Traci Thomas

Service Design Lead

Traci leads MAYA’s service design discipline and offerings. Her work at MAYA has spanned from small to large corporations and nonprofits across a variety of industries including: industrial manufacturing, healthcare, restaurants, and education. As a service designer, she creates holistic and memorable experiences that connect both user and organizational needs across multiple touch points. She follows a design approach that’s rooted in ethnography, co-design, and iterative prototyping. She coalesces her deep insights of the human experience with tangible recommendations involving environments, information, and technology.

Traci has been the lead organizer of the Pittsburgh Global Service Jam since 2015. This 48-hour design challenge introduces participants to the service design discipline and enables them to put service design tools and methods into practice. Traci also participated in a service design panel discussion at the IXDC conference in Beijing, China and facilitated a workshop called “Service Design: The Future of Work.”

Prior to MAYA, Traci co-founded the Chicago Service Design network—the first service design chapter in the U.S. bringing awareness to the service design discipline. Traci also worked on the book 101 Design Methods: A Structured Approach for Driving Innovation in Your Organization, by Vijay Kumar, where she focused on innovation and research methodologies.


MDes Design Planning & Research, IIT Institute of Design
BA French, Wellesley College

Blog Posts

6 Key Takeaways From the Global Service Jam
Mar 22 2016 in Notes from the Field

The service design industry is quickly gaining traction in the United States. Here are six things to consider when designing for services.

Service Design, a Game Changer
Feb 20 2015 in Human-Centered Design

Without engaging and memorable customer experiences, businesses are left with an undifferentiated brand, weak customer loyalty and sluggish revenues. Enter the rise of service design.

A Simple Framework for Generating Insights
Aug 14 2014 in Human-Centered Design

Designer and researcher Traci Thomas on developing insights that lead to great design concepts.

Speaking Engagements

International Conference of Experience Design (IxDC)
Jul 17 2015

Traci Thomas attends IxDC in Beijing to speak about Service Design and how companies need to innovate around the future of work in a global environment.


2016 Global Service Jam
Feb 18 2016

We’re hosting the Pittsburgh Global Service Jam Feb 26-28. This 48-hr design challenge takes place around the world for people to design new service solutions around the same theme. Register today!

PGH Service Jam Wrap-Up
Mar 20 2015

MAYA hosted the 2015 Pittsburgh Service Jam (part of the Global Service Jam) the weekend of February 27 - March 1. Local teams across six contents designed new service solutions around the same theme.