Government Announce a Roadmap for Embedding Design in the Public Service

Dave Jackson7th December 2023 - Dave Jackson

Government Announce a Roadmap for Embedding Design in the Public Service

It’s an exciting week for the Irish design industry, and not just because Christmas is around the corner…

The Irish Government have just announced a progressive roadmap for embedding design in the public service. The Action Plan for Designing Better Public Services was launched by Minister Paschal Donohoe and is a successor to the ‘Our Public Service 2020’ framework.

The primary objective of the plan is to enable all public service organisations to embrace and embed design thinking as a core part of their approach over the next two years.

It is encouraging to see terms like ‘UX’, ‘Journey Mapping’ and ‘doublediamond processes’ referenced in a Government roadmap. This is real recognition of the value and benefits good design can have on the public sector and beyond. What also stands out is the clear distinction drawn between paying lip service to design and adopting an effective design approach.

There are three focus themes within the action plan:

Demonstrate Design Commitment

The first theme covers the actions required that demonstrate commitment to implementing the discipline of design by providing the necessary investment, funding and resources that are required to deliver real progress and change.

  1. Encourage Design Integration
  2. Establish Design Funding
  3. Leverage Design Expertise

Increase Design Capability

The following actions aim to democratise design by making skills, tools, and training accessible to all, ensuring everyone can contribute their unique talents to enhance public services.

  1. Develop Design Resources
  2. Enhance Design Skills
  3. Foster Collaborative Experiences

Foster a Design Culture

Actions to foster a design culture throughout our public service, fostering a community that integrates design into daily language and behaviours, promoting collaboration and advocacy.

  1. Promote Design Successes
  2. Facilitate Design Challenges
  3. Foster a Design Community

This plan envisions Ireland as a global exemplar of design-led public service transformation, emphasising the importance of a design approach in creating a more efficient and inclusive future.

Overall, the plan appears comprehensive, well-researched, and strategic, providing a solid foundation for the integration of design principles into the Irish public service, something everyone will benefit from.

This is a shot in the arm for the Irish design industry as a whole. The value of good design has been recognised at a Government level and this should have a knock on effect in the private sector over time.

At Friday, we’ve had the pleasure of collaborating on a number of public service design, research and marketing projects in 2023 and we look forward to continuing this work into 2024 and beyond.

Our observations indicate a shift in the design maturity within the public sector and this new Action Plan will have more substantial influence.

The future of Irish design looks bright.

Dave Jackson
Dave Jackson

Dave is co-Founder and UX Director at Friday. His passion is in simplifying the complex and transforming the monotonous into something enjoyable. He tries to apply these principles of UX to everyday life.... with mixed results!

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