The School of Good Services

Sarah Drummond
5 min readMay 31, 2022

I’m joining the School of Good Services!

The school of Good Services in text as a GIF, changing colour background from pink to purple to green to yellow

I’ve written in more detail about what I’m up to this year but one of them is joining Lou Downe in running the School of Good Services which has just launched today!

Over the past two years, Lou has trained over 5,000 people and hundreds of organisations in how to design services that work. Good Services which is the name of the book Lou wrote, is officially becoming a school.

In 2020 Lou released Good Services, a book that defined the 15 principles of good service design.

The idea behind the 15 principles, and the book that they eventually became, was to help people to design good services more easily. To waste less time re-discovering things that we already know about services (like the fact that we should make them findable, understandable and accessible to everyone) and to be able to put that knowledge into action more easily.

Since then the book has sold over 24,000 copies and been translated into Japanese with future versions in Korean and Spanish on the way. They’ve talked about the principles around the world (mostly remotely because of the pandemic!) and trained over 5,000 people across hundreds of organisations how to use them to design and deliver better services more easily.

They’ve run courses on what good services are, how to scale them and helped executives wanting to lead their organisations to build better organisations at scale.

The demand for training in Good Services showed us that there is a real appetite for building this capability inside organisations and across agencies.

Good Services start with Good organisations

The pace of change in the world is accelerating at a rate we’ve never seen before, and now more than ever our organisations are struggling to keep up.

The pandemic has brought a whole new recognition that services need to be consciously designed, especially as many of them went online for the first time or under high pressure conditions.

But with more interest in designing and delivering services that work, the more people and agencies who are needed to do that work. Over the past two years we’ve both witnessed a market struggling to find enough skilled Service Designers, Service Owners and other user centred design professions to fill vacancies.

In reality though, service design is about 10% design.

The rest of the 90% we spend creating the conditions for good services to happen; convincing the people around us of the problems our users face, bringing teams together, or creating business cases that will get buy-in for lasting change at scale.

There are great courses out there to become more confident with designing services and learning the tools and methods in more detail, but not much that meets the questions we’ve both been asked by our own teams in the past or by our clients on topics like how to gain investment into service design or the real reality of designing services in tough environments.

We think the world needs designers who can create the conditions for big complex change to happen, but we also desperately need leadership teams who can inspire and champion this change, and alongside this we need whole organisations that can pull in the same direction towards that new future.

With my experience over the past 12 years running Snook, and Lou’s experience of scaling service design in the UK Government, securing multi-million pound investments for design, we’ve used our combined experience to develop the School, and so here we are!

Good Services. For everyone

We help organisations deliver services in some of the toughest environments in the world.

Whether you’re a day-one startup, a cash-strapped charity, big government department or multi-billion dollar streaming platform, we’re here to help everyone in your organisation take their part in delivering services that work for users.

That means focussing on three areas of support:

Building your service awareness

Helping people in all roles across to understand what services are, what makes a good one, and what the major issues are with the services you provide

Building advanced skills

Helping service designers move beyond the basics and develop specialist skills in areas that will help them to get change to happen at scale in the most challenging environments — from writing winning business cases to leading stakeholders through difficult change

Developing new roles

Intensive training courses designed to get you working in some of the most fundamental roles of service design and delivery.

Four new courses, and more to come

With that in mind, we’ve put our heads together to design four brand new courses to help organisations build service awareness, gain advanced skills or build new roles.

Business Cases for Service Design

Getting service design to happen means speaking in the language of the organisation you’re working with, and for most of us that means learning to talk about money. We’ve developed a simple course that helps people understand the costs and benefits of service design and build compelling financial and risk-based cases for user-centred change. It’s a masterclass in how to write a user-centred business case.

Stakeholder Leadership

If 10% of service design is design, 90% of it is communication. This is often the part of user centred change we struggle with the most through. We’ve developed a masterclass to help user centred practitioners to build effective stakeholder relationships in the most challenging environments and gain the skills needed to unlock user centred design at every level of an organisation.

Becoming a Service Designer

Together we’ve helped hundreds of people move into Service Design. Whether they started out as user experience designers, business analysts or change managers, transitioning into service design means adding a whole new set of skills to your collection.

This 3 day intensive masterclass is for anyone who wants to transition into the role of service design. Split over 3 weeks, we support people to become recognised service designers and give them the skills and techniques to design good services in any organisation.

Managing User-Centred Services

With more organisations adopting service design, we need those services to be ‘owned’ and managed properly. The need for service owners is on the rise. We’ve developed a course that’s for people moving into service ownership roles on how to lead, own and manage user centred services.

Alongside these courses we’ll continue our courses on that build service awareness: Designing Good Services, Scaling Good Services and Leading Good Organisations which cover the foundations of good service delivery for anyone wanting to start thinking about how to design good services, and for executive teams to think about it from a strategic level.

These new courses help to plug an extra gap we’re seeing in the market.

All of these courses can be booked privately for your team or organisation, or If you’re an individual or a small team, we’ve just released all the new course public dates which you can book for later this year.

There’s more courses to come later this year, and more exciting new tools planned to help you deliver better services. To keep up to date with us, give us a follow on our new socials @theschoolofgood on twitter and sign up to our mailing list here.

Here’s to a new chapter!



Sarah Drummond

Founder @wearesnook @dearestscotland @cycle_hack @mypolice | Service Designer + Boss | GOOD Magazine’s Top 100 influencers 2016|Google Democracy Fellowship 2011