Use the human voice

Case study: Welsh Centre for Digital Public Services

The service standards for CDPS

Working with Public Digital, I was asked to help the Welsh Centre for Digital Public Services in its earliest days, as it sought to define itself and its purpose.

I helped write a set of standards (since iterated by the team) that put the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and promotion of the Welsh language at the top of the list.

It became clear to the team early on that while other standards were well documented and understood by other public sector teams (such as GDS and the Government Design Principles), it was important to focus the Welsh standards on Welsh issues.

The standards that focus on Welsh issues

Much later, Interim CEO Sally Meecham wrote:

Our Digital Service Standards are at the very core of who we are as an organisation, particularly the first two. We are focussed on the citizens of Wales who will use digital services. The Well-being of Future Generations Act is our first standard. Whatever we do must meet the needs of future generations from a social, economic, environmental and cultural point of view.

Working in Miro

Prototype screenshot

I also joined a small agile team working on prototype guidance for public sector workers in Wales. In research, we learned that simply writing content in English and translating it into Welsh wasn’t good enough. Welsh language experts told us that Welsh is written differently, at a deep structural level. The better choice would be to write in Welsh and translate to English, or better still, to write in both languages simultaneously, with native speakers as part of the team involved.

📮 giles (at)
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