Service Design of Public Services to Inspire Citizens
For over a decade now, several governments have used Service Design to transform their policies, infrastructures in order to get closer to the citizens. Service Design is not a new concept, but it is mostly an unrecognized one.
The practice is much more widespread in Europe. Already in 1991, Service Design was introduced as a design discipline by Professor Dr. Michael Erlhoff at the Koln International School of Design in Köln (Köln International School of Design – KISD). Since 2010, the British government has implemented a policy of integration of digital services centered on citizens’ design of services with “Restarting Britain“.
Why this term « Service Design“? We use design in the sense of designing services the same way we would design a product. If you think about it, there’s much more effort and investment in designing a product, and a much less in designing a service. If you have doubts, then (ask yourself ) why are the services are so poorly designed?
In Canada, a number of Service Design projects are underway, including this British Columbia public service initiative whose objectives are to better serve citizens and with a statement that should echo with all levels of government, including the Québec Government and the city councils in general.
Here are 5 principles that guide the B.C. approach to public service:
- Start with the experience and needs of citizens
- Design with people, not just for them
- Develop visual and tangible artifacts for shared understanding
- Move between big picture and detail, and back again
- Address the entire service architecture — from policy to front-line delivery
What an inspiring initiative!
Here is some more reading for the summer if you have an interest for this subject:
Nice summer to you all!