Speaking at DesignX Chris Govias provides an overview of digital service design at the Canadian Government. Chris worked as the Head of Design for the UK’s Ministry of Justice and the Canadian Digital Service.
Chris quantifies the Service Design skill in government, that it is a holistic user-centric process of designing the entire customer experience, not just one particular activity.
He provides an example of how they developed a new solution for sending money to people in prison. Previously it cost £18 to send £100, through buying a postal order, insurance and posting it. Their solution reduced this to zero. They also develop a similar improvement for court fees and tribunal costs, digitizing the forms involved, as well as building a lightweight system for booking prison visits.
For Canada Chris is working on projects including improving the citizenship process, providing benefits to veterans and proving indigenous status.
He also shares his experiences of the difficulties facing these new approaches, notably legacy systems and organizational politics, skepticism, fear of complexity and resistance to change.