The friends and family of people in public prisons in England and Wales can send them money so they can buy small items. The service removes the need for people to send cash and makes it easier for prison staff to identify illicit behaviour, reducing crime.
I joined the team to work on the back-end of the service. The team was suffering from stagnation and lack of confidence to ship. The team had a high turnover of Designers, and the Product Manager had just left.
There was a lot of inconsistency in the service. One of the first things I did was build a prototype - using the GOV.UK Design System - that would be the source of truth. I removed non-standard design patterns and developed consistent interaction patterns and ways to display information.
Working closely with a content designer, we refined the words used, making sure they were consistent throughout the service. Improving the content like this helped to reset the team, ensuring everyone used the same words to describe things.
A screenshot of the prototype.
Over time it became clear that the team didn't have a shared understanding of the shape or size of the service. This lack of shared understanding made it hard to talk about the future.
I worked with the team to build a service map showing the end-to-end service, reflecting where there were differences of opinion about how the service worked, helping the team to come together and develop a shared understanding of the service. With this shared understanding, we started to have productive conversations about the work we needed to do and in which order.
The service map helped the team visualise the strategic direction of the digital service. We used it to make sure that we used the budget effectively and delivered maximum value to users.
The current state service map.