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Service Design: what we can learn from the UK Government – Lou Downe Lou Downe

Service design is still in its infancy in the Netherlands, but in the UK Government it has been the practice for years. Lou Downe, now Director of Design for Land and Planning for the UK Government, shared the success story of and the UK Governments digital transformation.


What is service design?

Based on the principle ‘Do the hard work to make it simple’, looks beyond the user-friendliness of their website. With service design they redesign the services themselves. Many services have a history of decades and with many services the organisation of these services is exactly the same as in the past. This leads to situations in which a citizen has to go to 3 ministries for a single question and sometimes has to fill in 8 forms. Service design does not focus on the organization, but on the ‘user need’: how can we design a service that best meets the needs of the customer?

Principles of service design

Lou has drawn up 15 principles that service design in the government must comply with.

About Lou Downe

  • Director of design for planing and land for the UK Government
  • Former Director of Design and Service Standards for the UK Government, based at GDS.
  • Founder of service design in government.
  • Voted one of the UKs top 50 creative leaders, and one of world’s 100 most influential people in digital government.
Lou Downe on the Dutch Conference on Digital Accessibility - NCDT 2019