Reflections from SDinGov

At the end of September I attended Service Design in Government (SDinGov) conference for the first time. SDinGov is an ‘international community event for anyone involved in designing and commissioning public services’. I was excited to attend to learn more about service design and good practice across the public sector, and catch up with friends I haven’t seen since pre-pandemic times.

TL;DR: The conference was great, I learned lots of things and met some cool people. It was, however, quite an overwhelming experience (high volume of content over three days, and socialising with large groups of people again) hence it’s taken me 3 months to collect my thoughts. I’d like to go again, it was definitely worthwhile.

Sophie Dennis opens the conference, standing behind a lectern with the SDinGov logo on the front. The opening slide on two big screens says ‘Welcome to Service Design in Government 2022’.

Best bits

A slide from Martha’s talk. It reads: ‘There’s lots I cant do. So I think about what I *can* do instead’ in blue text on a light grey background.
My tweet from 28th Sept: A few reflections on day 1 of #SDinGov (thread)
My tweet from 29th Sept: Initial reactions from day 2 #SDinGov (thread)
My tweet from 30th Sept: Had to dash away from #SDinGov to catch my train home. Didn’t get to say hello to everyone irl, but have made a few more connections here which is lovely :). Musings on day 3 (thread)
A view from the roadside outside the venue. In the near distance is a large hill covered in grass and trees.

💡 Things I learned 💡

Katy Beale is giving a talk. The slide on the big screen says ‘EVERYTHING IS AN EMERGENCY’ with a red ‘emergency pull’ button.
Dean Vipond is giving a talk. The slide on the big screen has a quotation from Alan Cooper: ‘Just because it can’t be measured, doesn’t mean it can’t be perceived’.

Even better if..?

Tweet from Amina with a photograph from one of the workshops, surrounded by paper and post-its. This looks fun! More sessions like this next year, please :)
Original tweet from Karl Goldstraw: Just looking at the #SDinGov hashtag and whilst lots of great talks and content, I’m sorry folks, but the sheer number of images shared without ALT text is totally disappointing. And my quote tweet: I was guilty of this; got swept up in the moment and tweeted and image without thinking. Switched on the reminders so I don’t do it again. Settings > accessibility > receive image description reminder

🚀 My commitments between now and next year: 🚀

💖 Finally, some thank yous 💖

Thank you to the organisers and programme committee for putting on this event. I have some insight into event planning from UKGovcamp and that’s only for one-day with a flexible agenda; it’s eye-watering to think how much work goes into a three day event with pre-booked speakers. Bravo!

Thank you to my manager for encouraging me to attend, and to other folks in my organisation who helped me navigate our expenses processes so I could afford to be there all three days.

Thank you to Lauren Currie and the UPFRONT Global Bond for encouraging us to talk about money. In years gone by I’d have been too shy to ask for my employer to pay for my ticket.

Thanks to all the people who tweet / toot / blog about events. I heard about SDinGov through Twitter (and experienced some serious FOMO), and because of that I kept an eye out for this year’s event and was able to book my ticket well in advance.

Another slide from Katy Beale and Natasha Bhambhra’s session. It has a bold purple and white graphic background with black lettering: ‘Sharing the work is as important as doing the work’.



Digital professional, musician, textile artist. Tweets @_crmzchan_

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Coco Chan

Digital professional, musician, textile artist. Tweets @_crmzchan_