skip navigation
skip mega-menu

Service Design for Smarter Planning – The Enduring Importance of Putting the User First

Sara Di Domenico, Lead Consultant & Hope Bristow, Senior Consultant, Informed Solutions

Over the years, our UCD teams have tackled the innovative transformation of citizen-facing services that have met a wide variety of needs; from understanding and reduction of NO2 pollution through national clean air zones, to reducing the risk of fires through a national fire incident reporting system, modern digital policing platform development, and enhanced democracy through advanced, effective digital engagement. Now more than ever, we are seeing a complex mix of user requirements and needs applied to smarter environmental planning initiatives through our national and international work in both the UK and Australia with New South Wales Government, The Crown Estate, and NatureScot.

Through all our rich experience in this space, we understand the value in capturing and understanding user needs to inform service design. Who are the users? What problems must a service tackle as a priority? How do we validate if the service is meeting user need? 

Keeping the user at the heart of the service is the ingredient for success. Empathy lies at the heart of quality design. Ultimately, there is only one user need, which is to achieve their end goal. 

For example: Someone wants to develop on sensitive land, or they want to receive compensation or a grant payment to support their business, or to make changes to land surrounding a property. Badly designed services can be a barrier to a user achieving success. Services that are designed around users’ needs allow them to achieve their end goals with minimal disruption. This ultimately will result in higher overall customer satisfaction and increased user engagement.

That being said - all too often business needs can play second fiddle, or indeed be overlooked when designing a service. How a business functions, and what it needs from the service, plays a critical role in effectively delivering to end users. By working closely with organisations and their internal users we are able to develop services that satisfy everyone’s needs, thereby reducing the time, effort, and resource to implement service design.  From our experience, one of our key takeaways, and a cornerstone of our user-centred design approach, is the importance of understanding organisations’ drivers and needs to ultimately help external users achieve their own goals.

Take for example our work with NatureScot in support of Scottish Government’s aims to  protect Scottish land and be a global leader in sustainable land management. At present, citizens wishing to develop or change land use must submit planning applications via their local authority, whose team then pass to NatureScot to consult the relevant data sources on land quality, protection measures, and associated risks to take a decision on whether permission can be granted.   Through taking a holistic user-centred design approach, we are honing-in on the data needed to help NatureScot’s team of experts make fast and accurate decisions, thus better meeting the citizens’ needs.

Additionally, through the improvement and transformation of NatureScot’s internal processes around data collection, analysis, and local authority and citizen engagement, enhancements can be made to external facing services. This will help citizens gain faster, more effective, and accurate answers to their application, whilst helping meet Scottish Government’s aims to sustainably manage land.

By leveraging UCD principles, service designers can stay focused on creating optimal, user-friendly services that embraces the true art of service designs – balancing the needs of end user of a service (e.g., citizens) with an organisations’ needs (the requirement and drive to serve end users effectively).

Explore jobs at Informed Solutions

Product Business Development Manager (Public and Private Sectors)

About UsInformed Solutions delivers digital data and technology solutions that help make the world a smarter, safer, greener, and healthier place.Founded in 1992, we are a successful, growing International digital transformation consultancy. We deliver multi-Queen’s Award for innovation winning platforms and services that support large-scale digital transformation. Our digital, data and technology solutions are used by globally recognised public and private sector brands operating in a variety of sectors including Civil Defence, Healthcare, Sustainable Environment and Land Asset Management, and Digital Democracy.Our purpose is to create economic and social value by helping to build a more inclusive, fair, and safe society through ethical use of technology and data and investing in digital skills.The multi-Queen’s Award-winning data and AI-powered platforms and services we develop support large-scale transformation of services that make a difference.  They are used by millions of people every day in a connected, converged world.The OpportunityMake a difference and advance your career by helping deliver some of the UK’s most important #tech4good projects.You’ll join a talented team of dynamic and driven professional problem solvers; creative thinkers and solutions builders who thrive on helping clients meet the most exciting digital transformation challenges.At a certified Great Place to Work® you’ll experience a dynamic and nurturing environment that rewards initiative and flexibility and enjoy a career path tailored to your own aspirations.CultureWe are proud to nurture a workplace culture that is diverse, inclusive, rewarding, and egalitarian.We strive to live up to our values of Innovation, Excellence, and Integrity by thinking about things differently, always doing our best, and acting in good faith at all times.We’re a team of passionate problem solvers. We take pride in helping our clients accelerate and de-risk digital business change so that we can collaborate and co-design world class digital services that solve complex business and safety critical problems, particularly where place, location or geography are important. Our workplace culture reflects how we go about our work, the type of work that we choose to do, and our commitment and contribution to the sustainable social, environmental, and economic development aims of the communities that we are part of.  We focus both on technical skills and equally importantly, on the cultural fit of prospective new colleagues. Our success relies on fostering an environment where creativity and collaboration produces great outcomes for our people, our clients, and our partners.Why We Work at InformedLearn more about life at Informed Solutions by going to Informed.com/Careers

Informed Solutions
Lead Developers

About UsInformed Solutions delivers digital data and technology solutions that help make the world a smarter, safer, greener, and healthier place.Founded in 1992, we are a successful, growing International digital transformation consultancy. We deliver multi-Queen’s Award for innovation winning platforms and services that support large-scale digital transformation. Our digital, data and technology solutions are used by globally recognised public and private sector brands operating in a variety of sectors including Civil Defence, Healthcare, Sustainable Environment and Land Asset Management, and Digital Democracy.Our purpose is to create economic and social value by helping to build a more inclusive, fair, and safe society through ethical use of technology and data and investing in digital skills.The multi-Queen’s Award-winning data and AI-powered platforms and services we develop support large-scale transformation of services that make a difference.  They are used by millions of people every day in a connected, converged world.The OpportunityMake a difference and advance your career by helping deliver some of the UK’s most important #tech4good projects.You’ll join a talented team of dynamic and driven professional problem solvers; creative thinkers and solutions builders who thrive on helping clients meet the most exciting digital transformation challenges.At a certified Great Place to Work® you’ll experience a dynamic and nurturing environment that rewards initiative and flexibility and enjoy a career path tailored to your own aspirations.CultureWe are proud to nurture a workplace culture that is diverse, inclusive, rewarding, and egalitarian.We strive to live up to our values of Innovation, Excellence, and Integrity by thinking about things differently, always doing our best, and acting in good faith at all times.We’re a team of passionate problem solvers. We take pride in helping our clients accelerate and de-risk digital business change so that we can collaborate and co-design world class digital services that solve complex business and safety critical problems, particularly where place, location or geography are important. Our workplace culture reflects how we go about our work, the type of work that we choose to do, and our commitment and contribution to the sustainable social, environmental, and economic development aims of the communities that we are part of.  We focus both on technical skills and equally importantly, on the cultural fit of prospective new colleagues. Our success relies on fostering an environment where creativity and collaboration produces great outcomes for our people, our clients, and our partners.Why We Work at InformedLearn more about life at Informed Solutions by going to Informed.com/Careers

Informed Solutions
Live Service Manager

About UsInformed Solutions delivers digital data and technology solutions that help make the world a smarter, safer, greener, and healthier place.Founded in 1992, we are a successful, growing International digital transformation consultancy. We deliver multi-Queen’s Award for innovation winning platforms and services that support large-scale digital transformation. Our digital, data and technology solutions are used by globally recognised public and private sector brands operating in a variety of sectors including Civil Defence, Healthcare, Sustainable Environment and Land Asset Management, and Digital Democracy.Our purpose is to create economic and social value by helping to build a more inclusive, fair, and safe society through ethical use of technology and data and investing in digital skills.The multi-Queen’s Award-winning data and AI-powered platforms and services we develop support large-scale transformation of services that make a difference.  They are used by millions of people every day in a connected, converged world.The OpportunityMake a difference and advance your career by helping deliver some of the UK’s most important #tech4good projects.You’ll join a talented team of dynamic and driven professional problem solvers; creative thinkers and solutions builders who thrive on helping clients meet the most exciting digital transformation challenges.At a certified Great Place to Work® you’ll experience a dynamic and nurturing environment that rewards initiative and flexibility and enjoy a career path tailored to your own aspirations.CultureWe are proud to nurture a workplace culture that is diverse, inclusive, rewarding, and egalitarian.We strive to live up to our values of Innovation, Excellence, and Integrity by thinking about things differently, always doing our best, and acting in good faith at all times.We’re a team of passionate problem solvers. We take pride in helping our clients accelerate and de-risk digital business change so that we can collaborate and co-design world class digital services that solve complex business and safety critical problems, particularly where place, location or geography are important. Our workplace culture reflects how we go about our work, the type of work that we choose to do, and our commitment and contribution to the sustainable social, environmental, and economic development aims of the communities that we are part of.  We focus both on technical skills and equally importantly, on the cultural fit of prospective new colleagues. Our success relies on fostering an environment where creativity and collaboration produces great outcomes for our people, our clients, and our partners.Why We Work at InformedLearn more about life at Informed Solutions by going to Informed.com/Careers

Informed Solutions
Account Manager - Healthcare Sector

About UsInformed Solutions delivers digital data and technology solutions that help make the world a smarter, safer, greener, and healthier place.Founded in 1992, we are a successful, growing International digital transformation consultancy. We deliver multi-Queen’s Award for innovation winning platforms and services that support large-scale digital transformation. Our digital, data and technology solutions are used by globally recognised public and private sector brands operating in a variety of sectors including Civil Defence, Healthcare, Sustainable Environment and Land Asset Management, and Digital Democracy.Our purpose is to create economic and social value by helping to build a more inclusive, fair, and safe society through ethical use of technology and data and investing in digital skills.The multi-Queen’s Award-winning data and AI-powered platforms and services we develop support large-scale transformation of services that make a difference.  They are used by millions of people every day in a connected, converged world.The OpportunityMake a difference and advance your career by helping deliver some of the UK’s most important #tech4good projects.You’ll join a talented team of dynamic and driven professional problem solvers; creative thinkers and solutions builders who thrive on helping clients meet the most exciting digital transformation challenges.At a certified Great Place to Work® you’ll experience a dynamic and nurturing environment that rewards initiative and flexibility and enjoy a career path tailored to your own aspirations.CultureWe are proud to nurture a workplace culture that is diverse, inclusive, rewarding, and egalitarian.We strive to live up to our values of Innovation, Excellence, and Integrity by thinking about things differently, always doing our best, and acting in good faith at all times.We’re a team of passionate problem solvers. We take pride in helping our clients accelerate and de-risk digital business change so that we can collaborate and co-design world class digital services that solve complex business and safety critical problems, particularly where place, location or geography are important. Our workplace culture reflects how we go about our work, the type of work that we choose to do, and our commitment and contribution to the sustainable social, environmental, and economic development aims of the communities that we are part of.  We focus both on technical skills and equally importantly, on the cultural fit of prospective new colleagues. Our success relies on fostering an environment where creativity and collaboration produces great outcomes for our people, our clients, and our partners.Why We Work at InformedLearn more about life at Informed Solutions by going to Informed.com/Careers

Informed Solutions

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up here