Service Prototyping as a way to develop concepts that work for the business and for the customer.
Skills Development Scotland (SDS) are the Scottish government’s careers guidance and training service. SDS have two core customer groups – young people who need support making career choices and accessing opportunities (through secondary school, college and into work) and older people who have recently become unemployed. At these two key career steps SDS are there to support people.
The challenge for SDS is that they are there for everyone but that there are some people who need a lot more personal support than others. How can SDS provide a universal service as well as a personal one – within reasonable budget restraints, whist maintaining best practice in careers guidance?
SDS identified that the Internet offered a way to provide a lot of help to a lot of people in a universal way. But what did people need and more importantly, what would they, or could they, do online to self help their career development? How could services delivered over the Internet work alongside advisors accessed in careers centres, schools or helplines?
To answer these questions live|work, with the SDS design team, sought to develop a vision for the service and see how it could support customers over their careers lifecycle. We engaged with the two customer groups, mentioned above – young people and the recently unemployed – to understand what would work for them and how the service should be developed to ensure success.
live|work’s sketched concept
Our first activity was to define the careers lifecycle with SDS to understand the full range of interactions that SDS have with customers. We were then able to understand who the customers are, what they need along their career journey and what opportunities there are for web services to support existing provision. This was captured as a comprehensive service blueprint.
To ensure that this blueprint was compelling and viable with real customers we developed paper prototype materials that enabled us to discuss these future options with service users to gain a clear understanding of what would work for them. Having done this prototyping exercise we were able to make recommendations to SDS on what to develop and how to ensure it would be a success with customers.
SDS have now launched My World of Work, a full service website for anyone in Scotland to use to develop their career. My World of Work uses best practice careers methodology and makes it available to everyone. You can improve your understanding of your capabilities using the ‘Your Strengths Tools’, develop your CV online (and with your advisor), practice interview skills with a video coach and of course access real jobs.
Since the site’s launch in August it already has 43,000 (individual) accounts, with a total of 25,000 users creating CVs online, and 12,000/unique visits each week.
SDS now see My World of Work as an essential platform for them to build out the development of service improvements through other channels, both call centre and face to face.