The European House of Design Management (EHDM) has developed a web-based design management toolkit. The goal is to assist public sector employees in the process of developing user-centred public services, policy decisions and communications in the context of decreasing public resources and changing environment.

At the request of the Estonian Association of Designers, Praxis Centre for Policy Studies has coordinated the testing of the EHDM toolkit in Estonia, Italy, Denmark and the United Kingdom and conducted the testing in Estonia. Feedback about user experience was collected from potential users as well as design managers and designers. The aim of the testing was to ensure better compliance with user expectations and needs.

The testing showed that according to most users the toolkit has great potential for facilitating user-centred policy and service creation in public sector organisations.

The most positively evaluated aspects were the well-structured process description, incorporation of background information such as tools and case studies, and the option of filling in worksheets, which helps to put theory into practice. However, the toolkit was seen more as an additional information source and not as a main tool for everyday work. The main concerns which could undermine the usability of the toolkit were the complexity for inexperienced users and the amount of text that was used.

Based on the results the following recommendations for improvement were made:

  • The added value and the end-product of using the toolkit should be clearly stated in the introduction. To achieve this, it should be considered if the toolkit could be personalised and targeted better for specific user groups and processes.
  • The amount of text should be reduced and information should be presented via visualisation by graphics, pictures, videos etc. This would also make the toolkit more comprehensible for non-native English speakers.
  • The interactivity and navigation between stages should be improved. It was suggested that there should be the possibility of filling in worksheets online and sharing them with team members. The toolkit would be more practical if the worksheets were made central and explanatory information would only be presented upon request.