IT Service Catalog Design - Principle #1: Simple

Thought Leadership for
IT Service Management Professionals

IT Service Catalog Design - Principle #1: Simple

Posted by Don Casson

Mon, Mar 16, 2015

This is the second post in the series "IT SERVICE CATALOG DESIGN - Make it Beautiful." Read part one here.

SIMPLE means just that. Simple. Not hard to understand or do.  Having few parts – not complex or fancy. 

While any given screen or the entire service end-to-end may have a lot of details, simple means eliminating every word, button, graphic or item of any sort that is not TOTALLY AND DIRECTLY related to the customer’s needs in understanding, choosing and using the service. Then the customer will see it as simple.

GoogleSearchEngine logo

Google is the poster child for simple. I bet you expected to see this one huh?  It is really hard to beat.

It brings up another point of advice.

It’s OK not to tell the customer everything to do, because it can easily become too much to read and then they may bail out. It’s OK for the customer to have to figure a little out as long as the outcome is clear. It makes the interaction a little more fun while keeping it very simple.

Here’s a tip – try to do things without ANY words. Often it can’t be done – but trying will keep your text down to a minimum.



This is another good example of simple. Immediately you know the site is about Icons, they are good and needed (essential) and free and easy to get.  Nothing unnecessary is on the page, and your action is simple and direct.  You know everything about this site in 10 seconds.

Here’s some final advice on keeping it simple:

Don’t make the customer do our work.  A common problem IT has is to give the customer our problem.  Why ask the customer to provide information we can glean without asking them?  It may take a little more work on our part up front, but that is what is required – and we can probably automate it – so it eliminates work for both of us!  For example, if they are buying software and we can discover and match their platform automatically with it, then let’s not ask them to identify their PC and self determine if the software works on it.    


About the Author

Don Casson is CEO and co-founder of Evergreen Systems, an IT consulting firm leading 
Fortune 500 companies to dramatically transform their IT operations. Feel free to contact Don at

Topics: ServiceNow, Service Catalog Management, Service Catalog Design, IT Service Catalog, IT Service Management, ITSM Strategy, Employee Self-Service Portal


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