Scottish Enterprise Service Design

Designing in the open

How we provided evidence for the Digital First Assessment

Last November, we used this website to tell the story and provide evidences for our project Find Business Support (FBS) during our Beta Digital First Assessment.

What’s a Digital First Assessment?

If you are launching a new digital public service or redesigning an existing service in Scotland, it needs to go through the different stages of the Digital First Service Standard assessment.


At the start of the Private Beta phase (August 2019) new people joined the project delivery team. The Alpha team (about 12 people) became the work stream 1 and focused on the frontend and the customers. A new work stream 2 was created (about 12 people too) and focused on the backend and the partners and how they would provide the services and events for the end user: the customer.

The partners (Business Gateway, Skills Development Scotland and Highlands Islands Enterprise) were involved as much as possible, which added about 15 people to the project, who would access and contribute to the project documents.

We used a Sharepoint space to store the day to day project documentation, and another Sharepoint space was used to store the documents needed as evidences for the D1 assessment.

Problems we faced

Approach we tried

A lot of the work we do can be shared publicly. The design team of Scottish Enterprise has started to design in the open as much as possible. This is what this website is about. At the time (Aug - Sept 2019), we had started to add project work to it. This allows us to tell the story, select and present the key documents to illustrate design rationales and produce a meaningful project timeline.

We worked backward to reconstitute what we had done, find the relevant document to share, and the dates where the work was done.



The result

This was very well received by the D1 assessment team. The project timeline was very clear and it was used to support discussions during the assessment sessions.

This was mentioned by the whole team as a positive at the end of the beta phase retrospective.

The partners also found it much easier to use than Sharepoint.

Next steps:


We are using Github and Jekyll, but it could also work using Wordpress, or Umbraco for example. We could also imagine using something like the GOVUK prototype toolkit to create this website, as this could have the advantage to keep the team up to date by using it regularly.

Written on 06 Mar 2020 by David, Martin, Stéphanie