The Scottish Approach to Service Design (SAtSD)

The vision for the Scottish Approach to Service Design is that the people of Scotland are supported and empowered to actively participate in the definition, design and delivery of their public services (from policy making to live service improvement).

The design process

The design process reminds us that we have to be sure we’re creating the right thing before we can design something that’s fit for purpose and meets the needs of users, staff or organisations.

We do this by taking time to understand the problem before designing solutions. This can be hard. People tend to try to solve problems – and often this means building something tangible. This means we sometimes jump too fast.

It’s not a linear progression and design fails if we jump into solving the problem too quickly. Until we spend time understanding the problem, we can’t be confident how the project should progress.

For example, we might find out that we need to do further research, or that we’re ready to develop ideas to test, or that there is no value in doing further work. These outcomes are all valid and can stop us delivering something that people don’t need or won’t use.

How does this apply to public services?

The principles of the Scottish Approach to Service Design means that organisations responsible for services work together in the problem space to define the problems (engaging fully with users) before moving to solutions.

Double Diamond graphic showing two phases. One - Designing the RIGHT thing (Discover and Define). Two - Designing the THING right (Develop and Deliver).

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