An extremely widely used tool used by Service Designers and others in the service sector, the blueprint has established itself for many years, since its initial conception by Lynn Shostack in the 80s, as the primary tool for mapping the processes that occur when carrying out a service. The tool allows for an overall view of the linear process, as well as enough flexibility to zoom in to details and smaller parts that compose the service as a whole. It is this malleability and ease of use that has made this tool so widely spread and employed. But it is its linearity and distinction between the two sides of a service (providing and receiving) that have made its resemblance of the “real world” somewhat questionable. Delving into these matters, the students from IACT370 and SERV310 began considering alternatives and variations to this long established model. Basing their understanding among other foundational literature on Service Dominant Logic by Vargo and Lusch, they began questioning several factors about the traditional blueprint that they found contradictory. The first thing they analyzed was the consideration of a service as a single process with a start, an end and a linear trajectory which posed a clear dissimilarity with the proposed Service Dominant Logic concept. Another point they took into consideration was the clearly set “line of visibility”, which presented, in turn, the concepts of Frontstage and Backstage. Finally there was the idea of the distinction between the actors of a service being either the providers or the consumers. If, in fact, a service is the co-creation of value, this distinction should be inexistent and both parties should be considered as one, creating value together and for each other. Taking into account these shortcomings, and aiming to create an alternative to the current model, the students took on the challenge of compiling a relevant service taxonomy and proposing an alternate way of developing a blueprint.


The goal of this project was to faithfully represent the nature of services. A service understood as an ongoing process, which happens organically and through usually interchangeable phases, depending on individuals, their own perceptions and the context in which they are situated. A service understood as co-created value, exchanged between all actors that participate in it, actors who work together and on the same level, in order to achieve a final goal. A service understood as a complex system, made of multiple interconnected elements, that depend on and affect each other; a symbiotic ecosystem. This project was an attempt at creating a new service taxonomy that would successfully encompassed all necessary elements to understand and study a service offering. In addition, based on this structure, provide a faithful visual representation that would enable its use as a tool for the application to varying contexts, situations and individuals.

The development of the taxonomy was lead by Jonatas Maia, Ana Carolina Faria, Isabella Pineda, Manuella Schorchit and Andra Wibisono.