Using personas to make better policy

slide of persona character Design thinking has becoming an increasingly popular concept with policy makers. But what does it mean? Put simply, it means stepping into the shoes of the user, seeing the world and experiencing it from their point of view. If we design services with users in mind, or ask the beneficiaries or recipients of a service what they think, we have a better chance of delivering services that make a difference.

slide of persona characterThe Cabinet Office wanted to  improve the way it prepared policy advice by putting design thinking into practice. The team developed 3 fictional personas based on a range of interviews with civil servants of all grades. These personas were then used to test out a number of suggestions and proposals for improving the way we work.

The team found this a helpful and quick way of bringing the user voice into the debate.

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