7-9 March 2018

John McIntyre Conference Centre, Edinburgh

What are service patterns and do we need them?

Session type:

Session duration:
90 minutes

Presented by:

Kay Dale


Ignacia Orellana


About this Discussion

Most of government is involved, in one way or another, in delivering services to citizens. Service designers work to improve these services. But the sheer scale of government means it’s impossible to hire a service designer to work across every single one.

So how can we improve services across government? How can we ensure that service design has the biggest effect possible? And how can we scale service design?

Service patterns might be a way to do this.

Service patterns are the next potential iteration of design patterns. These design patterns - which cover things like form structure and button design - are a proven method of scaling user-focused design and bringing consistency to websites and digital touchpoints. They have made things easier for interaction designers and front-end developers and made things better for users.

Could we do the same thing in service design? And if so how?

This session is aimed at service designers and non-service designers alike. We will present three different approaches for how we might think about service patterns, and then discuss:

  • Which definition is most useful?
  • Who would use them?
  • How would they consume them?
  • What could they mean for scaling service design in government?

About the Speakers

Kay Dale

Kay is a service designer at the Government Digital Service. She employs a passionate and user-centered approach to​ ​public service delivery​. Kay has​ ​worked with identity assurance, cyber compliance,​ ​and currently the unexpectedly fascinating world of how the UK government buys things.

Prior to joining the civil service, Kay worked as a service designer at Royal Bank of Scotland, consulted for Royal Trinity Hospice, and was a digital designer at a small education technology startup.

Ignacia Orellana

Ignacia is a service designer at the Government Digital Service. She is currently working with the GOV.UK Design System team to design collaboration, support and assurance models for cross-government design patterns and components.

Ignacia started as a graphic designer has a masters in service design and previously worked at Livework Studio.

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See the full programme

full programme
Service Design in Health

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