Service designer (mid-level and senior)

London, Bristol, Manchester, York, Glasgow, Birmingham
Full time (37 hours per week), Job share, Flexible working, Part time, Condensed hours
Grade 7 / Band A
Up to £62,500 (London)/£55,000(National)-based on capability- The base salary of this grade is £54,700(London)/£49,700(National). Offers made above this will be made up with a specialist pay allowance. For more info visit our things you need to know page.
Basic Check (BPSS)

13 March 2022

Who we are

What you'll do

The Government Digital Service (GDS) and the Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) are part of the Cabinet Office. We lead the digital transformation of the UK government so that it works better for everyone. 

Following our Government Design Principles, we deliver platforms, standards and digital services to help departments transform how they work and meet the needs of their users. Find out more about the work in this blog post or the Design in Government blog.

Using our unique position at the centre of government, we develop services that work for the user, however complex the underlying systems may be. We believe that ensuring things work for end users is the only way to realise the efficiencies that come with digital transformation.

The role 

As a designer at GDS you’ll work in multidisciplinary teams, alongside researchers and developers, to deliver world-class, user centred public services. 

You’ll help identify and fix some of the toughest problems in public infrastructure and you will be focussing on design of services at scale. You’ll help the government transform the way it delivers services, so that they’re more efficient, simpler, faster and easier to use.

If you’d like to work with us to simplify services and want to be part of a fantastic service design in government community, where we share ideas and challenges with 1000s of designers across the public sector. This is a chance to work on services that matter, at a huge scale, with people who value design. 

Mid level and Senior service designers

We are recruiting both mid level and senior service designers. We will ask you which level you would like to apply for, and we can also help you work out which level is right for you. The final point in the list below applies to senior level service designers. These skills must be demonstrated in your cover letter to be considered for the senior level.  The other points are relevant to both mid level and senior level service designers. 

As a service designer you’ll:

  • work effectively in a multidisciplinary, agile environment, adapting quickly to changes in requirements, priorities or user needs
  • use research and analytics to understand users needs, identify service failures and test different designs
  • design collaboratively and in the open, engaging your whole team with the design process and adapting it if necessary
  • champion accessibility and inclusion, consider the impact of new technologies and ensure that designs meet legal requirements
  • collaborate with designers in other teams and departments, reviewing each others work and developing shared patterns
  • [seniors only] senior service designers will lead and coordinate design work in your team, supporting other designers where necessary

Who you'll be

We’re interested in people who:

  • Have experience in designing services for users in complex environments
  • Have experience in making effective decisions with user research data
  • Have experience of working with senior stakeholders and ability to negotiate important design decisions
  • Have experience of engaging with people in a variety of ways (eg, workshops or co-design activities)
  • Have an understanding of the importance of inclusive, equitable, accessible and sustainable public services 
  • [seniors only] Senior service designers will have experience of guiding, supporting and mentoring others

How to apply 

If this role is a good fit for you. You must submit all 3 of these for your application to be considered.

  1. a cover letter to tell us about you and why you think you are suitable for this role, addressing the points in the “who you are” section above. 

If you want to be considered for only the senior or mid-level role, please state this in your cover letter. Otherwise we will consider you for both roles. 

  1. a CV to show us your work history
  2. a link to your portfolio in your cover letter or cv to show some examples of your design work

Please note an interview task will form part of the selection process. A short task, which we will give you the day before the interview. You will be given 20 mins at the beginning of the interview to work on the task 

      Applications will be reviewed every three weeks up until the closing date. Please do not delay applying as suitable candidates will be interviewed every 3 weeks from the date applications are received.

      Mid level Service Designer salary:

      Up to £62,500 (London) /(£55,000 National) - based on capability- The base salary of this grade is £54,700 (London) / £49,700 (National). Offers made above this will be made up with a specialist pay allowance.

      Senior Service Designer salary:

      Up to £65,600 (London) / £58,000 (National)-based on capability- The base salary of this grade is £54,700 (London) / £49,700 (National). Offers made above this will be made up with a specialist pay allowance.

      Location: - York, Manchester, Bristol, London, Birmingham, Glasgow

      GDS offers hybrid working for all employees. This means that everyone does some working from home/remote working and also spends some time in their local office. You will agree your hybrid working arrangement with your line manager in line with your preferences and business need.

      A reserve list will be held for a period of 12 months, from which further appointments can be made.


      Candidates that do not pass the interview, however have demonstrated an acceptable standard will be considered for similar roles at a lower grade. 

      How you'll be assessed

      In the Civil Service, we use our Success Profiles. For each role we advertise we consider what you will need to demonstrate to be successful. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity. We will be looking at your experience, career history and achievements that are relevant to the specific job role. We may assess your ability, strength, experience, technical/specialist skills and behaviours.

      For this role the following behaviours are the most relevant:

      seeing the big picture
      communicating and influencing
      working together
      making effective decisions
      delivering at pace

      Things you need to know

      You can find out about the application process and practical details like our office locations on the things you need to know page.

      Equal Opportunities 

      We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity in our organisation. You can find out more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion and read our equal opportunities statement on our Diversity and Inclusion page.

      Redeployment Interview Scheme

      Civil Service employees (including Senior Civil Servants and Crown Arms Length Bodies) who are at risk of redundancy and who meet the minimum selection criteria in the job specification are guaranteed to progress to the next stage of the recruitment process. Selection will be on merit and at-risk candidates will be able to self-identify during the application stage,

      For all guaranteed interview schemes, there may be exceptions made on reasons of time/resource for high-volume recruitment where the vacancy manager may decide to select the candidates who best meet the minimum criteria rather than all of those that meet the minimum criteria.

      This opportunity is closed to applications.