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State of Service Design
in Mexico 2019
An initiative by SDMX

The State of Service Design in Mexico is an annual report dedicated to capturing the country’s situation around the practice of service design with the objective of studying and measuring its growth.

In this second edition, the study was focalized to obtain more detail on the same topics of last year, while also adding new topics. The first survey was open to all types of designers who were familiar with service design, from enthusiasts to professionals. For 2019, only to those who studied it or did it professionally were invited to respond. The result of this refinement is that fewer responses were obtained compared to last year, but had a cleaner and specialized sample.

This year we can observe a discipline with little growth, but certainly going through a formalization phase. It is notorious that large corporations are the pioneers in starting to formalize their service design teams, surpassing agencies. The need for these companies to fill senior and leadership positions poses interesting challenges for young designers who must demonstrate the value of service design in these organizations. This creates new opportunities for those who are entering the practice, but it will be necessary to observe with caution since corporations are not always prepared to continue training these new profiles.

This 2019 was undoubtedly an interesting year for the practice of service design in Mexico, for us it meant graduating the 6th Generation of students from the Immersion Program, and doing the first service design conference in the country.

Find out the results of the survey below on the interactive site and download the report to get more insights.

— Gabriela Salinas, December 2019
Type of
Service Designer

As an improvement to the 2018 survey, the In-House Professional was segmented to differentiate those in Corporate with those from Startup.

Service Designers in Mexico are mainly working for large corporations, followed by agencies and as freelance consultants.

44% Corporate
25% Agency
15% Freelance consultant
11% Startup
4% Student
1% Teacher
How long have
they considered themselves SD

There is a rise in the number of designers that are entering service design, and are considered as such since 2 years or less.

This growth of new designers entering the practice is taking a healthy annual rhythm, which provides a lot of potential to the practice to continue growing and feeding new positions.

35% Less than 1 year
36% 1-2 years
20% 3-4 years
7% 5-6 years
2% More than 7 years
35% Less than 1 year
36% 1-2 years
20% 3-4 years
7% 5-6 years
2% More than 7 years
How they formed their experience

This question was also refined to differentiate the type of education received, to inquire whether service designers in the country are formally educated in service design or are self-taught as the past survey showed.

The reality is that designers learn through several mediums. Most service designers have learned while working, followed by continuing education, and many have pursued formal postgraduate education, with a few having the opportunity to study one in service design.

29% Working
26% Continuing Education (courses, workshops)
21% Formal education in something related to Service Design (Strategic Design, Innovation, UX)
19% Self-taught (books, blogs, etc)
5% Formal education in Service Design (university or master's degree)

The discipline aims to be an inclusive space for women, and in general a balanced practice on gender issues.

56% Woman
43% Man
1% Other

Service design is predominantly practiced by millennials in Mexico. We can begin to see the entry of centennials into the practice.

2% Centennials
85% Millennials
12% Gen X
1% Baby Boomers
Education level

The level of studies of the majority of service designers is University followed by a Master's degree, although as indicated in question 03, they are not necessarily studies carried out in service design or similar.

It is interesting to note that many people who have followed another career up to Master's degree are making a career change towards service design. This brings diversity to the practice of people with a background of engineering, anthropology, economics, among others.

2% N/A
54% University
5% Specialty
38% Master's
1% Doctorate
62% Mexico City
10% Nuevo León
8% State of Mexico
5% Jalisco
3% Puebla
2% Querétaro
2% Sonora
2% Sinaloa
1% Yucatán
1% Chihuahua
1% Guanajuato
1% Oaxaca
1% Quintana Roo
1% San Luis Potosí

The seniority level of service designers is mainly in the mid to senior, with some reaching management positions.

5% Trainee
13% Junior
31% Mid level
24% Senior
16% Lead
4% Head
7% Director
Team leadership

Amount of designers that report having a team.

42% Yes
58% No
Size of teams

Heads, leads and design directors mostly have teams of 2 to 5 people.

7% 1 person
63% 2 to 5
15% 6 to 10
15% More than 10

The financial sector surpasses agencies when hiring service designers.

30% Financial
25% Agency/Consulting
21% Technology
6% Other
5% Retail
4% Health
3% Communications
2% Education
1% Social Innovation
1% Government
1% Tourism
1% Food
Maturity of the company regarding design

Where 1 is a company with low maturity, which for example considers design as merely a visual attribute. And 10 is one that considers design as part of the corporate strategy.

Mexican companies are at different levels of adoption of service design seen as something relevant for the institution, with very few exceeding an 8 in maturity, according to the designers who answered the survey. If we consider that the majority of the service design teams in Mexican companies have 5 or less years of existence, it is not surprising that the teams are still consolidating.

12% 1
9% 2
14% 3
5% 4
9% 5
14% 6
16% 7
10% 8
5% 9
6% 10
Net monthly income

Salaries remain similar to those of last year. Don’t forget to check the report to understand salary ranges depending on seniority and educational level.

*Salaries are in Mexican Pesos

5% Less than $10,000
5% $10,000-$15,000
16% $15,001-$20,000
15% $20,001-$25,000
15% $25,001-$30,000
10% $30,001-$35,000
8% $35,001-$40,000
6% $40,001-$45,000
7% $45,001-$50,000
4% $50,001-$60,000
6% $60,001-$100,000
2% More than $100,000
1% Not Applicable
Perception of fairness of payment

Salary satisfaction levels remain the same as last year, with more than half of service designers feeling dissatisfied with their salary. Learn some of the reasons in the report.

43% Yes
57% No
How much
they think they should be earning

*Net monthly salaries in Mexican pesos.

9% $15,001-$20,000
5% $20,001-$25,000
13% $25,001-$30,000
11% $30,001-$35,000
15% $35,001-$40,000
9% $40,001-$45,000
5% $45,001-$50,000
16% $50,001-$60,000
11% $60,001-$100,000
2% $100,001-$150,000
2% $150,001-$200,000
2% More than $200,000
Expected job benefits

When considering a job, Mexican service designers are mainly looking for one in which they can generate a positive impact and have a balance between their lives and personal projects. These attributes are listed before a salary or position increase.

23% Make a positive impact (on society or an industry)
16% Balance with life and personal projects
14% Solve challenging problems
13% Learning opportunities
10% Collaborate with a top team
7% Long term stability
5% Keep increasing salary
4% Mentorship
4% Positive culture
3% Keep increasing positions
1% Networking
Current job benefits

In addition to the most common benefits, respondents added others such as food stamps, unlimited vacations and equity.

95% Vacations
82% Christmas box
72% Home Office
65% Flex time
60% Holiday bonus
60% Major medical expenses
49% Training
35% Annual bonus
30% Minor medical expenses
29% Cafeteria
28% Profit sharing
22% Performance bonus
22% Savings bank
When did they change jobs

2019 seems to be a year of changes, with almost half of service designers changing jobs in a year or less.

A critical point in the employment relationship seems to happen between the first and second year where a large number of designers often consider new offers and leave their current job.

21% Last 3 months
7% 3 to 6 months
16% 6 months to 1 year
25% 1 to 2 years
9% 2 to 3 years
6% 3 to 4 years
4% 4 to 5 years
11% More than 5 years
Currently looking for job opportunities

Although the percentage has improved since last year, still half of the respondents feel dissatisfied with their jobs and are considering new opportunities.

49% Yes
51% No
Hard skills
Hard-skills they consider most important
for a Service Designer
they currently have
11% Sensemaking
10% Service Blueprinting
8% Journey Mapping
8% Business Design
8% Value Propositioning
7% Exploratory Research
6% Workshop facilitating
5% Prototyping
5% Design principles
5% Ideation
4% Ecosystem Mapping
4% Agile methodology
4% Content Strategy
3% Research Ops
3% Evaluative Research
3% Trends/Foresight
3% Stakeholdering
1% Archetyping
1% Desk Research
1% Team Ops
11% Sensemaking
9% Workshop facilitating
8% Journey Mapping
8% Ideation
8% Business Design
7% Design principles
6% Exploratory Research
6% Prototyping
5% Agile methodology
4% Service Blueprinting
4% Value Propositioning
4% Content Strategy
4% Research Ops
4% Stakeholdering
3% Ecosystem Mapping
3% Evaluative Research
3% Desk Research
1% Trends/Foresight
1% Archetyping
1% Team Ops
Soft skills
Soft-skills they consider most important
for a Service Designer
they currently have
15% Strategic thinking
13% Empathy
9% Collaboration
8% Storytelling
8% Communication
6% Facilitation
6% Systemic thinking
6% Leadership
6% Organizing
5% Persuasion
5% Prospective thinking
4% Resilience
3% Diplomacy
3% Tactical thinking
2% Ownership
1% Rigour
17% Strategic thinking
14% Empathy
10% Leadership
10% Organizing
7% Collaboration
7% Facilitation
6% Storytelling
6% Systemic thinking
6% Resilience
5% Communication
3% Ownership
2% Diplomacy
2% Tactical thinking
2% Persuasion
2% Prospective thinking
1% Rigour
About the Survey


Typeform was used for the survey and Google Sheets for data filtering. The results percentages were rounded to the next closed number, and the salary figures are handled as net earnings. The survey remained open for 4 weeks, during which 154 responses were obtained.


Gabriela Salinas is co-founder of Service Design México, an institution dedicated to service design training, and Frontstage, the first service design conference in Mexico. Her passion for design, strategy and research has led her to create initiatives focused on promoting new design disciplines in the country. She has a Master in Business Innovation, and ten years of experience, having worked at GBM as Director of Design, as well as BBVA and Idea Couture, and as a teacher at CENTRO and the Master of Strategic Design at IBERO.