7-9 March 2018

John McIntyre Conference Centre, Edinburgh

Let’s play a game: how would you go about designing a new service for families that are separating?

Session type:

Session duration:
90 minutes

Presented by:

Jack Collier

Ministry of Justice

Alejandra Diaz

Ministry of Justice

About this Hands-On

This session will be a game. Players will be formed into teams and asked to approach the problem we’ve been facing in the Ministry of Justice since 2014: how can we encourage families to use alternative services to court when going through separation and making arrangements for their children?

By the end of the game, teams will have formulated a solution to the problem at hand. They will also have a simulated experience of the problems associated with designing services in government, and thought about how they might respond to these. Finally, they will have learned about how the Family Justice Reform team dealt with those problems, what tactics worked and what didn’t.

Teams will start by being given an overview of the problem space and a budget. Depending on how they spend that budget - recruiting team members, building prototypes, launching pilots or commissioning research - they’ll be exposed to new insights to help them form their solution to the problem.

However, they’ll also be exposed to events over the course of the project: an election being called, a change of minister, parliament being blocked up and other government departments commissioning alternative solutions. Teams will have to take appropriate action to deal with these circumstances.

At the end of the session, teams will be asked to present their solution and the Family Justice team will present short case studies to show the parallels with the scenarios in the game.

Who this session is for:

  • anyone who wants to know what it’s like to design new services in government
  • anyone considering who to involve in designing a new government service
  • anyone who wants to explore the problems they might encounter when working in government service design
  • anyone who wants to have some fun!

What people will get from the session:

  • fun!
  • an understanding of the difficulties in designing new services in government, who to engage and what to think about
  • an understanding of tactics to overcome potential problems in government service design

About the Speakers

Jack Collier

Jack leads a function in the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) that applies user-centred design approaches to policy-making. His background is in both policy and digital, having been at MOJ Digital for 4 years and, before that, a policy maker at the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) and Ofsted.


Alejandra Diaz

Alejandra is a product manager at the Ministry of Justice, working on digital services to help families separate amicably. Previously, she worked on digital products to enable court reform and in the charity sector. Her background is in strategy and digital delivery for government and the third sector.


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See the full programme

full programme
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This session is part of our SDinHealth theme - exploring the challenges, opportunities and trends in service design for the health sector.