Touchpoint - The Journal of Service Design

The Journal of Service Design

p-ISSN: 1868-6052
e-ISSN: 2940-2778

Jesse Grimes

Service Design Network gGmbH
Mülheimer Freiheit 56
D-51063 Köln, Germany

Guidelines for Contributors


This journal uses a double-blind approach during our editorial process, meaning that both the reviewer and author identities are concealed from each other. Abstracts received during the Call for Papers period are assessed by Guest Editors for their potential suitability for inclusion in the journal (see About Touchpoint). The outcome of the review process is the rejection or acceptance of abstracts, and those that submitted the abstracts are notified within two weeks of the close of the Call for Papers. The abstract review process is double-blind, as described below. In the case of disagreement between Guest Editors on the merit and appropriateness of the paper, further input may be sought and additional review undertaken. In all cases the Editor-in-Chief's judgment is final.
Abstract Review Phase
Prospective authors submit abstracts during the Call for Papers phase, in which they propose the article they wish to write. Identifying details of those prospective authors are removed from the abstracts that are presented to guest editors for review. That means that editors’ decisions on whether to accept or reject an abstract during the review phase are made without knowledge of who submitted it. After two weeks, prospective authors that submitted abstracts will be notified whether their proposed article is accepted or rejected.
Article Editing Phase
Furthermore, once abstracts are accepted, authors' identities are not revealed in their article documents. This means that guest editors assigned to edit each article during the article editing phase are unaware of who the author is, until after publication.

See also our Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement.


Abstract Submission
Below, you find the 'submit an abstract' button. By clicking the button, the abstract submission form will be shown. On the submission form, you will need to fill in, besides your contact information, the following information:
  • Category: Please arrange your submission in one of the Touchpoint sections (Feature, Cross-Discipline, Tools and Methods, Education and Research).
  • Scope of your contribution: Please indicate the proposed length of the article you would like to write if your abstract is selected. Short article: 700 – 800 words (2 pages in Touchpoint) / Medium article: 1100 – 1400 words (4 pages in Touchpoint) / Long article: 1900 – 2200 words (6 pages in Touchpoint).
  • Title: the proposed title of your article with 5-8 words.
  • Abstract: the abstract (max. 2000 characters) should outline the objective, the structure and the benefit (three key learnings) of your article for the readers. Please also indicate what existing data or evidence you will refer to or what research will be carried out to support your article.
  • Relevance to service design: Brief description (max. 300 characters) on why your article is interesting to service designers and what new knowledge it will bring to the service design discipline.
  • Biography: short biography (max. 300 characters) of the author(s) including background, key activities and projects.
After filling in the form, click on 'Submit'. You should receive a confirmation email with the copy of your abstract in case of a successful submission (please check your spam folder as well).

In case you experience any problem submitting your abstract via the system or don't receive the confirmation email, please send us via email your abstract submission in a Word file following the required fields on the abstract submission form. We will confirm the receipt of your submission per email within a week.

Submission of the article
If your abstract has been accepted by the editorial board, you will receive an invitation to submit your article within two weeks to the editorial system.


The editorial language of Touchpoint is British English and the journal’s contents will also be published in British English. If you are not a native English speaker, your article must be proofread by a native speaker before you hand it in. Our proofreader is working at the very end of the process to check spelling and grammar, but his role is not to re-write or translate expressions that do not make sense to a global audience.
Tone and Voice
The articles are supposed to be easy in tone, not too academic but rather practical in approach – thus, easy to understand for practitioners, academics as well as anyone interested in service design. When writing your text please focus on the benefit of your article for the readers – do not only report about project steps, but present project learnings as well as outcome(s). Bringing out the benefits of service design in your article will help to promote the discipline to clients. Please use active instead of passive phrasing.
Lenght of the article
There are three different length of articles: short article: 700 – 800 words (approx. 2 pages), no more than five references. medium article: 1100 – 1400 words (approx. 4 pages), no more than five references. long article: 1900 – 2200 words (approx. 6 pages), no more than five references. Please do not exceed the given word limit. If you have several diagrams, tables and/or pictures you should consider the minimum amount of words corresponding to your article length.
Ethical standards
Authors must comply with our Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement.
File format
Please download our article template (.doc file) from the Google Drive folder (link provided to you via email) and use the article template document when writing your article. Set the document language to British English and spell check and proofread the article before submitting it. Save your article as .doc and please use the following standard to name your article: TPVol-No_author1lastname_ author2lastname (e.g. TP11-2_Smith_Müller). The article template document contains the following settings:
Title and Subtitle
Please make sure that the title of your article is interesting and attractive; do not just use the name of the project as headline. Please use Word Caps for the Title (e.g. In a World of Products, Service is King). The article could also have a subtitle (optional). Titles as well as subtitles should be no longer than 8 words.
Authors are asked to write a brief introduction, opening your article. Introduction should be no longer than 50 words.
Body text
  • Font, Arial; size, 12
  • Line space 1,5
  • Left justified
Heading 1 and Heading 2
Please set the Heading 1 to bold and Heading 2 to bold italic. Headings should not be numbered (for lists use bullet points or numbered lists). Please do not include a third level of headlines.
If you would like to present parts of your contents as a list, please select the respective part and click ‘Bulleted List’ or ‘Numbered List’ on the formatting toolbar. Please make sure that the bigger part of your article consist of running text – not lists.
Quote marks
Double quotation marks (“...”) are only to be used to directly attributable quotes that can be referenced (i.e. books, recorded interviews, speeches, etc.). Single quotation marks (‘...’) should be used at all other times, e.g:
  1. To non-attributable quotes: ‘Do not try to eat the elephant in one bite’ was the best pieces of advice I have heard.
  2. Nicknames (named terms): ... based on the ‘double diamond’2 , which combines...
  3. To highlight a word or term in a sentence: Remember though that ‘why’ often includes a combination of factors.
  4. No-English words: The term ‘haute couture’...
  5. Neologism or metaphors: His ‘chavness’ was plain for all to see. The computer’s ‘face’.
  6. If the word is somehow being used outside of its normal context: Unfortunately, she ‘disappeared’. (mean that she was killed).
Italic should be used only to highlight:
  1. Titles of publications and media (books, newspapers, magazines, websites, films, plays, etc.): The latest issue of Touchpoint...
  2. Title of Exhibition and events: The Service Design Global Conference was...
Underline should be used only to highlight hyperlinks (URLs, shortened URLs, email addresses). Initial case Use lower initial case for job type (e.g. service designer), areas of expertise (e.g. service design, marketing), and departments and teams (e.g. marketing department, service design team). Use upper initial case for job title (e.g Client Service Director) and degrees (e.g. Master in Communication Sciences).
Use numbers for measures (e.g 485 miles) and ammounts greater than 10.
All paragraphs are to be separated by a carriage return. paragraphs’.
Touchpoint aims to facilitate the sharing of expertise and knowledge amongst the service design community. Please provide us with at least 2–3 visuals that illustrate your article’s content as vividly and meaningfully as possible. They can either illustrate the process of your project, the challenges you are/ were facing and the project outcomes. Articles with more than 2 pages can also have an appealing visual as starter. All images, graphics and tables should be given full sentence captions. Please do not include the images in your Word file, just indicate their position with the caption placeholder. Please note that the positions might be modified during the layout phase depending of page space and the article overall layout. It is assumed that any imagery accompanying an article may be freely published, and that the author holds full rights for the imagery provided. Make sure to have the right of all images. If the image should be credited, please provide us the information.
Photos that depict people are usually the most attractive ones. Please do not distort the images with Photoshop Filters. Please make sure that all images are formatted in CMYK and have a resolution of 300 dpi and a size of at least 19x24 cm (min. 2280 x 2810 pixel).
Graphics and tables
Please send us your graphics and tables in a vector format, such as Adobe Illustrator files (.ai) or (.eps) files. Fonts, colours and sizes might be adjusted according to the Touchpoint styleguide. If significant re- styling of your graphics and tables is required to bring them to a publishable standard, we may have to charge for this work. We will contact you beforehand to discuss this.
Infographics and Ilustrations
Infographics and ilustrations are particularly welcomed. The file can be send as an image or vector format, such as Adobe Illustrator files (.ai) or (.eps) files. Fonts, colours and sizes might be adjusted according to the Touchpoint styleguide. If significant re-styling is required to bring ilustrations to a publishable standard, we may have to charge for this work. We will contact you beforehand to discuss this.
Supportive material
In addition to visuals to be printed in the journal, authors are encouraged to share digital versions of documents, deliverables, templates and/or examples of work that can be made available to readers online
Academic - style quotes
As Touchpoint is a non-academic but rather practice-oriented journal, we explicitly recommend that you avoid academic-style quotations. When including quotes, please stick to the following rules:
  • Quotes should not be longer than 20 words.
  • Please make sure to use the correct quote mark.
If you need to refer to any literature, please do not exceed the limit of 5 references. Include the references as notes, numbered in order of occurrence in the text. For all references, please make sure that the format of the reference list is in accordance with the below examples: [Journal article] 1 Smith, I. M. C., & Brown, P. (2005). Methodologies of Interaction Design. International Journal of Design, 1(1), 57–66. 2 ... [Journal article, Internet-only journal] 3 Curry, D. (1995, Spring). Children’s cognitive development. Early Childhood Development and Behaviour, 5(1). [Online] Retrieved March 5, 2008, from [Book] 4 Robinson, A. (1905). Psychology and Research (5th ed.). Berlin: Engelman. [Unpublished master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation] 5 McIwan, D. (1958). Designing women: Gender, modernism and interior decoration in Sydney, c. 1920–1940. Unpublished master’s thesis, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
Alongside the article, we present the author(s) with a portrait picture and a small biography.
Picture of each author
Please send us a recent portrait photo of each author. The image should be saved in CMYK and have a resolution of 300 dpi and a size of at least 5x6 cm (min. 1500 x 1800 pixel). Please use the following standard to name your portrait picture: name_lastname.jpg
Please include your bio at the bottom of your article. Bios should be maximum 50 words for articles with 1-2 authors or 30 words for articles with 3 or more authors and should present your professional experience starting with ‘Name and last name is Position at Company....’
This Agreement reflects the position that the Author should transfer the copyright to SDN and have explicit rights to use their article in future research, teaching, and other projects, which are non-profit related. SDN, as publisher, should have rights to publish the article in various formats and to license the publication of the Article through third-party. The Agreement also permits SDN to publish the Article online with or without restrictions on access, and the Author may post the Article for Internet access and contribute it to an institutional or discipline-based repository with the permission from SDN.