Photo: Namahn

Making Flemish roads flow better

Client: Verkeerscentrum Vlaanderen Design Agency: Namahn Location: Belgium Verkeerscentrum Vlaanderen optimizing its communication by re-designing the traffic management system, user interface and control room layout What was the problem? Verkeerscentrum Vlaanderen monitors the Flemish highway traffic to ensure reliability of traffic jam information. Operators in the Traffic Control Centre also guide traffic in real time by […]

View details »

Photo: LiveWork

A new ticketing system for bus passengers in Brazil

Client: Setransp Designer: LiveWork Location: Brazil In 1998 the city of Goiânia decided to ban any money transactions inside its local buses and to implement a pioneering ticket based public transport in Brazil. More than a decade later, service design agency Livework was commissioned to renew its business model. The aim for the public transport organization […]

View details »

Photo: Intersezioni

Service Design for the Italian public transport company APAM Esercizio SPA

Client: APAM Esercizio SPA Designer: Intersezioni Location: Italy Service Design for the Italian public transport company APAM Esercizio SPA What was the problem? Creative agency Intersezioni was asked by APAM Esercizio SPA, a public transport company serving the territory of Mantua and its province to redefine the company identity, the elaboration of a new brand and the […]

View details »

Photo: STBY

Service innovations for train travellers in Holland

Client: ProRail & Nederlandse Spoorwegen Designer: STBY Location: Netherlands Service Innovation for train travelers by ProRail and Nederlandse Spoorwegen What was the problem? With growing peak-time traffic and safety concerns on crowded platforms, many of the major train stations in the Netherlands are in the process of being upgraded. This is not only to improve […]

View details »

Photo: LiveWork

First the service, then the train in Thailand

Client: Ministry of Transport in Thailand Design Agency: LiveWork Project Partner: Thailand Creative Design Center Location: Thailand First the service, then the train Transport systems are usually designed from an engineering perspective, with a focus on infrastructures and vehicles. As a result, the customer experience might lack consistency and seems to be fragmented. Service inefficiencies cause […]

View details »

BAM aalst casestudy thumbnail

A social design experiment for the shopping area of Aalst

Client: City of Aalst  Design Agency:  Yellow Window and Namahn Project Partner: Design Flanders Location: Belgium A social design experiment for the multicultural shopping area of Aalst What was the problem? The shopping area around the Molendries, at the right bank of the Dender river in Aalst, is an area in transition. Traditionally, many shops were found here on […]

View details »

Haringey01 - thumbnail

The development of a homelessness strategy at Haringey Council

50What was the problem? The London Borough of Haringey currently houses over 5,000 homeless households in high-cost temporary accommodation (mainly in the private rented sector). The council aimed to reduce this number by half in 2011. The London Borough of Haringey needed to find a way of helping homeless residents to understand their options, as […]

View details »