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).

Why we need a new approach

Designing services in the public sector is not just about satisfying user needs.

Public services are aimed at solving problems - graphic

We’re trying to solve people’s problems. Underneath problems are lots of needs - graphic

Public services are provided by lots of organisations, and because of that it can often be difficult to get the right parts of someone’s ‘service journey’ aligned well. Although individual organisations might be doing a good job of meeting user needs for their part of the service journey, if all the organisations involved can’t see and align to the whole journey it can lead to problems. Making sense of this as a public sector organisation can be hard.

Sometimes these problems can cause a huge amount of stress and may involve making big decisions at a time when making decisions becomes even harder. For example, an injury can lead to time off work, possibly even loss of employment, and can spiral into bigger issues, such as debt or losing a home.

When people move into crisis, it’s more difficult to solve their problem, causes more distress and uses more government funding.

We often make things worse by expecting people to know where to find help for all the things they need in order to get over the problem they’re facing - graphic

We need organisations to work together to understand problems. By working together in a common way, we can design effective service journeys that help people out of a difficult situation as efficiently and effectively as possible.

We need to build user and service focused thinking into all public sector organisations in Scotland so service design can be delivered across organisational boundaries seamlessly - graphic


Back to top