SDNC13 -Day2- Designing Services Nobody Wants by Dominique Bohn & Blair Neufeld
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SDNC13 -Day2- Designing Services Nobody Wants by Dominique Bohn & Blair Neufeld

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Designing Services Nobody Wants by Dominique Bohn & Blair Neufeld – Province of British Columbia ...

Designing Services Nobody Wants by Dominique Bohn & Blair Neufeld – Province of British Columbia

Government provides many ‘services’ folks prefer to avoid: when you pay your taxes, go to court, apply for social assistance or get sick, you are compelled to interact with government. Yet government services rarely meet citizen expectations, and staff struggle with reduced budgets, obsolete legislation and antiquated practices. This presentation describes how The British Columbia government is adopting a service design approach to meet these challenges. An exemplar project addressed the need to improve landlord / tenant dispute resolution, a high volume, high touch process that was overburdened despite several traditional quality improvement initiatives. See how prototyping service avoidance, smarter intake and status updates yield measurable service improvements for reluctant customers.

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  • We have a problem with access to justice, crime is down but courtroom backlog is up. Why is that? One of the big reasons is that folks are trying to self serve. Court Services is everything in and around courthouse. Inherently a fabulous context for service design, courthouse (front stage theatre of court – near stage and backstage: judges chambers, holding cells, registries), human interactions.
  • I have a great job, but no one wants the services we design. And this is true of much of gov’t.
  • If you seek out a gov’t service its either a regulatory thing you need to comply with, so you need a licence to drive, hunt, or conduct business. That experience is probably tedious. But often its worse, its dire need or full on crisis that brings you to gov’t.
  • In the forms of regulation, policing and taxation
  • Not just for folks in custody, but for regular citizens on jury duty, for witnesses in cases, and increasingly for litigants on their own. The space itself conveys authority of the judiciary and the law, the conventions of court (the language, the protocols, the design standards) the necessary gravitas. But that makes it intimidating, confusing, labored. The first thing we can do to make court better is to keep folks out of it.
  • The filing and recording is staggering, and largely paper-based.
  • To orchestrate that gravitas, there’s a cast of thousands, backstage, near stage, before and after court appearances.
  • Lots of opportunity, both within formal court and outside of it. But it’s a big push for the justice sector, collectively, to even think about this as a service, and as something that needs to be consciously evaluated and designed. Yet there is agreement that access to justice, and administration of courts, is vexed.
  • The cost of NOT designing justice is incredibly high. At a practical level, we can address so much – and we are: software for court clerks that eliminates paper duplication, etc. We can make this work more smoothly.
  • Administrative errors, failed design, can mean that we’re eroding justice. There’s no recourse, you can’t find another service provider. Administration of justice is what only gov’t can do.
  • We have some very bold thought leadership to follow.
  • See some real challenges in government converting high expectations for innovation into practical projects. Often an ambitious business case. Or better, but still not the full picture, exploratory research. Journey maps that aren’t enough to get us on the journey.
  • Builds on our UX toolbox – started with consolidated web around top services and the people who use them (rather than promotional messaging and administrative silos) – growing UX capacity in the public service. This work is geared more toward business leadership, significant planning and spending. Shaped this around existing government budget structures, transformation planning
  • Better means more efficient and simple.
  • But its not always the obvious way. If you focus on each channel separately, you don’t get a full picture. As soon as people cross channels, which they do, it falls apart. You need to analyze and research for results that you can act on and design to.Because we are looking for efficiency in cost to government.
  • Even when the task is something seemingly discrete like building a website, it helps immensely to know where and how people will use it. What distractions will they have? What times of day? Filling out your passport application is probably something people won’t do on their mobile phone.
  • Dramatically increase the usability of form for users. Save employees time re-completing forms. Didn’t even need to make this an online form. A couple of people for two weeks. But things came out in these tests beyond functional usability. You see how hard it is for these folks to fill out any form. Need to save all these receipts, file annually. You start thinking, is there a smarter default.
  • Scandanavian countries do this with all income tax.
  • Vexed process, highly utilized, long phone wait times, over one month process, exhausted staff. No baseline for how the service was working – just stats that were hard to get any insight from. We analyzed the whole process from before you engage, for both litigants and for staff.
  • 105 steps reduced to 25 through lean project.
  • Supporting information is not well utilized. People go for the “Ending a Tenancy” form (top right) – which is essentially the most disruptive and highest cost option. Used to be a problem, RTB was in Energy and Mines, people tried to find it by Ministry. Impossible to find because people used different language than gov’t.
  • Why do we produce printed information that no one reads or understands? The same in courthouses and registries. Because clerks and information officers can’t give legal advice, so the workaround (that doesn’t work) is to hand them information.
  • Kerry Bodine (Forrester) – this includes data as well, but only close enough for jazz (# of days for process)
  • ----- Meeting Notes (2013-11-19 19:08) -----Based on service review
  • Forms are how citizens deal with gov’t… we knew this one was an opportunity for improvementActually needed to slow the online application process down, “adding speedbumps”to provide alternatives to filing a disputeto guide applicants to better understand their rights (almost like “advice”)to improve the quality of hearings with better filed applications, which are like a legal pleadingUsing simple, low-fidelity html, created an improved form with supportive logic and prompts to help applicants to submit a better caseWe set up a kiosk at the RTB front counter and solicited landlords and tenants to use our prototype for their application instead of going to the regular information officer.(it wasn’t quite as rustic as Lydia’s water sales shack in Nairobi but quite simple)Gave these applicants a diary study to complete each week prior to the hearinge.g. if claiming for 3 months unpaid rent, prompt a landlord to also claim for possession of the suitee.g. clarify that a tenant cannot claim for “emergency repairs” except in a few extreme circumstnces
  • - Learned from research that “status awareness” is not often done well for government services, especially for a process that can take several weeksThough applicants waited several weeks for a hearing and paid $50-$100 fees, they appear at the hearing without appropriate evidence, without serving notice to the other party and often on the wrong dates. Or applicants would no-show.We simply intercepted live dispute applications (where the applicant had volunteered) and manually sent email messages that appeared to be from “the system"removed reminders from the application form and added them to reminders so the right information was given at the right timeprompt applicants to meet obligations by key dates e.g. serving notice to other party within 5 days of filing a disputeoffer option to withdraw from dispute (rather than noshow)
  • Successfully used in The Netherlands for family lawIntent is to get disputing parties to negotiate with each other with minimal intervention from arbitrator.This is used extensively by Paypal through eBay, though landlord tenant disputes are a much different context than buying garden gnomes on ebayTested initially through role play with information officers and arbitratorsNow recruiting for prototype deployment with actual dispute applicants (Nov 2013)We will issue a legally binding decision based on the agreement from the two parties.This prototype has broader implications for several other tribunals undergoing transformation in our government… speeding tickets, traffic court,employment standards
  • Either clarify the formality and narrowness of core service, or establish supporting services (like Justice Access Centre), with resources and policies to allow for more fulsome provision.
  • This is the direction of many tribunals or smaller scale courts in British Columbia. Rather than a single formal hearing, we need to offer an array of tools to settle disputes so we can apply the right level of effort to the problem.

SDNC13 -Day2- Designing Services Nobody Wants by Dominique Bohn & Blair Neufeld SDNC13 -Day2- Designing Services Nobody Wants by Dominique Bohn & Blair Neufeld Presentation Transcript

  • Digital Service Strategy
  • Designing Service Nobody Wants Dominique + Blair | The Province of British Columbia SDN 2013 Photo by czelticgirl on flickr
  • BLAIR NEUFELD Director, Service Design Government Communications + Public Engagement
  • DOMINIQUE BOHN Executive Director, Service Reform Ministry of Justice | Court Services jsskaare on flickr
  • WE ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF DESIGNING SERVICES AND POLICY THAT PEOPLE WOULD PREFER TO AVOID.
  • PEOPLE LOOK TO GOVERNMENT SERVICE WHEN THEY ARE SICK, POOR, ANGRY, IN CRISIS. Canonac on flickr
  • Or government service comes after you! Joe Rayment on flickr
  • AND COURT, ESPECIALLY, IS NOT A PLACE MOST PEOPLE WOULD CHOOSE TO BE. Photo by Hazeldon73 on flickr
  • Court is a place, an idea, a byzantine process, a social performance, and a whack of paperwork. Photo by jpheff3 on flickr
  • Including registries and other back stage and near stage touchpoints. Photo by kriegsman on flickr
  • ADDITIONAL TO ITS HISTORY AND DEEP SOCIAL MEANING, JUSTICE, AND COURTS ESPECIALLY, IS A SERVICE TO CITIZENS. Photo by mad-eye-ii on flickr
  • BUT THOSE OF US WORKING IN COURTS SHOULD TAKE RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE THE EXPERIENCE THE BEST POSSIBLE, FOR CITIZENS, STAFF, JUDGES, LAWYERS…
  • MUDDLES AND SERVICE FAILURES AMOUNT TO A MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE. (We can’t F it up.) HBO on flickr
  • “...focus on timely, balanced justice and public safety operations, on better service to the public in civil, family, administrative and criminal law settings, and on innovation in citizen-focused justice processes.”
  • “ 1. Put the Public First Too often, we focus inward on how the system operates from the point of view of those who work in it. Until we involve those who use the system in the reform process, the system will not really work for those who use it. “ - Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters
  • Good directions, but need some navigational tools to get us there. And we have challenges seeing the middle distance. Photo by dirkseca on flickr
  • The BC Service Design Playbook First Release (October 2013) Good service design is hard work, especially in government. Here’s help. Most of the time, we’d prefer to go about our lives and not have to deal with government. But when we do need something from government – a permit, a tax break, or care for an ageing parent – we want the service to be simple and supportive. This playbook describes the BC government’s approach to make peoples’ experience of government better. Its about building services with people and not for them. The design method brings together citizens and government staff to understand where the challenges are now and make sure we are solving real problems. These are practical tools to help us imagine, make and measure improved services. …more Why? How is it done? We can do even better. This is a new yet proven way to improve service holistically so that its better for citizens and for staff. It builds on our success with User Experience Design, Lean and Transformation Planning. Four phases, four months. An intensive research, prototyping, testing and planning project. Who is this for? This approach is aligned with the IM/IT process, and is a required step if you are beginning an approved capital project or considering developing a business case. And when? Before embarking on a capital project, work with the Digital Services Office to initiate a service design project following the methods in this playbook.
  • 4 Phases Discovery Opportunity Prototype Roadmap in 4 months, in line with 4 Principles Service is our business Design with citizens, not for them Try before you buy Start with simple
  • THE GOAL IS TO MAKE SERVICE BETTER FOR BOTH THOSE PROVIDING THE SERVICE AND THOSE USING IT.
  • THE WORK IS BASED ON RESEARCH WITH REAL PEOPLE IN REAL SERVICE ENVIRONMENTS.
  • IT IS BOTH POSSIBLE AND NECESSARY TO TEST AND MEASURE SERVICE. Photo by Vicki / Knitorious on flickr
  • PAIN POINTS, EMOTIONAL RESPONSES, CONTEXTS OF SERVICE, AND MORE. Photo by Dylan Passmore on flickr
  • FUEL TAX CREDIT FORM 50% failure rate with current form. In-context usability testing uncovered obvious design problems. Photo by Leo Reynolds on flickr
  • Maybe there is a smarter default? Why not a point of sale discount rather than a rebate? Photo by Leo Reynolds on flickr
  • LANDLORD – TENANT DISPUTE RESOLUTION: On the Government Services Top Ten List! Photo by kinzco on flicker
  • Online form use is down; up to 75% of counter service walk-in form submissions have errors.
  • Staff estimate that 25-30% of forms accepted into the system still have errors. We measured 5 applications with errors over a 3 hour period with an average of 10 minutes per application. (~27%)
  • Plenty of thoughtfully written supporting information in offices and online.
  • Photo by girl_named_fred on flickr
  • Telephone tribunals work well, but not without complications: missed hearings, incomplete files, etc. Photo by leonardo castana martinez on flickr
  • CREDIT CARD ONLY PARKING PRESENTS MORE DELAYS AND MISSES.
  • And wayfinding in the building is difficult. The office doesn’t have an obvious government presence.
  • “Actually I’d prefer to do [telephone arbitration] 'cause I would be really uncomfortable sitting in a room with these people that yell and scream, you know? I wouldn't want to have to be in a hostile environment. This way I'm in my own home where so I'll be able to talk.” Tenant
  • “I'm not paying tax. I'm losing income. And that's loss for the government, too.” Like just going through this process which takes a long time, it's like very frustrating … all this process, it's a disaster. Even phone calls here. You have to wait one hour to get a call back.”
  • EXPERIENCE MAP revealed more of the process, narrowed and sharpened priorities, and identified opportunities.
  • PROTOTYPING WITH REAL USERS: • New intake forms • Status awareness for cases • Peer to peer online dispute resolution
  • FORMS ARE HOW CITIZENS INTERACT WITH GOVERNMENT
  • Ease the volume and bottlenecks by helping people keeping on track with their hearing dates, paperwork, evidence.
  • Will online dispute resolution work in this context? Peer to peer?
  • NEW SERVICE MAPPING • Address service expectation gap • Provide resources in lieu of legal advice to improve applications • Direct some cases to alternate dispute resolution
  • 1. ADDRESS THE EXPECTATION GAP The core service is to issue a DECISION or ARBITRATION based on evidence from applicants. But applicants expect us to record complaints, provide compensation, enforce decisions and offer social services.
  • 2. PROVIDE RESOURCES IN LIEU OF LEGAL ADVICE TO IMPROVE APPLICATIONS Applicants have no legal representation, but staff (except arbitrators) cannot give legal advice. Improve “dispute clarification” materials online to support front line staff and applicants.
  • 3. DIRECT SOME CASES TO ALTERNATE DISPUTE RESOLUTION Instead of directing most clients to a FORMAL HEARING with arbitrator, offer - better dispute avoidance resources - party to party dispute resolution - intervention from arbitrator
  • WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE TRANSFORMATION OF JUSTICE? Photo by Law Society of Upper Canada on flickr
  • Photo by Kit Johnson on flickr
  • BLAIR NEUFELD + DOMINIQUE BOHN Province of British Columbia, Canada Photo by KimberlyFaye on flickr