Lou Downe

Lou Downe

Director of Housing and Land transformation

UK Government

Lou Downe is Director of Housing and Land transformation for the UK Government, based at Homes England and author of Good Services - a book about how to design services that work.

They were previously Director of Design for the UK Government, where they established the cross-government standards for good services and founded the discipline of service design, building a community of over 3,000 designers, user researchers and content designers across government.

Lou was nominated as one of the top 50 creative leaders in the UK in 2016 and one of the world’s 100 most influential leaders in digital government in 2018 and is a passionate believer in the role of design to create a world which benefits everyone.

Pronouns: they/them


Workshop – 16th June

How do design services that work

What exactly makes a service ‘good’?

Ask most people this question and you will very often get the response of ‘it depends’.

But the belief that all services are completely unique, and need to be designed from scratch each time means we spend a lot of our time solving problems that have already been solved.

From hotel booking to healthcare, there are basic elements that almost all of us need from nearly every service we use, regardless of what it helps us to do.

Things like being able to find that service and use it unaided, regardless of your knowledge or abilities. Or being able to do the thing you set out to do, without having to navigate the bureaucracies created by multiple organisations, or the strange effects of bad staff incentivisation. Using the 15 principles of good service design, this workshop will teach you how to quickly identify major problems and pitfalls in your service and find ways to fix those issues.

This workshop will teach you how to design a service that your users can find, understand and use without having to ask for help.

It will teach you how to not disappoint your users, and make sure they can do the thing they set out to do.

In short, it will help you to make services that work

What you’ll learn

  • What makes a good service
  • How to diagnose problems with your service
  • How to devise solutions to key problems in your service
  • How to embed service-led thinking in your organisation
Lou Downe Speaker Profile

Director of Housing and Land transformation - UK Government