Services Week is an annual celebration of end-to-end service design, focused on improving public services. Returning for the fifth time, Services Week 2023 will take place 20 to 24 March 2023 and the theme for this year is ‘Designing for Uncertain Times’.

The last few years have seen a lot of uncertainty and change in the world, and it has not always been easy to adapt to this fast-changing environment. It can be difficult to test all of our assumptions when designing at scale or pace or when things are unpredictable. Despite this, we’ve made huge strides in our design discipline at Stockport Council, introducing remote discoveries and remote user testing, Service and Design Patterns and our Formbuilder tool.

We have built a team of design leads, champions, and advocates of the practices of User Experience, Content Design, Business Analysis and Service Design. We came together recently to workshop our objectives for the next phase of our transformation programme and ensure we are best prepared to meet future changes.

Our overarching objective is to promote, support and encourage the growth and use of our 9 design principles to make a positive difference to the experience people have when they engage with us.

Our teams also support staff through the delivery of projects, products and services to improve their processes so they can spend their time with those who need the council’s help the most.

Our design principles

  • Intelligence-led decision making
  • Put users at the centre of design
  • Design whole services
  • It’s for everyone
  • Be consistent, not uniform
  • Design for security and privacy
  • Be bold, try new methods, solutions and ways of working
  • Collaborate and co-design
  • Service readiness, make sure services understand and are ready to accept change

Here’s what we have planned for 2023.

User Experience

The best part of being a User Experience designer at Stockport is knowing that I’m making a difference to how people access our services and information by creating the best experience possible for them! Being an advocate for our citizens means that I can design with understanding, empathy and confidence, knowing that I can make a difference to how people find the information they need or complete everyday tasks.

Anna Walker

Lead User Experience Designer

2023 Goals:

  • Provide upskilling opportunities for using Design Patterns for team members who will be creating user journeys for online forms
  • Upskill team members on designing forms, including using our Design Patterns and which design systems we follow
  • Provide opportunities for team members to practice using our Design Patterns
  • Provide the right tools for teams to be able to collaborate and co-design together
  • I hope to give teams the confidence to design online forms
  • Continue to champion and advocate for why we use Design Patterns

Content Design

Content Design is my passion. I love it.  It took me a long time to find this discipline as it didn’t exist when I started out my career.  It allows me to combine my love of the English language with a love of puzzle-solving.  It’s about people; making sure we cut through the many complex processes and procedures and get people to where they need to be efficiently and with compassion.  

I love nothing more than taking a problem that’s is causing issues for our users and the business and working out which bits we can help with to make life easier for everyone. Whether it’s a huge service redesign or simply changing one word, Content Designers make a difference in real-time to the people we serve.

Laura Hadley

Lead Content Designer

2023 Goals:

  • to understand the implications of WCAG 2.2 Accessibility Guidelines and roadmap our compliance
  • to continue to improve the experience of our residents and businesses though well written and user-centred content
  • to help colleagues understand how people engage with their service online and support changes in the language we use
  • to promote Content Design across the council

Business Analysis

A Business Analyst is an investigator and explorer: the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘how’.  It is an opportunity to make a difference by working with a service, and their customers, to explore how they currently work, understand their challenges and look for areas for improvements.  A Business Analyst at Stockport could work with a range of services and it’s a great opportunity to learn about the services delivered as part of a local council, and how improvements can support its residents and local communities, to make a difference.

I’m passionate about being a Business Analyst as I enjoy getting into the detail: asking questions, understanding challenges and practices and then looking for workable solutions.  As a Business Analyst I see myself as an agent for delivering improvements and lasting change.

Nicola Deeney

Lead Business Analyst

2023 Goals

  • To promote Business Analysis across the council
  • Being clear on the role and responsibilities of a Business Analyst within a project 
  • Supporting the development of and upskilling team members  
  • Consistent, concise and clear on outputs through using the right tools and techniques

Service Design

Service Design to me is a way to improve people’s lives by creating new sustainable services or improving existing ones. It is also not only a discipline and something I do at work, but this is something I live.  I love people. I love design. I love pens and sticky notes. I love making a positive change.

Zivile Petraviciute

Lead Service Designer

2023 Goals:

  • To be clear and agree on Service Designer role in the council and individual projects
  • To connect with other designers in public and private sector
  • Upskill design team members on service design process and tools
  • Champion and advocate Service Design process, tools and mindset across the council

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