Public Service Design Round-Up

Posted by Erin Routson

Three interesting recent articles on the design of services in the public sector:

Over on the Smart Van blog, James Rock, managing director and chief business designer for Birmingham’s Cultivar Consulting Limited, breaks down what service design means and how it can be better utilized by businesses (and governments!). He makes the important point that the service-design process involves all the different groups who ‘touch’ a service, including “both users and employees who deliver services.”

Social innovation marketplace Simpl has the U.K. Design Council’s Pauline Shakespeare guest-blogging on the Public Service by Design mentoring program. Partnering designers/applicants with a mentor “who guides them through a series of design processes to help identify a worthwhile project,” the applicant/designer is then teamed with a suitable agency to do the kind of work that is “embedding design thinking within public-sector organizations themselves.” She also outlines the tools used by service designers, including customer journey mapping and prototype planning, among others.

Since Obama’s executive order to improve and streamline service delivery, U.S. federal agencies have been under pressure to come up with customer-service plans. Mark Malseed at OhMyGov aims to help the process by outlining his 7 Things Every Government Agency Can Do to Improve Customer Service, ranging from using visuals to explain complex issues, to creating an agency customer-service pledge for internal office use.