The citizen’s first contact with the city
Birth of a child, graduation, purchase of an apartment, getting a dog, interest in social housing or the providing of care for the elderly – at first sight, different life situations which are connected by one place – the Office of the First Contact (OFC) of the Municipality of Košice. On the Košice “white house” ground floor, all age and social groups have been holding the door since 2006.
During this period, this workplace underwent changes, which goal was to ensure smooth operation and quality services for clients. One of the latest innovations was the introduction of an electronic calling system. Nevertheless, it is not easy to keep up with digitization and the growing demands of citizens.
The biggest challenge is awareness
In the first quarter of 2022, the research team focused on public services (part of the Citizen Experience and Wellbeing Institute) conducted research on the (OFC) service. They found out that although the citizens are satisfied with the work of clerks, the problem arises when they want to get orientated in their own responsibilities towards the Municipality. “After evaluating the survey and in cooperation with local government representatives, we stated that there is a space for improvement within this city service,” says designer and researcher Silvia Bárdová. “We decided that during the second design sprint, we will look for ways how to help citizens to choose the most acceptable communication with the city. We also wanted to ensure that both parties – citizens and employees of the office – were satisfied,” she explains.
All stakeholders cooperated
The first day began with interviews with administrators of the (OFC) service. The task of the participants was to get as much information as possible about the current situation. In the next step, they defined the people and their own goal of a design sprint. They ended the day with input from the decision-makers – deputy directors of the Municipality of Košice – Richard Dlhý and Branislav Ondík. From many ideas, they chose three, which proceeded to the next stage.
The second day was about prototyping. Citizens played their role here, having the opportunity to test and comment on the ideas. After incorporating the new findings, the results of the design sprint were presented to stakeholders.
The outcomes from the design sprint are being further developed by the municipality, CXI and other stakeholders and soon some of them will be published.
More about the outcomes on the Košice 2.0 project website
Watch the after movie video here.