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Serco ExperienceLab: Helping local government to meet the needs of society through citizen-centred design

In the face of numerous challenges and opportunities, there is growing recognition in local government that a citizen-centred approach to service design is fundamental to meeting the needs of society effectively.

ExperienceLab is Serco’s customer experience and service design agency, delivering sustainable improvements for public and private sector clients through innovative user-centred design. Our ExperienceLab team are often called upon to help local government improve public services and overcome specific challenges, both directly and through other parts of our business.

Examples include:

  • ExperienceLab was engaged by our UK Citizen Services business to help identify areas that would bring value to citizens’ everyday lives while fulfilling objectives set by local councils. The team worked with Serco colleagues, local council staff and elected leaders, and citizens themselves to provide Local Government Partnerships with insights into the motivations, expectations and behaviours of service providers and the public using those services. As well as interviewing frontline staff, they observed, listened to and spoke directly with citizens to identify and understand their needs, sentiments and the barriers they perceive. The research identified various pain points, opportunities and solutions which are now being explored in greater depth.
  • To enable Londoners to play a more active role in their communities by improving access to volunteering, the Greater London Authority wanted to explore how to improve its volunteer website. The ExperienceLab team were engaged to provide insight into how a web platform can best support the volunteering process and uncover the touchpoints that are key to stakeholder engagement. A mix of user-centred research methodologies were used to uncover current and prospective volunteer motivations, needs and expectations, including in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The team also ran a series of ‘co-design workshops’ with volunteers, involving them in the development of the solution. Ultimately, our research provided key insights for the design of an even more ‘user-friendly’ solution.

As well as our UK customers and partners, local and central government organisations around the world are benefiting from ExperienceLab expertise in citizen-centred design. For example, we are working with military bases in Belgium to understand how to better serve military personnel in residence, and we have recently opened a new ExperienceLab office in the United Arab Emirates.

The ExperienceLab team also led the design of our Serco Cares programme.