DWP seeks user-centric service designers with policy skills

Written by Rebecca Hill on 28 March 2017 in News

Lead service designer role offered at a salary of around £91,000

DWP seeks service designers with experience of creating complete user journeys - Photo credit: Flickr, Giorgio Monstersino, CC BY-SA 2.0

The Department for Work and Pensions is recruiting for a lead service designer and seven service designers to develop user-centred services that are built around policies.

The DWP has posted job adverts for a Leeds-based lead service designer, offered with a salary of up to £91,535, and seven service designers or senior service designers at up to £75, 649.

The lead service designer will lead on the department’s work to “fundamentally reimagine the way that DWP services work from the ground up”, while the service designers will work as part of a multidisciplinary team to deliver the department’s public services.

The job adverts emphasised the importance of users, with both calling for the recruits to have a good understanding of user needs and the ability to work across multiple channels, including back-end systems and processes.

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In a blogpost published earlier this month, Ben Holliday, the leader of the user-centred design team at DWP digital, said that the department’s focus was increasingly moving towards designing the full end-to-end service for users.

“Many of the early services we worked on for GOV.UK were narrow in focus,” Holliday said. “In many places we started by only delivering the digital, or ‘web’ part of a user journey as part of a service.

“As our work and experience of delivery at DWP Digital has grown, our focus has shifted, so it’s important to have the right people with the ability to make the right decisions.”

In practice, he said, this means that any digital products are built around policies and operated through fully integrated back-end systems and processes, which means that content and interactions need to be designed across both digital and non-digital channels.

To do this, Holliday said, service designers must be “skilled at understanding, or articulating what a user needs to do and then making sure that what we deliver, lets people complete their goal while delivering the underlying policy intent”.

Having experienced service designers in the team brings together the department’s product and design thinking, and helps the to ensure there is a full view of the user’s overall journey.

According to the job specification, the service designers at all levels should have a good understanding of iterative design, the ability to explain ideas in a way people understand and be able to work at pace in an agile environment.

The deadline for applications is 21 April.

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