It feels like an exciting time in the service design team. We’re coming to the end of our first significant piece of work. We’ve had time - and produced sufficient work - to meaningfully reflect on what we’ve learnt so far, and these observations are feeding into our preparation for the next phase of work.
We know that not everyone can get to our Wednesday morning sessions, so we’re posting a quick summary here. It’s still much better to be there in person if you can, as the conversation and connection around the presentations is where the magic happens!
Over the last few months we’ve been working to understand the current state of essex.gov.uk and plan how we might get to a better future for our web presence. We’ve gathered insights from available data and call centre staff and tested how easy it is for users to find things on the site.
This post talks about why we’ve changed the way we describe our team and the work we do. One of the main issues we’ve had with having a ‘digital’ team is that it suggests that designing and building online services is the responsibility of a select group of people in a corner of the organisation. We also found that colleagues found it hard to understand what ‘digital’ really meant: can you ‘be digital’ or ‘think digital’?
We are just at the beginning of our journey, and we're busy building teams to help us explore and deliver what a council of the future should be. We believe that by focussing on service design, putting user need at the heart of our thinking, then we can bring a real focus and impact on the challenges facing Essex.
The Service Standards were approved as part of our Organisation Strategy in 2017. They will help us create and run services which meet the needs of our users. Many of these standards are common sense; the ‘why?’, ‘what?’, and ‘how do you know?’ of good service delivery.
Every fortnight, in room C309 in County Hall, the Service Design team have what we call a show-and-tell. The format is pretty simple: two or three people stand up and talk through something they’re working on. People ask questions, and sometimes make suggestions. Everyone is welcome.
Essex County Council has a new blogging platform. In this post, I’d like to talk about how we built it.