Collaborative Services Map of Opportunities (COSMO)

Mission: Create a tool that allows business to explore opportunities in a holistic way by looking into different possibilities within the service ecology.

Experience DesignService Design


During an Information Architecture study, five designers came together to better understand how information can be organized to then use it in powerful ways. The group decided to focus on how to use this newly sorted information to create new opportunities and more efficient and sustainable services. It is common in the Service Design fields to use tools such as maps to organize thoughts, information, and discover new opportunities for innovation. We desired to create one of these tools and a workshop format for its use. The result would be a multi-function tool to map existing services, identify opportunities, and be a platform for future growth.

Users and audience

This tool was created with other experience and service designers in mind to use during the ideation of new service opportunities. A facilitated workshop model with designers (and with or without stakeholders) would be how the tool would be executed.


Hannah A. Patellis, João Brüning, Brady Du, Yasmin Galdino, and Gabriel Souza De Freitas

The team presenting an early prototype of the workshop
The team presenting an early prototype of the workshop


The goal was to create a tool that supports the design of opportunities for innovation. The development of the map involved 10 weeks of research and prototyping. Research and readings were concerned with service design and information architecture. These studies helped clarify the characteristics of a service, what creates innovation, and how to represent information.

The prototyping of the map was based on the information collected in the studies. The prototyping was concerned with: in what situations the tool would be used, graphic development, testing of the generated possibilities, and choice of the final model. From the final model, the map was exposed to various tests including research with other designers, testing with other service designers, workshop simulations testing the map in operation, followed by necessary adjustments.

The team then held two separate workshops to test out the final map iterations. The participants of the workshops were students and local small business owners. Through closely observing the workshop in progress, and throughly combing thoroughly participants’ feedback, we were able to make iterations in both the way the map worked and looked.

The process produced the final result: a workshop model for the generation of ideas, a printed version of the map along with all printed material for the workshop and the project book. (Downloadable below)

The Collaborative Services Map of Opportunities
The Collaborative Services Map of Opportunities


The final project, after countless amounts of research, was a map to help individuals, businesses, and groups analyze, grow, and seek out opportunities. The map allows the coordinators to put a main service in the center of the map and then work around the map by stepping through various revisions of a service concept.

This map allows businesses to explore opportunities in a holistic way by looking into different possibilities within the service ecology, it guides you to expand your mindset into all aspects that can exist in a service.

The map can be used for businesses to come up with new, profitable ideas or existing enterprises to better understand their competition. The center beneficiary can vary and can be anyone — you, your service, your customers, your customer’s kids. The possibilities are endless.

There are three main parts in the map, the center area is where you put down your initial service and beneficiary, the left side (orange) contains terms related to intangible service deliveries, and the right side (blue) contains terms related to tangible service deliveries. The lines lead you through the terms following a defined hierarchy. At the end of the section, there will be one idea generated by each path followed.

A workshop in progress using the COSMO map
A workshop in progress using The Collaborative Services Map of Opportunities


  1. Define what will be the Service and the Beneficiary. Write down the decided service and the beneficiary in the middle area.
  2. Decide if the opportunity will be tangible or intangible.
  3. Decide the second term’s layer for this opportunity. Could Be movable/immovable for Tangibles and separable/inseparable for Intangibles.
  4. Decide the third layer of terms, could be Dependent/Independent for Tangible opportunities and Simultaneous/Not simultaneous for Intangible opportunities.
  5. Decide the last layers of terms, closing between Independent/Dependent and Perishable/Non Perishable for any opportunity generated.
  6. Record your opportunity on the answer sheet, describing the opportunity using all the terms that were chosen for this case.

Glossary of terms and answer sheet are both located in the toolkit below.

Download the COSMO Toolkit

This .zip file includes the map, answer sheet, glossary, and schedule all in .pdf format.


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