Author: Toni Jackson

Service Design – User feedback

Helping design services to make them user centred and easy to use is what we do in the Service Design team.  

Recently, some of our colleagues who run public facing services procured a new back-end system. It gifted us a great opportunity to build a low fidelity prototype to show them what a fully digital end to end customer experience could look like for them. 

We built a small team to work on this, with skillsets of Service Design, Content Design and User Experience Design. 

We are testing this prototype to get feedback from a small group of users, which – together with input from the service – will allow us to move to a high-fidelity alpha prototype that we can test and iterate with more users.  

We have used a few different systems to allow us to work in an innovative and collaborative way. We started by creating a Miro board to allow us to group together all the information we had about the service and to gather research about what other local authorities were doing in this space. We also use the Miro board to run our sprint retrospective and planning sessions. The beauty of Miro is that collaboration is so easy, the team was able to work well together from the get-go.  

We also used Figma to build the prototype. It allows multiple team members to work on a single project. It also lets you to build up libraries of reusable components, which the whole team has access to. Finally, you can use it to do all kinds of work, such as website prototypes, interface design or graphic design and everything in between. 

Once we started to think about testing, we used Maze to create a self-guided test script. Maze lets you import a prototype directly from Figma, then ask users to complete specific tasks by interacting with the prototype. It’s a really simple way to get some high-level feedback remotely, as users can do it in their own time, on their devices. As well as testing end-to-end journeys, you can ask multiple choice questions to help guide the design of individual elements. This is a great complement to more intensive and traditional one-to-one testing, which typically takes more time. 

As we develop the service, we will share updates with you about our progress.

Service Design – what does this really mean for you?

LBH is taking Service design seriously – setting up a dedicated team to help deliver services.

So, what is Service design, well it is what is “says on the tin” the design of services, and what is a service I hear you ask? Well, that is simply something that helps a user to do something, eg report a missed bin, become a childminder, buy a theatre ticket.

Conventionally council teams work independently and yet often the services they provide are really made up of separate items, and tasks many of which are reusable. Service designers look at how the pieces of the puzzle fit together checking how well they work for the users of the services (customer/businesses/residents/visitors/staff etc.) and suggest way to rebuild so that the user experience is simple and effective.

A bad service is expensive, if the user is unable to easily achieve what they set out to do, then it will be costly to LBH in terms of phone calls, repeated communications and often duplication of data entry. It is also costly to the user, they must spend more time trying to do something, chasing the council for updates, and writing more complaints when dissatisfied. Staff are also frustrated and demoralised as they seem to always be firefighting and workload pressures are high and no one’s needs are satisfied.

Process map

In creating a service that your customers can use easily, that does what they want, they will return and reuse, and even tell their friends. We will have more happy customers satisfied at first point of contact, therefore fewer repeat conversions about a single translation and fewer complaints. This also reduces workload for internal teams, win win.

Service design is about understanding your users:

  • What do they want to do?
  • How can we make it easy for them to do?

Check out the video for an example of service design which I am sure many of us relate to. Think about why Uber, Amazon, and Expedia are successful.

London College of Communication explain Service Design

Projects we are currently helping with:

  • Housing – understanding the user journeys, mapping processes in use currently
  • Children’s safeguarding – mapping complex processes in use and identifying touch points with other agencies.
  • Digital & IT – looking at internal processes for managing assets eg laptops and software to improve efficiency of process (reduce double entry).
  • Web design and accessibility – providing advice on best practice for website design to improve customer journey and ensure accessible to all.
  • Pest control – understanding the customer’s needs and defining a prototype to allow users to book online rather than call the Contact Centre; developing an end-to-end process.

What does this mean for our residents and businesses?

  • Available services – we understand that you want to be able to access the services 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
  • Reliable Services – the service should work and be easy to use.
  • Joined up services – to minimise the number of times we ask you for the same piece of information. 
  • Keep you informed – providing you with simple updates so you know your request is being handled.
  • Improved efficiency – by reviewing our processes and removing duplication, and reusing the elements that work well, we will improve efficiency and “make every penny count.”

Check back to find out ways you can help us to help you, we will shortly be looking to recruit residents and businesses, to better understand how you want to access the services we provide.