EPISODE 32: SERVICE DESIGN AWARD WINNER 2018: FJORD & THE WEST MIDLAND POLICE

Fjord and West Midland Police won the award Best in Public Sector for their project ‘Developing a police force’s digital experience for citizens’. We spoke with Giulio Fagiolini (senior visual designer at Fjord) and Kostja Paschalidis (previous senior service designer at Fjord). 


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Most surprising insight 

Part of the project was the implementation of a new website. This resulted in a data overview on the process users need to undertake. For example, it shows which steps users have to go through when declaring a crime such as domestic abuse. This revealed that offering transparent and clear information has a positive effect on victims. It gives them more confidence in going to the police.

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What we learned

This project started with an extensive research phase in which the visualisation of data played an important role. The West Midland Police gathered lots of data from the 3500 phone calls the police had already received, of course with respect for privacy for all involved parties. This respect for privacy was very important in this project. The content was so sensitive that doing qualitative research was not possible in a way we service designers normally implement it. Therefor the role of quantitative data became a lot more important. 

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In qualitative research it is important to keep in mind the small reach of users. A traditional focus group includes only a small group of people. Because of this service designers can be biased in projects. When recruiting participants for qualitative research, it’s easy to fall back on people that are easy to reach, people who can make time during office hours, etc. We should always be attentive to this and keep in mind the bigger picture. Quantitative research needs to be part of the full story!

As a visual designer, Giulio wanted to make a difference. Quantitative research should be used more often in service design research. That’s why he started working with the huge pile of data (from the 3500 calls). But the richness of this data was hidden in a complex excel sheet. By making visualisations of the data, he brought the insights to life. Below you can see an example of the ‘data infused journey’ he made using RAWgraphs.

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A behind the scene story 

This project already started in 2014. Giulio told us he applied this case several times for a Service Design award. Finally this year this case was selected and won the award. This was partly because they now could show the impact made by this service. On average citizens now spend 6 minutes to report a crime, whereas before it was 20 minutes. They also managed to reduce the waiting time from 12 minutes to 2 minutes.

This shows the importance of perseverance and believing in the work you do!

Interesting links