The bulk of governmental work revolves around service design, a discipline that focuses on improving services to make them more useful, usable and efficient for customers. Service design in government is not just about digital transformation, it also includes redesigning offline interactions and physical services. The UK’s Government Digital Service (GDS) has been influential in this area, promoting the use of digital technology to improve public services.

One of the key principles of service design is understanding user needs, which involves research into who the users are, what they need and how they interact with the service. This user-centered approach ensures that services are designed to meet the needs of the people who use them.

Another important aspect of service design is the concept of designing for policy, which means that policy should be shaped by the needs of users and the realities of implementation. This can help to avoid the creation of policies that are difficult or impossible to implement effectively.

Service design also involves the use of prototypes and iterative design, which allows for testing and refining of services before they are fully implemented. This approach can help to identify and resolve issues early in the design process, reducing the risk of failure and improving the overall quality of the service.

Despite its importance, service design is often overlooked or undervalued in government. However, with the increasing recognition of its value, there is hope that it will become a more integral part of the way government works.

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