User Outcomes

This tool will help you clarify what different user groups and stakeholders expect from your service. It should prompt you to consider what you know about user expectations, how you know it and whether you need to take further action to confirm your expectations and reduce assumptions.

Even the most dedicated service providers sometimes miss what their service users truly need.  Or they may assume, incorrectly, that they understand what services users want. This isn’t out of bad faith, but it is good to examine what users really want and need. The user outcome tool helps us do just that.

It should be used in the discover phase of your service design projects.

The tool is best used when considering groups of users who access your service. It can also be used to examine expectations of other stakeholders (e.g. representative organisations, referral agents and those you may signpost to).

Using this approach and taking resulting action can:

- Clarify expectations of service user groups and stakeholders
- Reduce assumptions and unmet expectations
- Lead to improved service pathways
- Identify gaps in service provision
- Examine and reduce inequalities
- Support service evolution and design
- Support the development of your communications strategy and plan

How to use the tool

You should have identified and clarified who the users and stakeholders of your service are before you begin use of this tool. You should now consider what differences might exist within and what inequalities might be experienced within user and stakeholder groups.

Where these differences and inequalities have been determined, you should define a separate user group to ensure that you properly examine the expectations of your service.

The tool poses the following questions for each user group and stakeholder in your design project:

  • What is the user group/stakeholder seeking to do?
  • What is it that they think exists as a service?
  • What is it that your service thinks is providing to this user group/stakeholder?

Reflecting on your findings then prompts you to:

  • Consider differences in expectations
  • Determine follow-up actions

The template below contains additional provocations for the design team to reflect upon after answering each question which will help to stimulate further critical thinking.

You can download the template from here:

Please note that the demonstration template contains space for three user groups and three stakeholders but you should not be constrained by this.