Departement Werk & Sociale Economie (DWSE) is the governmental agency that coördinates, develops and monitors the Flemish employment policies. Over the last years the department has seen it’s team increase triple fold and it's responsibilities grow exponentially. With over 25 different service processes the department probably connects with every civilian at least once in their lifetime. No wonder WSE chose customer-centricity as the path for it’s future.
We were asked to design a generic application form for different types of career break requests. The challenge was to create a set of building blocks that can be used to create future forms in a consistent, user-friendly way with little effort. At the same time we needed to apply the building blocks to a specific form which needed input from both an employer and an employee. Service design was chosen as the key method to cope with the complexity.
After analysing the context and scope of the different processes and customers, we delved into co-creation with both employers and employees. We wanted to understand their experiences and especially their needs. It was very inspiring to have almost ten different employers in a workshop together with people from WSE. The research and co-creation resulted in a customer journey and high-level service concepts. We closely involved technical partners of WSE to align the new service designs with running development tracks.
In the end we delivered a clickable prototype of the application form, performed a successful user-test on the platform and continually assisted in the development process to ensure none of the design learnings are lost in translation. Through the involvement of end-users and developers together with a team from WSE, we ended up with a result that was largely validated before going into development. The service design process led to significant discussions regarding the policy of applications and aligned the different stakeholders on a simplified, people-centred approach.
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