We’re on the look-out for good ideas, and when we find them, we pass them along on our blog, Policy [x] Design. Our goal is to identify instances where public-sector organizations — primarily federal, state, and local government agencies in the United States — are using service design to improve the delivery of public services.
What’s “service design”? It’s an emerging field dedicated to delivering better customer experiences — or, in a public-sector environment, better citizen experiences. Service designers work to organize the people involved in a service, the supporting systems and communications, and the materials of a service, to create better interactions between service provider and users, and a better overall user experience.
We’re looking for instances where service design has been used to make citizens’ lives better, to get them what they require to eat, have a home, get an education, be employed, receive health care, have security in their old age.
Beyond pure access, we want to document examples of how design can also make public services feel better: more respectful, more efficient, more enjoyable, more rewarding. We love to identify services that address the needs of high-risk populations (disabled veterans, elderly low-income patients, etc.), as well as services accessed by a broad range of Americans (Federal student aid, for example).
And we particularly like to describe how design-driven improvements in the lives of citizens also led to improvements for the administering public agency – in efficiency, cost, speed, etc.