Embedding design capacity in public organistions: Evaluation by design for public service

  • Stefano Maffei Department of Design, School of Design, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
  • Beatrice Villari Department of Design, School of Design, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
  • Francesca Foglieni Department of Design, School of Design, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Keywords: design, evaluation, public organizations


The paper reflects about the need to introduce and develop approaches and tools for public services evaluation. Starting from the acknowledgment that investments in public services has dramatically increased over the last decade, we could state that they must also respond to new varieties of societal challenges and rising demands coming from service users. This pressure makes a strong push upon innovation considering that, if services must be designed to meet the complex needs of users, they also must reach a high rate of delivering cost efficiency.

This article proposes an approach based on qualitative and quantitative measurements throughout the whole service design process in which service evaluation may represent a tool for value creation and a driver for innovation in public sector.

Considering the emerging interest on evaluating design and innovation (OECD, 2010; European Commission, 2012) the authors try to explore existing evaluation methods for services in public sector, in order to define an evaluation framework that could support new innovation patterns.



Download data is not yet available.


Bezzi, C., 2007. Cos'è la valutazione. Un'introduzione ai concetti, le parole chiave e i problemi metodologici. Franco Angeli.

Blomkvist, J., Holmlid, S., 2010. Service Prototyping according to Service Design practitioners. In: Servdes. Conference 2010. Linköping, Sweden, 1-3 December 2010

Brown, T., 2009. Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. New York: HarperCollins

Colligan, P., 2011. What does it mean to design public services?. The Guardian, [online] 1 September. Available at: <http://www.guardian.co.uk/public-leaders-network/blog/2011/sep/01/design-public-services> [Accessed 12 March 2013]

Commission of the European Communities, 2009. Design as a driver of user-centred innovation [pdf] Available at: <http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/innovation/files/design_swd_sec501_en.pdf> [Accessed 28 February 2013]

Design Commission, 2013. Restarting Britain 2 - Design and Public Services [pdf] Available at: [Accessed 25 March 2013]

Design Council, 2008. The role of design in public services [pdf] Available at: <http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/Documents/Documents/Publications/Research/Briefings/DesignCouncilBriefing02_TheRoleOfDesignInPublicServices.pdf> [Accessed 20 March 2013]

European Commission, 2012. Design for growth and Prosperity. Helsinki: DG Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission

Freeman, C., 1982. The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 2nd edition. London: Frances Pinter

Goldstein, S.M. et al., 2002. The service concept: the missing link in service design research?. Journal of Operations Management, 20: 121-134

Hartley, J., 2005. Innovation in Governance and Public Services: Past and Present. Public Money & Management, 25(1)

HM Government, 2012. The Civil Service Reform Plan [pdf] Available at <http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Civil-Service-Reform-Plan-acc-final.pdf> [Accessed 20 March 2013]

HM Treasury, 2011. The Magenta Book – Guidance for evaluation [pdf] Available at: <http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/magenta_book_combined.pdf> [Accessed 3 March 2013]

Holmlid, S., 2010. The design value of business. In: Servdes. Conference 2010. Linköping, Sweden, 1-3 December 2010.

Ilic, M., Puttick, R., 2012. Evidence in the Real World: The development of Project Oracle. London: Nesta

Kimbell, L., 2009. The Turn to Service Design, in Julier, G. and Moor, L., (eds) Design and Creativity: Policy, Management and Practice. Oxford: Berg.

Jones, M., and Samalionis, F., 2008. Radical service innovation. Design Management Review, October Issue

Mager, Birgit, 2004. Service Design - A Review. Köln: Köln International School of Design

Manzini, E., 1993. Il Design dei Servizi. La progettazione del prodotto-servizio. Design Management, 7, June Issue.

Meroni, A., Sangiorgi, D., 2011. Design for services. Farnham: Gower

Moore, M.H., 1995. Creating Public Value Strategic Management in Government. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press

Moritz, S., 2005. Service Design – Practical Access to an Envolving Field. Cologne: Köln International School of Design

Moultrie, J., Livesey, F., 2009. International Design Scoreboard. Cambridge: University of Cambridge

Mulgan, G., 2007. Ready or Not? Taking innovation in the public sector seriously, London: NESTA

Nutley, S., Powell, A., Davies, H., 2013. What counts as good evidence? Provocation paper for the Alliance for Useful Evidence. London: Alliance for Useful Evidence

OECD, 1992. Technology and The Economy: The Key Relationships. Paris: OECD Publications

OECD, 2009. Focus on Citizens: Public Engagement for Better Policy and Services. Paris: OECD Publications

OECD, 2010. Measuring Innovation: A New Perspective. Paris: OECD Publications

OECD, 2011. Government at a Glance, Annual Report 2011. Paris: OECD Publications

OECD, 2011. Making the Most of Public Investment in a Tight Fiscal Environment. Paris: OECD Publications

OECD, 2011. The call for innovative and open government - An overview of country initiatives. Paris: OECD Publications

OECD, 2011. Together for Better Public Services: Partnering with Citizens and Civil Society. Paris: OECD Publications

Ostrom, A. L., Bitner, M. J., Brown, S. W., Burkhard, K. A., Goul, M., Smith-Daniels, V., Demirkan, H., & Rabinovich, E., 2010. Moving forward and making a difference: Research priorities for the science of service. Journal of Service Research, 13(1).

Palfrey, C., Thomas, P., Phillips, C., 2012. Evaluation for the real world – The impact of evidence in policymaking. Bristol: The Policy Press

Raulik, G., Cawood, G., Larsen, P., 2008. National Design Strategies and Country Competitive Economic Advantage. The Design Journal, 11(2)

Roy, R., Bruce, M., 1984. Product Design, Innovation and Competition in British Manufacturing: Background, Aims, and Methods. Milton Keynes and Philadelphia: Open University Press

Shostack, L.G., 1982. How to Design a Service. European Journal of Marketing, 16(1)

Sir George Cox, 2005. The Cox Review of Creativity in Business: building on the UK's strengths [pdf] Available at: <http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http:/www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/independent_reviews/cox_review/coxreview_index.cfm> [Accessed 18 March 2013]

Stickdorn, M., Schneider, J., 2012. This is Service Design Thinking; Basics, Tools, Cases. Amsterdam: BIS

Thackara, J., 2007. Wouldn't be great if... London: Design Council.

Vargo, S.L., Lusch, R.F., 2004. The Four Service Marketing Myths: Remnants of a Goods-Based Manufacturing Model. Journal of Service Research, 6(4): 324-335

Vargo, S.L., Lusch, R.F., 2008. Service-dominant logic: Continuing the evolution. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 36: 1-10

W.K. Kellogg Foundation, 2004. Logic Model Development Guide. Michigan: W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Dela sida

How to Cite
Maffei, S., Villari, B. and Foglieni, F. (2016) “Embedding design capacity in public organistions: Evaluation by design for public service”, Swedish Design Research Journal, 9(1), pp. 41-47. doi: 10.3384/svid.2000-964X.13141.
Research articles