This guide brings together a collection of practical tools and methods for using design in public services.

Created by Nesta and IDEO as part of Design for Europe, it offers ways to do things differently by introducing the process of design thinking, and provides guidance on on how to introduce this new approach into day-to-day work in the public sector.

It will help you to:

  • Understand the principles of design thinking and how they can be used in a government context
  • Explore the different stages of the design process, and why it is important to place citizens and users at the centre of your work
  • Start using new practical tools and methods to create change in how you tackle problems, both old and new
  • Consider the challenges you might come across when trying to implement this new approach, and how you might overcome them

Public officials are generally unfamiliar with the methods and tools associated with innovation and design thinking. The aim of the guide is to help make these approaches accessible for both policymakers and people who design and deliver public services, so that they can make larger changes in how they serve their citizens. The collection is compiled of practical tools and examples that have been tried and tested with governments all over the world. Through our work with governments, we have also witnessed some common patterns in the challenges public officials face in using design methods, and the toolkit finishes with some tips on how to overcome them.

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Contents page of the guide