In 2004, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) decided to design and build an enterprise content management system to streamline its publishing process. The first attempt revealed the technology of the day was inadequate for the design of this complicated project. However, 12 years later the ATO now has a world class website which is shaped by daily user feedback and longitudinal unmoderated usability benchmarking.
In autumn 2007 the Danish innovation and design agency Hatch & Bloom was assigned to design a new meal service for The Municipality of Holstebro. Six month later the idea for The Good Kitchen was created. Thus the way was cleared for a new type of meal service in Denmark, a meal service with more quality, more flexibility and more freedom of choice.
This case concerns one of the earliest attempts by design thinkers at designing a large, complex system. It shows that design approaches in the public sector can look back at a long history. And it reveals how design thinking within the organization must include members of the whole organization in the design process.
The idea of citizen involvement is as old as the concept of democracy itself. But instead of collaborating with public representatives, civic initiatives are working more and more against the governmental sector. This is also reflected in a German word that has been recently coined: “Wutbürger” (literally: “enraged citizen”).
The Ministry of Manpower’s Work Pass Division (WPD) used design thinking as a tool to develop better ways to support foreigners who choose Singapore as a destination to live, work and set up businesses. The case reveals: Design thinking can potentially transform the perception and meaning of public service.