One Small Way Government Communication Would Be Different From a Service Design Perspective

We all know those, often long and confusing, letters we get in the mail from a government agency. Now put yourself in the shoes of someone in a foreign country who lacks proficiency in the county’s main language because they are new. Those letters just got a whole lot worse. Navigating a government system in a language you are not good at is no easy task.

Let’s look at the situation: a government (I would assume) has people that speak/write the most popular languages in the world, your new country of residence knows your original country of residence, knowing your original country of residence allows assumptions as to what language you are fluent in and the system that prints these letters (I would assume) is computerized.

When printing letters (or sending emails, etc.), the computer systems can do a simple check of the original country of residence and send communication in the reciever’s native language. For legal reasons there may need to be a link to the initial document in the initial language but now the reader actually knows what the document is about and can act on it.

This one simple change is from a service oriented mindset. Governments often act in a product oriented mindset where they build a system and stop, there is little attention paid to the people interacting with the system (ex. US online healthcare system fiasco). The service mindset focuses on the people interacting with the system – we would see many more things like receiving communication in your native language. In the private sector, this service orientation would give major competitive advantage and could be built into the brand/marketing.

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