If I could tell you 3 things – notes from a brief career in the public service

Recently a colleague asked me what 3 things I would say if I ever had an audience of Secretaries (very senior public servants) that would help them do things to help make public services better for end users. This is (roughly) what I said: Your organisation will benefit more from you being user centred than the users ever will.  It is a common misconception that…

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Why we say no to surveys and focus groups

Originally published on the DTA Blog. Surveys and focus groups aren’t used much in our user-centred design process. These are the reasons why. You can’t get authentic, actionable insights in a few clicks Think about the last time you filled in a survey. As you were filling in that survey, did you feel as though you were really, genuinely able to express to that organisation how…

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‘I want a pony!’ or the critical difference between user research and market research

Originally published on the DTA Blog. Research is not a new phenomenon in government. When you start a new project it is very possible that there is a wheelbarrow-full of previous, relevant research for you to review. Most policy, for example, is evidence based. Similarly when it comes to service delivery, there is often no shortage of research – often in the form of market…

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Ask first, judge later

Here’s a pattern I’ve observed in myself and others over the years. People tell you about something. It doesn’t match your world view or expectations (what you think is right or true) You judge quickly. Because of the mismatch you reject. If you’re a proper bore you may even layer on a little ridicule. This is a natural part of being human. It’s one of the…

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