Last week was Services Week 2021. As part of the cross-organisational public sector event series, 56 remote sessions, organised by 37 different organisations, took place from Monday to Friday.
Local government, central government, devolved government, arm’s length bodies and various parts of the NHS co-ran and contributed to the sessions. The 56 events had about 3,000 participants, and more than a third of all sessions have been recorded. The videos have already received more than 2,500 views, and the playlist is available to all UK public servants. The link has been published via the #ServicesWeek channel on UK government Slack and Local gov digital Slack .
Due to demand, some meetups will continue, like the content design and user research meetup .
We published 2 new posts on this blog and 2 on the Design in government blog: on creating conditions for effective service design , on showing the rewards of user-centred service design at scale , on things product teams need from designers , and on creating the space for service design .
Our colleagues at the Department for Work and Pensions wrote about why they speak their users’ language and how content design helped them improve the Universal Credit user experience . And our peers at the Department for Education (DfE) explained what a service line is and why they mapped them in DfE .
Through a form, we asked participants for anonymous feedback on the session they attended and Services Week 2021 overall. Here are some of the things we heard:
Services Week makes work visible across the public sector, helps join us all up, and enables sharing, learning and new connections that can have positive impact beyond the week.”
“I love to hear what other services are discovering, how user needs are being met and challenges overcome. Also helpful to learn about any new tools colleagues are using. It’s a great showcase of some of the incredible things we're doing in government.” “I learn so much from the experience of those who’ve gone before me. It helps me improve the work I do in my organisation.
Here’s a recap of the week, as told through social media.
“#ServicesWeek 2021 just got kicked off by @GDSTeam @Martin_Jordan @thommeread @lisajjeffery @Shaaah01 with snapshots from @GOVUK @WestMids_CA @mrmjprice and our #Servicedesign lead Sam Ernstzen from @digitalscots ? Looking forward to the upcoming sessions!”
“First UCD refresh/services week session this morning on NHS Standards. Held for @NHSBSA and opened up to colleagues across gov, me and Nigel would like to say thanks for bearing with the Teams presenting at the start! #ServicesWeek”
“Absolutely loved today! Great to be able to share the story of @BJSSLtd’s partnership with @HomesEngland so far, and to share the stage with such pros in @richardbrowne80, @MossMo55 and Martin. Excited for the rest of this week! @GDSTeam #ServicesWeek #Data #WorkingInTheOpen”
“#servicesweek across UK government this week. Loads of people sharing great stories of service design and agile delivery in practice. Theme: accessible, equitable, sustainable services #servicedesign #agile #govdesign #govdigital #goodservices”
“I’m going to bed early, because I don’t want to miss out mañana’s #servicedesignbreakfast #ServicesWeek #sdn #servicedesign 8.AM GMT”
“BBC and @GDSTeam show how to do hour-long in depth talks online without any lengthy text to distract or confuse audience. Impactful images. Recording and captions sent after. Plus chat channel. Accessible to everyone #ServicesWeek”
“Amazing to see 334+ people from across the Civil Service, gov and public sector at @GDSTeam & @BBC #Accessibility webinar this morning #ServicesWeek Shows how important and how much people care about making information accessible to all. Raising hands (Love a design system!)”
“Great to hear from @5gruraldorset about their work on #5G within a rural and coastal community as part of the Government Services Week. Particularly important to see the way the project has been community driven from the outset e.g. via the Connected Coasts workpackage #MustBe5G”
“#ServicesWeek @abbott567 #DWPa11y What things can I do to make the virtual events accessible - things I need to think about or consider - thanks”
“Super proud to be a part of #ServicesWeek today! I’m just settling down to hear from @CharlotteEmilyM @liamhawkes and @sallydayo - our @HODigital Policy Innovation CoLab team: applying user-centred design to solve problems and design services that work” Wednesday
“Really enjoyed gate-crashing a Content Design and User Research meet-up today. Fantastic lightening talks and superbly compèred by @danhowarth Time spent as a BA understanding the needs of fellow practices is never wasted time #ServicesWeek”
“Takeaway: It's not enough to make the statement, you need; understanding, buy-in, motivation and most importantly commitment from all levels of the organisation. Especially in traditionally role centric, hierarchical organisations like ours. great session @annarzepczynski”
“Awesome session, thanks Anna! Some great take-backs to my @GDSacademy day job: all roles can be user-centred, you need to want to be user-centred, reframe roles & value returns to be user-centred, understand blockers & enablers #culturechange #leadership #ServicesWeek”
“Ran an alpha of my 'how to spot a service' workshop for #ServicesWeek - Lots to learn and iterate from. Thanks to everyone who came. Here's what people took away...” Thursday
“Following her talk as part of #ServicesWeek, lead service designer @annarzepczynski has written this great blog on the work and ambitions around creating the conditions for effective service design. #ServiceDesign #UserCentred”
“Went to a great content and UR meet up yesterday as part of #ServicesWeek 2021. I’m on day 3 of a new job and this quote from Laura Yarrow really resonated with me. So it’s stuck on my desk to remind me to be a little more patient!”
“Looking forward to the Standards and Guidance show and tell this afternoon - esp @chanel_can and @Lin_Kim_ who will be sharing the framework we created to help @Essex_CC teams explore the impact of hybrid working #ServicesWeek – I've published a bit more about our approach (which we'll be sharing more widely in the next few weeks) on the blog”
“Trying out clubhouse for #ServicesWeek” Friday
“All ready for our #ServicesWeek talk at 12 – Halfway through #ServicesWeek. If you work in the public sector, me and @Lozza119 are doing a session on Friday about our work on #Census2021. Sign up”
“Interesting #DesignSystems call during #ServicesWeek. We covered: DS team updates, Various prototyping programs, Welsh language components, Testing process of components. You can read the notes here”
“Attended the session on the Leaving Prisons Project for #servicesweek, such a great presentation and approach to such a hard problem.”
“Enjoying the @GDSTeam Open Show and Tell. Fantastic focus on #inclusion and #accessibility during #ServicesWeek and the scale is eye opening.”
“And #ServicesWeek 2021 is finished! We had about 3,000 participants in 57 sessions in the last 5 days. And recapped and wrapped up the week in a @TwitterSpaces session incl. @MarcOConnor21 @lisajjeffery @mrmjprice @IamKathrynGrace @stevenjmesser @vickytnz — thanks everyone!”
We finished Services Week 2021 with an open Show and Tell at GDS. You can watch it below.
Please share and complete the Services Week 2021 feedback form , if you have attended a session. It helps us to improve and evolve the format for next year.
In case you ran and recorded a session that hasn’t been added to the playlist, write us an email . We are happy to add your video to YouTube.
Subscribe to the blog if you want to read more about service transformation and join the #servicedesign channel on Slack .