Digital Service

A digital tool design at Ontario Digital Service


Digital service pre-assessment form is an internal service that streamlines the process of applying service assessment.

Project Partner: Ontario Digital Service (ODS), Rapid prototyping lab
The province of Ontario established an independent organization, Ontario Digital Service (ODS), to address the trend of digital transformation. The rapid prototyping lab practices agile methodologies to improve digital service in a short period of time in order to keep the government moving forward efficiently.

Overview: Ontario Digital Service (ODS) is responsible for assessing the development of public services which are proposed by ministries. The purpose of having pre-assessment is to ensure that ministries and vendors deliver or build a proper service for the public. The current assessment process is that the project lead needs to try very hard to fill out hundreds of pre-assessment questions. Therefore, our team helped to digitalize the pre-assessment so that future service providers can prepare and apply to service assessment more efficiently.

Primary users: Future public service providers (ministries and outsourcing vendors) and ODS assessment team

Timeline: Four 1-week sprints, May 2018

My role: Interaction designer and user researcher


“Project leads don’t have an intuitive way to carry out their own assessment of their compliance with the digital service standard.”


Pain points for project leads

  • Don’t know who to ask for help
  • Read wall of text and fill out hundreds of questions.
  • Exchange many emails with the assessment team
  • Wait a very long time to book a real assessment
  • Pain points for the assessment team

  • Receive incomplete pre-assessment forms
  • Don’t have time to read through all the answers
  • No formal assessment team members

    Most recent prototype


    Iteration overview

    In 4 weeks, one of our major findings was that no matter how easy the interface is to navigate, if the content is overwhelming, users won’t want to use it anyways. We realized that creating a digital pre-assessment guide might not be the best solution.

    Future consideration

    For our recommendation, it would be best to simply have the user fill out a booking form to book an assessment meeting. For example, in the discovery phase assessment sign up form, have the project lead only needs to answer a few basic questions such as "what is your team component", and "will you do user research?" Having this booking form will allow the assessment team to get a feel of the team and the scope of the project being assessed.


    Through service design methodologies, I notice that rapid prototyping helps designers to move from abstract concepts toward creating tangible prototypes to gather profound feedback from end-users. However, practicing rapid prototyping without fully understanding service components will cause confusion among team members. I propose a model to practice service design methodologies (the blue boxes in the following diagram) within the rapid prototyping process to overcome this obstacle.

    Intermesh rapid prototyping process with service design tools.

    • Co-creating service blueprints with team members at the beginning will clarify the current process and flaws of service.
    • Practicing user journey map in the middle sprints and iterating user journey maps as might help to identify potential opportunities during iteration sections.
    • Making future service blueprints in the last sprint is helpful because future service providers can have a clear picture about how to manage or implement service.