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The Service Design Playbook

This resource describes a comprehensive method for the BC Public Service (BCPS) to design services for British Columbians, although it is also applicable to other governments.
The Playbook is intended to help ensure public service designers have the necessary tools and corporate support to make change.
It includes an overview of service design, a discussion of when and how to use it, as well as detailed guidance and tools for the various methods used in service design. The methods are organised according to the publisher's model: Alignment, Discovery, Opportunity, Prototype & Test, Roadmap, and Implement.
The resource also compares service design with other public service approaches, like behavioural insights, lean, etc.
The appendix includes research planning templates, template partnership agreements for service design projects, and sample matrices for evaluating opportunities.

Basic BASIC:
Allows reuse

Social Lean Canvas

A mashup of the original Business Model Canvas with lean startup methodology built in, this canvas is intended for social entrepreneurs to validate their offering, prioritise what to develop, and message the offering. This could also be used by a government service provider.
The website includes a checklist to evaluate whether you will likely find value in using the canvas.

Publisher

Akina Foundation

Discipline or Practice

Social Innovation

Champion CHAMPION:
Can be remixed

Platform Design Toolkit

Platform Design Toolkit is based on the tradition of service design thinking and the publishers intend it to overcome the limitations in traditional, linear, business modeling approaches. This methodology is based on a multi-sided, ecosystem based, platform model instead of a traditional product or service design. Those interested in building their "government as a platform" strategy or building a suite of digital or non-digital products or services would likely find value in this approach but should be adapted for a public sector context.

Champion CHAMPION:
Can be remixed

Lean Service Creation Handbook

A curated set of 18 canvases that walk you through the steps needed for creating services & products using the combined principles and methodologies of agile development, lean startup, and design thinking. The publisher's intent is for you to reach business objectives in an iterative and human-centric way. In adapting to a public sector context, "customers" may need to be re-framed as stakeholders or service users. GitHub source content available. Includes how-to videos.

Hero HERO:
Editable source files available

18F Method Cards

A collection of tools that describe how 18F digital service teams put human-centered design into practice. These cards are focused on design in the context of digital services, but can be adapted to non-technical design projects as well.
The resource is online and also available as printable cards.
The card set includes simplified information on various design methods according to an overall methodology: Discover, Decide, Make,Validate. There are also "Fundamentals" cards related to incentives, privacy, and recruiting, all of which are important for overall design projects.
Each card covers what, why, how, time required, and additional resources to learn more about the method. These are intended to be sequenced according to the needs of the project.
Some prior experience with the methods may be helpful for context.

Publisher

18F

Discipline or Practice

Design

Digital transformation

Hero HERO:
Editable source files available

Open Innovation Toolkit

A community sourced set of best practices and principles to help incorporate human-centered design into a product development process.
The website contains dozens of methods organised by process, difficulty, time required, and outcomes. Each method contains an overview, detailed, steps, resources, and examples or cases.
The methods are framed in terms of private sector product or service development but can be adapted to a public sector context.

Champion CHAMPION:
Can be remixed

Adobe Kickbox

Kickbox is an innovation process that Adobe developed for its own use and then open-sourced so everyone can use it. It is both a process for individuals and a system for deploying that process across an organization at scale. It’s designed to increase innovator effectiveness, accelerate innovation velocity, and measurably improve innovation outcomes. It can also optimize innovation investments by reducing costs compared to traditional approaches. Adobe distributed 1000 physical boxes internally (each containing money for prototyping ideas) and have made the contents available for free download. The website and download contains facilitator instructions as well as instructions on how to create the original box and contents.

Basic BASIC:
Allows reuse

IDEO Design Kit Field Guide to Human-Centered Design

The Design Kit resource is both a downloadable PDF as well as online guidance on the different phases of a human-centered design process, organised by Mindsets, Methods (Inspiration, Ideation, Implementation), and Tools. The PDF is only downloadable from the website after creating a user account at IDEO. Website includes instructional videos on the techniques of various user-centered design methods and techniques.

Champion CHAMPION:
Can be remixed

The Social Design Methods Menu

The toolkit provides an approach and methods those looking for a new way to tackle social and policy issues by making services more valuable to customers and users, easier to use, with fewer resources wasted on implementing the right ideas in the wrong way (or on the wrong ideas entirely).
This approach involves spending time understanding people’s experiences and resources on their own terms, taking methodical steps to analyse and address these with their active participation, and pushing for more effective cross-team and cross-organisational working.
The included Social Design Methods Menu focuses on the difficult early phases when uncertainty is high. It provides background, modes, methods and "recipes" for different situations and contexts, but the publisher suggests that these be further adapted and configured based on your needs.
A basic understanding of service design is helpful for exploring this toolkit.

Social Innovation Camps: a toolkit for troublemakers

This resource distills the United Nations Development Programme's experience and lessons with running Social Innovation Camps into a "how-to" manual for others. The publisher intends it to broaden a project's results, attract donors, find new partners, source new perspectives on an issue, and/or place beneficiaries at the centre of project design. The resource was created within an international development and social innovation context but can be adapted for public sector use.
It is available to view online or download upon creating a Scribd account.

A Guide to Data Innovation for Development – From idea to proof-of-concept

The toolkit provides step-by-step guidance for development practitioners to leverage new sources of data. It is a result of a collaboration of UNDP and UN Global Pulse with support from UN Volunteers, led by UNDP innovation teams in Europe and Central Asia and Arab States.
The guide is structured into three sections - (I) Explore the Problem & System, (II) Assemble the Team and (III) Create the Workplan. Each of the sections comprises of a series of tools for completing the steps needed to initiate and design a data innovation project, to engage the right partners and to make sure that adequate privacy and protection mechanisms are applied.

Hero HERO:
Editable source files available

Open Policy Making Toolkit

The publisher defines Open Policy Making as developing and delivering policy in a fast-paced and increasingly networked and digital world through collaborative approaches, new analytical techniques, and testing and iteratively improving policy.
The manual includes information about Open Policy Making in the United Kingdom government as well as tools, step-by-step guidance and techniques policy makers can use to create more open and user led policy.

Hero HERO:
Editable source files available

Government Service Design Manual

This resource is intended to support United Kingdom government teams create and run digital services according to their Digital Service Standard. It covers Accessibility and assisted digital, Agile delivery, Design, Measuring success, Service assessments and getting on GOV.UK, Technology, The team, and User research.

Atlassian Team Playbook

This online interactive playbook is intended for teams to work better together in order to get things done. It is organised into Health Monitor (checks and activities for building team health), individual plays (filterable standalone activities), and game plans (series of plays for common use cases). The playbook organises the materials by project, service, and leadership team type, provides detailed instructions on how to run the plays and offers downloads of materials. Since many plays are adapted versions of other tools, licensing varies. However, many are licensed for reuse and further adaptation.

Legal Design Toolbox

This is a set of resources for designers who are approaching legal challenges with a creative, generative, human-centered approach. The toolbox provides guides, tools, and examples to help you scope & tackle these challenges with design. It includes a Legal Communication Design Toolbox, a Legal Design Pattern Library, and a Legal Product Typology. It covers policy prototyping, visual design, and data visualisation.

Mindlab Methods

[Now defunct. Link goes to internet archive from 2018, when MindLab closed]. One of the pioneers of public sector design, Mindlab, developed a set of tools to find and define problems as well as new approaches to solving them. This toolset contains some of the most commonly used in the design practice (user journey, pattern recognition, etc).

Publisher

Mindlab

Discipline or Practice

Design

Features

Techniques

Basic BASIC:
Allows reuse

Designing for Behaviour Change Toolkit

This toolkit outlines Bridgeable’s approach to harnessing behavioural economics (BE) to design better products and services that nudge user behaviour. It combines a service design approach with a BE approach, with the caveat that BE helps identify and tweak pivotal moments of decision making but not overall user experience or strategies.
The toolkit includes an overview of BE as well as an ideation and testing framework incorporating BE principles to move from a current state to an idea future state. A basic knowledge of service design is helpful for approaching this toolkit.

Policy Quality Framework

The Policy Quality Framework describes the key characteristics of quality policy advice, as well as the ‘enablers’ of great advice, like considering multiple perspectives, good commissioning, quality assurance processes and work planning.
It is one of three improvement frameworks co-designed for and by the policy community in New Zealand to help government agencies improve their policy quality and capability.
It includes several policy assessments for different stages of the policy cycle and describes some "acid tests" to evaluate the quality of policy.

Discipline or Practice

Public Policy

Features

Techniques

Champion CHAMPION:
Can be remixed

Service Design and Delivery Process

A guide intended for the Australian government for designing public services in user-centered and iterative ways. This resource is intended to help teams start small and learn fast, and to create services that can be delivered quickly and to save money by reducing service failure.
It is organised into 4 design and delivery stages, each with an associated guide: Discovery, Alpha, Beta, Live.

Discipline or Practice

Digital transformation

Features

Techniques

Glossary

Champion CHAMPION:
Can be remixed

Collective Action Toolkit

The Collective Action Toolkit (2nd edition) is a set of activities and methods that enables groups of people anywhere to organize, collaborate, and create solutions for problems affecting their community.
It guides users through methods according to six action areas, with suggested pathways from one method to the next. For each method, step-by-step instructions are given, in addition to the time, roles, and materials needed. Some methods include canvasses to guide activity.
The toolkit is available in English, Chinese, French, and Spanish.

Project Cycle Hackers Kit

The Hackers’ Kit supports different types of discussions around project and program design. It's aim is to normalise innovation in a large organization by embedding new practices in key project management business processes. Worked on and tested with over 25 project teams in the United Nations Development Programme, the toolkit is intended for an international development context but could be applied to any large organisation with a desire to innovate.
It includes a wall map of the process, question cards to get people "unstuck," and a collection of 19 tools that supports innovation activities throughout the project cycle. With them, one can capture insights and analyse, support decision making, challenge thinking and assumptions, plan activities, prompt discussion, and stimulate reflection. These tools can be used in group sessions, or by individuals and includes a facilitators guide.

Hero HERO:
Editable source files available

User Experience Design Services – Scenes

“Scenes” is a tool and a method to create visual stories about products and services fast, collaboratively and iteratively. It is intended for leaders and professionals of all industries to shape their ideas and scenarios in the form of fun illustrative storyboards without the need of refined drawing skills. It uses storytelling instead of long functional specifications for new or redesigned services or concepts.
It contains free, downloadable and printable templates for professionals to construct scenes for prototyping products and services. There are also "add-on" scenes for specific situations or topics.
The toolkit contains editable and printable scenes components as well as a how-to guide.

Publisher

SAP

Discipline or Practice

Service Design

Quality of Public Administration – A Toolbox for Practitioners

This EU Quality of Public Administration Toolbox aims to support, guide, encourage and inspire those who want to build public administrations that will create prosperous, fair and resilient societies. The Toolbox tries to help countries with addressing country-specific policy recommendations and with delivering successful strategies and operational programmes.

Discipline or Practice

Public Policy

Carbon IQ User Centered Design Methods Guide

This is one of the first collections of user experience methods. It describes and analyses user experience design methods by costs expended, time required, resources required, expertise required, and quality of data.

Publisher

Carbon IQ

Discipline or Practice

Design

Product Design

Hero HERO:
Editable source files available

Service Design Playbook

This playbook is an online crash course on service design. It works alongside the 14 points set out in the Digital Service Standard to provide the basics needed to get started on a digital service.
It covers: About service design, Discovery phase, Alpha phase, Beta phase, Live phase, and Team roles

Discipline or Practice

Digital transformation

Features

Techniques

Glossary

Champion CHAMPION:
Can be remixed

DIY Toolkit

The DIY Toolkit was designed for development practitioners to invent, adopt or adapt ideas. It is a curated collection of design-based tools that draws on the publisher's study of many tools currently being used. The publisher has included the ones which it believes practitioners find most useful. While created for a development context, the tools are applicable to other contexts. The website contains video guidance, case studies, and associated curriculum (DIY Learn). The resource can be downloaded in many language.
Each tool is presented in terms of what it is, how to use it, the tool itself, and a case study of its use in practice.

Hero HERO:
Editable source files available

Design Jam Toolkit

This resource is focused on collaboration around designs for solving product problems, specifically on the topics of trust, transparency and control concerning the use of personal data. The methodology used was inspired by those from the Stanford d.school and IDEO. The toolkit is split into four sections – Plan, Discover, Ideate and Prototype.
The resource contains over 20 guided activities and supporting materials (including downloadable worksheets) covering materials for planning and running your own event, including one hour, half day, and full day example event agendas and facilitation plans.
It is intended for product managers, designers, developers, policy policy advisors, regulators, students, and others interested in opening up discussion about trust, transparency and control with a team, organisation, school or clients. It covers topics such as designing privacy statements, consent requests and other features which impact the perception of trust, transparency and control for product users.

Basic BASIC:
Allows reuse

A Handbook for the Experiment Co-Creation Platform

The Experiment Co-Creation Platform (ECP) is a model for collaboration and experimenting dedicated in delivering sustainable solutions to wicked urban problems.
The ECP model was developed and prototyped by Demos Helsinki. In the model, cities, higher education institutions and non-academic collaborators such as companies and foundations together define a desirable shared vision to work towards to as well as identify the challenges preventing the vision from happening. Research-based teams develop their research and solutions to the identified challenges through experimenting in a real-life urban setting and support from experts of various fields. The goal is to increase teams’ technology readiness level (TRL) from TRL4 “technology validated in a lab” to TRL5 “technology validated in a relevant environment” and create a premise for feasible, scalable solutions that work in practice.
The resource provides

Publisher

Demos Helsinki

Discipline or Practice

Design

This is Service Design Doing – Method Library

This resource is a method library containing 54 method descriptions for using the key methods in service design. These methods include instructions, guidelines, and-tips-and tricks for activities within research, ideation, prototyping, and facilitation. This collection only contains building blocks. It doesn’t detail how to assemble them into a cohesive design process or how to plan or manage it. The associated (paid) book and curriculum offers this context.

Hero HERO:
Editable source files available

Challenge and Prize Toolkit

Information and resources to guide United States federal employees working on challenges and prizes. It includes guidance on each challenge phase, from preparation to execution and also provides guidance on different types of challenges. It includes case studies and a list of resources for more detailed guidance and support.

Discipline or Practice

Strategic Design

Champion CHAMPION:
Can be remixed

Data Collaboratives Canvas

The term data collaborative refers to a new form of collaboration, beyond the public-private partnership model, in which participants from different sectors — including private companies, research institutions, and government agencies — can exchange data to help solve public problems.
This resource outlines 8 Phases for designing and implementing a data collaborative (partnership) at an institutional level. The online resource includes examples, enablers, tools, and resources for each phase.

Customer Communications Toolkit for the Public Service – A Universal Design Approach

This toolkit provides guidance for public servants on how to communicate with the public using the simplest and clearest language possible and to ensure that all services are accessible, and meets the diverse needs of all our customers. The guidance is based on Universal Design principles.
The toolkit contains advice on general writing style principles, verbal and non-verbal communications, design of forms and documents, web and social media content and how to display signage. It features a series of tips and tricks for evaluating the inclusiveness of communications.
This approach is not only useful in the public sector for improving service experiences but also as a way of making overall communications more open and accessible.

Basic BASIC:
Allows reuse

Service Design Tools

An collection of communication tools used in service design processes that deal with complex systems, organised by design activities, representations, recipients, and contents. The website is the result of the research activity done by Roberta Tassi during her graduation thesis investigating the relation between communication design and service design, starting from the observation of the existing practices in the field of service design.
Each tool contains a description, how-to instructions, and case studies of its use.

Basic BASIC:
Allows reuse

Inclusive Design Toolkit

This resource focuses on inclusive design, a methodology that enables and draws on the full range of human diversity, including those with limited abilities. The resource includes a guide on inclusive design, multiple short-films and a 20-minute documentary, as well as activity cards that follow 5 phases of a design process.

Basic BASIC:
Allows reuse

Paper Prototyping: A Guide For Surfacing Innovative Ideas More Quickly

This is a report produced in conjunction with IDEO after a 2-year initiative of the Rockefeller Foundation called Paper Prototyping, an effort to better inform investment decisions of the Foundation. While this resource is not a typical innovation toolkit, it was included because it describes an often implicit and invisible process of developing and testing proposals for innovative solutions to complex problems.

Discipline or Practice

Organisational Design

SI Learning Repository

The SIC learning repository is an online, open resource available for innovators, researchers and policy makers to improve their skills in design for Social Innovation.
The tools section is organised by main activities/actions, including:
RECRUITING SOCIAL INNOVATORS
STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT
IDEATION
PRODUCT/SERVICE DEVELOPMENT
PROTOTYPING
SUSTAINABLE GROWTH AND IMPACT
FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
For each tool, time commitment and team requirements are listed and each can be downloaded as a PDF.

Hero HERO:
Editable source files available

BETA Guide to developing behavioural interventions for randomised controlled trials

This guide outlines BETA’s approach to developing behavioural interventions for randomised controlled trials (RCTs), based round 9 guiding questions through four project phases:
Discovery, Diagnosis, Design, Delivery. The guide is designed to primarily help with the discovery and diagnosis phases.
It also includes basic guidance on setting up an RCT.
The website includes an academic directory of those working in the behavioral economics research community.

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

Pixar’s Rules of Storytelling provide guidance on developing and telling a good story, an important skill for building consensus around a new idea or project.

Discipline or Practice

Strategic Design

Features

Techniques

Champion CHAMPION:
Can be remixed

Validation Guide

The publisher defines validation as the process of gathering evidence and learnings around business ideas through experimentation and user testing, in order to make faster, informed, de-risked decisions. The Validation Guide contains guidance and several tools, including an Assumption Mapper and Experimentation Execution Card for designing and setting up experiments to test ideas and products in iterative ways. The intended audience is large private companies but the principles and tools can apply to idea and product validation by governments. The guide contains several examples from the private sector and the publisher's website contains other free tools. Downloading the free tools is possible in exchange for an email address.

Discipline or Practice

Product Design

Features

Basic BASIC:
Allows reuse

A Rough Guide to the Shift Surrey Approach

The Shift Surrey guide provides an overview of Surrey's design approach to date, including a summary of projects and suggestions for building an internal community of practice inside government. At the end of the guide, there are several typical design tools, tips and tricks learned through Surrey's experience and suggestions for related design resources.

Champion CHAMPION:
Can be remixed

The Intelligence Augmentation Design Toolkit

There is a free and paid version of this toolkit and an associated workshop offered by the publishers. The free version of the kit provides tools to structure your thinking when designing a service that includes machine learning elements. The core idea is that you first describe a user journey in a physical or digital space, and then use the materials from the kit to brainstorm service concepts in that space.
The core materials include:
- A booklet summarising key concepts for designing IA services, and a glossary of common machine learning terms
- Two canvases for summarising the service concept
- Three card decks that describe important elements of IA service design
- A map, showing the setting for the service concept

Publisher

Futurice

Discipline or Practice

Digital transformation

Shape Better Services

The stated aim of the resource is to enable public sector organisations to use design management thinking and methods currently used by leading companies in the private sector. There is a library tools that are available for free (one must subscribe to access the case studies.) Many of these are commonly-used design methods which have been tweaked and re-branded as Shape Better Services resources. The library content is free to view but using their online guidance requires a paid subscription.

Champion CHAMPION:
Can be remixed

User Centred Design Toolkit

This resource contains a framework and guidance regarding the use of user-centred design. The publisher defines the UCD process in six phases - two planning and four delivery phases. The two planning phases focus on typical project planning aspects such as problem space, resources, agency readiness, team logistics, governance, etc. The four delivery phases are about action, talking to users to understand their real needs, prototyping potential solutions, and building the minimum viable product ready for public use.
Each phase contains guidance, phase time-frames, workshop templates, tools and a checklist for deciding to proceed to the next phase.

Champion CHAMPION:
Can be remixed

Civic Service Design Tools & Tactics

An introduction to service design for public servants, and a set of practical ways to include design methods in your work. This resource was developed for the City of New York but is relevant to other cities, governments, and innovation labs as well.

Publisher

City of New York

Discipline or Practice

Service Design

ideas42 A/B Testing

An A/B test measures and compares the effectiveness of different versions of a program feature, service, or communication. This interactive tool helps users prepare for A/B tests, create random assignments of users to A or B, and helps users analyse which was more successful. The publishers suggest that this approach can be used by governments to optimize outreach materials, communications and engagement, program features, and processes (e.g., applications, payments).

Publisher

ideas42

Discipline or Practice

Behavioural insights

Tools for each stage of innovation

This resource includes a variety of tools and techniques, enabling government entities to develop initiatives and come up with innovative solutions to enhance the efficiency of the government sector, and improve the services provided by the government to individuals and entities.

Basic BASIC:
Allows reuse

Challenge Prizes: A Practice Guide

Challenge Prizes: A practice guide provides practical guidance and support to help explore challenge prizes and offers guidance on designing and running a challenge prize.
The resource covers what challenge prizes are, guidance on deciding whether a challenge prize is right for your situation, and scoping and planning a prize--including a Challenge Prize Design Worksheet and Challenge Prize Schedule Worksheet.

Publisher

Nesta

Discipline or Practice

Social Innovation

Design

Strategic Design