The challenge

Client: Ministry of Public Administration

Duration of the project: 1 month

We have been running service design thinking training sessions under the project run by the Ministry of Public Administration for two years now. During our 3 day training sessions participants work on a common challenge, learn new tools and methods for designing public services and get to meet and share experiences with colleagues from other public entities.

In the wake of our summer training dates and COVID 19 restrictions, we were looking to find out how we can redesign our training to fit the needs of participants and meet technology restrictions of the Ministry, so we could deliver an immersive online learning experience.

What we did

Before redesigning our training sessions we reviewed our latest research findings. We had just finished our first online course in design thinking for entrepreneurs a month earlier, where we gathered input on participants’ needs and constraints before the sessions and feedback on their experience and pain points after the training. This informed us of acceptable time frames, relevant content and technology issues that might arise during our training for public officials. We then interviewed the project lead to understand expectations and goals of the online format. Talking to IT support helped us assess what the available equipment and constraints regarding software were.


We then redesigned the online training by dividing it into 5 half day sessions instead of 3 whole day sessions, chose our platforms and ran a test session with some of the participants and the Ministry’s project lead. The test session proved to be invaluable, as most participants were not able to access the platform prescribed by the Ministry and led us to choose a different one.

While designing the training flow we strove to support different learning styles and combined online with offline tasks, adopting a hybrid approach. Online, participants worked on their challenge in teams and reported to the whole group at least once per session. Offline, participants were assigned homework related to their challenge that they would finish individually and then report back to the group and their teams.

Outputs & Outcomes

We successfully ran 5 online sessions within the Service Design Thinking training with 12 participants from different public administration organizations. The teams developed 3 concepts for new public services based on user research they conducted during the training.

During our feedback session at the end of the training participants reported that they felt like they successfully learned new approaches to designing public services they could apply at their day to day work, but struggled with technology we were using and distractions they faced while attending the online sessions from their office.

We believe that online training sessions on service design thinking doing can be immersive and engaging for participants. However we need to take into account that not everyone has the technology available, appropriate environment or is apt in using online tools for learning and co-creation. We need to look for new ways of making it easier for people to learn online and engage them throughout the process i.e. between the sessions.

We have prepared a short booklet* where you will find an overview of the design thinking mindset, process and a selection of methods and tools. *Only in Slovenian for now.