What happened during Services Week 2021

March 12, 2021 by No Comments | Category Digital Scotland, Service design

Serena Nüsing, service designer in Digital Directorate, shares what happened during Services Week 2021 at Scottish Government and what people thought about it.

Last week was Services Week and Scottish Government got involved. Services Week is an annual self-organised week of events to discuss good, accessible, equitable, and sustainable public services. From Monday to Friday 57 sessions took place organised by 34 different organisations across the UK.

In the opening session Sam Ernstzen, our service design lead in Digital, talked about:
• How our UCD team has grown over time from a few people back in 2016 to more than 60 people now,
• The impact UCD made over the last year responding to new initiatives,
• How UCD improved our Digital Standards.

Our focus at Services Week was on raising service design awareness and bringing different parts of Scottish government and the public sector together. We’ve talked about creating a service mind-set, building service design capability and developing service design awareness material. Beyond that we had some great case studies presenting the impact of UCD and how design delivers at pace.

Some sessions have been recorded and the playlist is available to all UK public servants. The link has been published via the #ServicesWeek channel on UK government Slack.

We also asked some of the people, who organised a session, what they did, what motivated them and what they’ve learned. Here is what they said:

Anusree Raju – Senior Interaction Designer, Scottish Government

My colleague and I, from Scottish Government, hosted a session on ‘Content + UX: Designing COVID postcode checker for Scotland’. Our key motivation was to share our design journey from content and UX perspective and highlight key design lessons learned while designing Scottish Government’s COVID postcode checker. Also it was an interesting story about team collaboration in achieving this challenging task in a short time frame! This event was special for me as it was the first time I was taking part in Services Week and also I found it an exciting platform to connect, share knowledge and also to learn from those passionate about public sector design. This was an excellent opportunity to learn something new, which I did from the sessions I participated in. Also I really appreciate the event flexibility in organising a session based on your resources/connections available e.g. using MS teams.

Katie Dickerson – Service Designer, Scottish Enterprise

I gave a talk about how Scottish Enterprise helped businesses access coronavirus support. I was motivated to get involved by my colleague, who had also been involved in the project and felt like it was a good story of how we used data and user feedback to make changes quickly. It was great to see so many people come together to talk about how to design good services, and I can’t wait to watch the sessions that I missed on playback.

Steven Kyle, Programme Manager, Dundee City Council

When I was asked to join in the discussion in that week by joining a panel discussion on ‘Building Service Design Buy-in and Capacity’, I was happy to get involved as I thoroughly enjoy discussing service design with my peers and hearing the questions of those beginning their journey in service design. Services week was a fantastic opportunity to hear stories from others in the government sector and learn from their own service design journeys, pitfalls and successes. Having a lack of opportunities to network and engage with others over the past year it was a well needed chance to hear from others and it gave me an enthusiasm which can sometimes be missing from remote working. I will be taking that enthusiasm, ideas and insights back into my transformation work in the coming months and look forward to getting involved in more service design events later in the year.

Services Week is what we make out of it! A big thank you to everyone, who supported Services Week by organising or attending a session!

Service design is a relatively new discipline in Scottish Government situated in Digital Transformation division, however its remit is far wider than digital. If you would like to find out more about service design and how it can help you please contact or

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