Summary

We use services every day, like paying for products online, using public transport or posting a letter.


We use services every day, like paying for products online, using public transport or posting a letter.

A service is something:

  • you use but don’t necessarily own
  • made up of one or many steps or tasks — online or offline

> Services can be run by one or more organisations and might be local, regional or national.

In the private sector, organisations usually own whole services. In the public sector multiple organisations often provide only part of one service which can make it difficult for users.

An example of a cross-organisational service

When you apply for a passport you might:

  • call the Passport Adviceline to ask for a form
  • get a passport photo taken
  • fill in your form and take to the Post Office
  • use the Post Office ‘Check and Send’ service
  • HM Passport Office process your application and send you a passport

This process involves:

  • citizens — users of a service
  • government employees —​ front line staff, policy makers, designers and delivery teams
  • organisations and third parties —​ who deliver advice and support about government services
  • other governments —​ in Scotland, not all powers are devolved which means working closely with the UK government
  • ministers —​ decide, steer and guide government programmes

No matter the size or complexity of the service, collaborative design will help create an experience that’s easy, quick and better for users.

When a service starts and ends

Like UK Government Digital Service we design end-to-end services, from the point where the user starts trying to achieve a goal to the point when they’re finished.