Removing blockers in beta: next steps for Digital Landscape Review

The DLR is building on alpha findings to map a path towards truly inclusive digital services for Wales, writes Rick Stock

18 March 2022

The DLR identified 16 opportunities in alpha for CDPS to support the development of public services in Wales © Irfan Simsar/Unsplash

What we learned from alpha

The alpha (exploratory) phase of CDPS’s Digital Landscape Review (DLR), which ended in December last year, gave us plenty of insight into how public services across Wales are operating. During this phase, we spoke to a lot of people – representatives from 20, wide-ranging public sector organisations and 10 government divisions – and gathered information on 124 services.

We highlighted some of what we found during alpha in our last blog post, from December. For example, we discovered that nearly half of service owners in Wales either had not heard of the Digital Service Standards or, if they had heard of them, had not applied them to the design or delivery of their service.

We also found that nearly half of Welsh digital services were not developed using an iterative, step-by-step approach. Only 40% of services said they included user research in their service development or operation.

Read more about the 16 service ‘opportunities’ we identified in our alpha report.

Beta: mapping a way forward

The beta (experimental) phase of the DLR kicked off in January of this year. Over the past few months, we have been solidifying our speculative alpha findings to map a way forward for digital public services in Wales.

The DLR team are working closely with CDPS leadership to build on our understanding of the services we already have data on. We will be talking to more organisations across the Welsh public sector to widen our data pool.

By the end of beta, we expect to have a much stronger understanding of the public service landscape in Wales and the systemic blockers to further change.

We will have started to identify areas where we can work with Welsh public service leaders, as well as with specific services, to apply user-centred design.

Designing for everyone

During alpha, the DLR team heard about a lot of work being done, particularly during the pandemic, in the area of ‘digital inclusion’: designing services that are accessible to everyone. Groups that might currently be excluded from full use of digital services include the elderly, people on a low income and people living outside broadband coverage.

Yet we still need a clearer picture of that inclusion work – where it’s being done and who by. The DLR team is working with the Prosperous Futures team in the Welsh Government and Digital Communities Wales to create a directory of digital inclusion work throughout Wales.

Working in the open

Last, the team is sharing publicly more of what we have done on the DLR so our work has the widest possible value. For example, we are discussing with our partners how to make the Digital Inclusion Directory publicly available once complete.

Watch the DLR team’s latest show and tell.

Follow us on Twitter, @cdps_cymru, for updates.

Rick Stock is leading the delivery of the Digital Landscape Review

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