Project Background


How can visualisation help explain the value of service design in the public sector and encourage innovative thinking?

We all use public services. But the word ‘service’ in the public sector seems to have a very different connotations compared to the commercial sector. Public services are sometimes discussed as though they are ‘a necessary evil’, rather than valuable and possibly even, enjoyable experiences. Of course, public services have different pressures from the commercial sector such as changing political agendas and capped budgets. The rhetoric of government and policy makers may talk of innovation, but cultures of risk avoidance, cost cutting and efficiencies and predictable results – are all barriers to innovation. Tereza believes service design can help bring about cultural change which will enable innovation to take root.

Tereza has been working closely with Lorraine Gray, Head of Strategic Development of the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) to sow the seeds of interest amongst social services practitioners. SSSC recognises the value of service design methods for social services and has employed service design methods on strategic projects, employing methods including: prototyping, failing early and cheaply, taking action and collaborating with users and front line staff as well as developing new skills in the workforce.
Tereza has begun developing a library of short explanatory videos explaining the value of service design in layperson’s terms to enable service design advocates in public services to easily share techniques and processes with colleagues. Understanding the core ideas could empower practitioners to let go of their fear of failure, and start transforming public services.

The final outcome of this project is a co-design website, which can be found on

What’s Next?
Supporting innovation in public services, particularly education is Tereza’s intention on her return to the Czech Republic, where she intends to use her service design video library to support the emerging service design field.

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