Visual thinking involves using visual aids such as diagrams, maps, and sketches to express and develop ideas. By breaking down complex concepts into easy-to-understand visual representations, we can engage and communicate more effectively with our team members and the users they are designing for.
At GovCrate, we use visual thinking approaches to focus our teams on delivering services that address users needs and to facilitate greater collaboration and understanding. This is especially critical when designing digital government services because the design of these services requires team members from the different disciplines that make up the governance stack (Legal, Policy, Operations and Technology). These team members need a common language to collaborate efficiently and effectively. Because of this we developed a visual thinking methodology that has allowed us to quickly and easily get team members speaking the same language. It’s an unorthodox application of the visual thinking approach but it’s use is critical for us in building up highly effective and efficient multi-disciplinary teams that actually deliver services that focus on user needs.
Here’s a real world example of the 1st three steps of how we used our visual thinking approach in the design of an e-licensing system:
Step 1: Map Process
We used a Process Mapping Canvas to map out the process visually using sticky notes in a collaborative manner. From that, the design team had a visual representation of who was doing what in the system. This was critical for the next stage in identifying the problems.
Step 2: Identify Users Issues
In the next stage, we use an Empathy Map to visually identify what types of problems each stakeholder in the process had when trying to accomplish their tasks. Once all these issues were identified we needed to find out which ones were causing the most problems.
Step 3: Prioritise Users Issues
To find out which issues caused the most problems, we used a Pain vs Frequency Matrix to visually prioritise the most painful problems in the process. The issues that created the most pain and occurred the most were prioritised higher in the 2 x 2 matrix. This then gave the team a focused priority list of what user needs should be tackled first.
For us, the goal of visual thinking in the design of government digital services is to create services that are significantly better than existing paper based processes at delivering services to citizens and businesses. By using visual aids to communicate and design, we can ensure that the services we design are meeting the needs of citizens, and helping to build trust and engagement with governments.
Ultimately, the goal of visual thinking in the design of government digital services is to create services that are accessible, user-friendly, and efficient. By using visual aids to communicate and design, we can ensure that our services are meeting the needs of our citizens, and helping to build trust and engagement with government services.
If you’re interested in knowing more about how we use visual thinking in the design of digital government services please don’t hesitate to reach out to us using the form below: