Service Blueprint

Map out the entire process of service delivery, above and below the line of visibility

applied for





what is it

A service blueprint is a diagram that displays the entire process of service delivery, by listing all the activities that happen at each stage, performed by the different roles involved. The service blueprint is built by first listing all the actors involved in the service process on a vertical axis, and all the steps required to deliver the service on the horizontal axis. The resulting matrix allows to represent the flow of actions that each role needs to perform along the process, highlighting the actions that the user can see (above the line of visibility) and the ones that happen in the back-office (below the line of visibility). Roles can be performed by human beings or other types of entities (organizations, departments, artificial intelligences, machines, etc.)

use it to

Understand cross-functional relationships and align front-stage and back-stage processes.

remember to

Use it to analyse an existing service or specify a well defined concept, not as an ideation tool.

Preview image of the template for Service Blueprint


(1977) Lynn G. Shostack, Breaking Free from Product Marketing, in Journal of Marketing n° 41

(1984) Lynn G. Shostack, Designing services that deliver in Harvard Business Review n° 62

(1991) G. Hollins, W. Hollins, Total Design: Managing the design process in the service sector, Trans Atlantic Publications

(2001) Lynn G. Shostack, How to Design a Service, in European Journal of Marketing n°16

(2004) R. Kalakota, M.Robinson, Services Blueprint: Roadmap for Execution, Addison-Wesley, Boston.

(2007) Mary Jo Bitner, Amy L. Ostrom, Felicia N. Morgan, Service Blueprinting: A Practical Tool for Service Innovation, Centre for Services Leadership, Arizona State University, paper.

The Service Blueprints Overview

case studies


feature image of 'ALS Service Blueprint' case study

Example by Pivot Design

ALS Service Blueprint

How to best provide people living with ALS with the right information at the right time?


The service blueprint is an important tool to faciltate idea synthesis and communication of ideas bewtween stakeholders and to outside agencies. In this case study, Pivot Design uses the service blueprint to uncover who is affected when a patient is diagnosed with the nerve diseas ALS, how and when, and how many people are involved in patient care from a larger, service level perspective. With user interviews, Pivot was able to act as the patient-voice throughout stakeholder meetings and merge all key user journeys into a large servive blueprint to outline a big-picture overview of needs. The blueprint allowed stakeholders to not only learn from their findings, but also communicate to other agencies the need for better supports and information dissemination for people living with ALS.

what is interesting

This is a practical example of how multiple user journeys can be translated into a service blueprint in order to obtain a birds-eye view of the entirety of a service, and visualize opportunities for an improved journey and service.

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feature image of 'Uber Service Blueprint' case study

Example by Studio WAT.R

Uber Service Blueprint

How to use the service blueprint to unpack and optimize a service


The service blueprint is a key asset in the hands of designers to analyse and bridge organizational and experiential gaps. In this case study, WATR explains the value and use of the tools by applying it to decribe a service we all know: Uber. The blueprint covers all the elements needed to develop a complete picture of the organization and experience provided: props (or touchpoints), processes, people, customer actions, frontstage actions and backstage actions.

what is interesting

As Uber is a well-known service, it’s quite easy for anyone who wants to learn about service blueprint and its value to read the table, understand the framework and reapply it to specific projects.

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