ScotPayments Design in Action (Part 1: Introduction) 

May 15, 2024 by No Comments | Category ScotPayments, Service design, User-Centred Design

Blog by Fiona MacLellan and Cal Marr to celebrate ScotPayments milestones including £40 million with our Design in Action blog post series. 

Our team have a few milestones to celebrate this week! On 15 May 2024  ScotPayments service processed our 100th payment run, which means we’ve sent over £40million across 20,000 payments since we launched in December 2021. You’ll find more information on volumes and values below. But first, how did we get here? Read this blog to find out more about our process and meet some of the User-Centred Design (UCD) team. 

Graphic displaying key statistics and upwards arrow: in May 2024 ScotPayments Service has made its 100th payment run to the value of £40 million through transactions total of 20,000

ScotPayments Service Data (exact figures listed at end of blog post)

We’ve been busy growing our team, our user base and our service offering. In the last 6 months, new features include:  

Right now, we’re working on new partner onboarding as we move towards our public beta phase.  

We listen to our users 

In ScotPayments we work in a user-centred way. We’re aligned to the Scottish Approach to Service Design. Since we began our programme in 2018 with an in-depth discovery, we’ve worked hard to support and empower our users to actively participate in the definition, design and delivery of ScotPayments. This helps us to make evidence-based decisions and has resulted in a high level of user satisfaction.  

Who’s in our UCD team? 

There are four UCD roles in the ScotPayments programme: Service Design, User Research, Content Design and Interaction Design. 

These practices work closely together with the rest of the ScotPayments team. Through collaborative methods that engage both users and service teams, we aim to gain understanding of the problem space and make evidence-based decisions. Here’s a brief introduction to our UCD roles. 

line drawings of 5 people with headsets 

Fiona, Cat, Ryan, Cal and Leo – UCD team on ScotPayments

Service Design: The role of Service Design is to balance user needs with technical feasibility and business requirements, aiming to create seamless experiences that allows a user to achieve their goals. Service Design brings an end-to-end understanding of services. This leads to holistic and meaningful improvements across the user’s entire journey. We break down the components of a user’s journey into service moments, from learning about to onboarding, business as usual, and support.  

Fiona MacLellan is the Service Design Lead and joined as we moved into the alpha phase. Since then, we’ve progressed to beta, turned our service lights on, and grown the User-Centred Design team to five members. 

At the latest International Design in Government: 24-hour Remote Conference 2023, Fiona presented to a cross-government audience on Service Design in ScotPayments. She spoke about her experience as a designer of building common platforms, service patterns and creating critical national infrastructure in the Scottish Government. 

User Research: Cat Binnie is the Senior User Researcher, moving from Social Security Directorate UCD team a year ago. Ryan Bowler is the User Researcher. 

Cat and Ryan are responsible for understanding users, what they’re trying to do and what must be in place to meet their needs. They plan, design and carry out research activities with users that help the ScotPayments team get a deep understanding of the people we’re serving. Research is conducted with users regularly using a variety of methods to gather their feedback. Cat and Ryan work hard to embed the insights from research within the team to ensure that the service is built on user needs. 

Content Design: Cal Marr is the Content Designer in the team and joined most recently, at the start of this year. Content Designers make things easier for users to understand. 

Cal makes sure all the content on ScotPayments meets user needs. This includes all the information that users interact with during training, on our information site, and on the core platform. Cal also makes all the content on ScotPayments accessible and easy to understand. This helps people use the ScotPayments service and do the tasks they need to. 

Interaction Design: Leo Reid is the Interaction Designer. He works out the best way for users to interact with ScotPayments, in terms of both overall flow and at the level of individual design elements. 

Leo seeks to understand what the problem is, explores ways to solve it and creates solutions that can then be tested with users. He creates rapid prototypes that allow the User Researchers to test concepts with users, and iterates designs based on user feedback. He designs to accessibility standards, using the Scottish Government Design System and WCAG 2.2 guidelines, to ensure that the system is easy to use and accessible for everyone.  

Our process 

line drawing showing the phases of discovery (speech bubble icon), design (lightbulb icon) and delivery (cog and spanner icon) looping around with arrows. Text at the top of circle reads: continuous improvement through iterative design with users. 

Iterative Design Framework

We work through a circular framework for iterative design which helps us be responsive. When we review existing designs with current and potential users, we gather feedback which allows us to continuously improve our service. We also explore new trends and discover emerging needs. We plan for iterative changes based on evidence from user research, analytics, design system alignment and industry standards. 

We’ve covered a brief introduction to our values, process and people. In our few next posts, we’ll share some recent insights from an inclusive design deep dive, including desk research on catering for the unbanked population and how we work to make our interface accessible for those using assistive technologies. 

ScotPayments service data 

Date: 15th May 2024 

Cumulative value: £40,563,840.47 

Volume of payments: 20,315 

Number of payments runs: 100 

Number of releases since launch: 25 

To find out more about ScotPayments visit: 

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