Martin Jordan 

Making services work better for all people


Head of Design & User Research at the German government’s Digital Service

Former Head of Service Design at the UK’s Government Digital Service


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Current Work

Design and research at the German government’s Digital Service
A collage of 2 pictures: 1 white woman interviewing another woman in a public square holding a clipboard and wearing a branded hoodie with a blue logo of the Digital Service; a bright orange poster saying ‘Solution second’, ‘Problem first’ in the style of a underground map
Role: Head of Design and User Research

with Charlotte Vorbeck, Marlene Kettner, Sonja Wilczek, Tom Haake

Leading the user-centred design disciple and helping it grow to 27 people, maturing processes, establishing new roles and formalising approaches, increasing design literacy inside the organisation and beyond, connecting designers across all parts of the German public sector.

Further reading:
Weeknotes from the work at Digital Service

Bringing digitalization and innovation into the German administration

International Design in Government community
A woman speaking at a community conference, a young woman taking a picture of a long list of countries represented in the community
Role: Co-organiser

with Kara Kane, Paloma Jain, Viktoria Westphalen, the UCD communities team and international design in government community

Building the 3,500-people strong international community of designers and design-minded people working in governments around the world together with community lead Kara Kane, developing knowledge-sharing formats and co-organising conferences in England, the Netherlands, Scotland and the USA.

Further reading:
Co-creating the most complete overview of international design in government work

International Design in Government: Working to make government more user-centred

side projects

The Service Gazette
A pile of printed newspapers and a middle-aged woman reading a copy of it
Role: Publisher, co-editor

with Dr Katrin Dribbisch, Kara Kane and writing practioners from all over the world

Making a printed newspaper on service innovation and transformation since 2015 together with co-editors Dr Katrin Dribbisch and Kara Kane, collecting stories from the private and public sector from all five continents, editing and publishing articles from a diverse range of practising authors.

Further information:
The Service Gazette – on

The Service Gazette – on Instagram

Berlin public sector meetup
An ethically diverse discussion panel of meetup speakers, a poster for a gov design meetup on inclusive services
Role: Co-organiser

with Christian Katz, Magdalena Noffke, Tobias Witt and Victoria Boeck

Launching a local public-facing meetup series to make good public sector work in Germany open and visible, share what’s happening and have an exchange with the public and the civic design and tech scene, getting people interested in public sector work in Germany.

Further information:
Öffentliches Gestalten – shaping public sector’s future meetup

Recorded meetup talks on YouTube

Public Service Lab
Journey map worksheets used in a workshop, a conference panel discussion with a young woman with darker skin speaking
Role: Co-organiser

with Dr Katrin Dribbisch and Simone Carrier

Supporting the application of user-centred design approaches in the German government and public sector through interactive conferences, hands-on workshops, knowledge-sharing formats, and publications in the German language.

Further information:
Public Service Lab website

Recorded talks from Public Service Lab events

Previous Work

Service design at the Government Digital Service (GDS) and UK government
Poster of cross-government service design meetup
Role: Head of Service Design

with Lou Downe, Clara Greo, Ella Dorfman, Kara Kane, Lina Nilsson, Will Harmer, the UCD communities team, and the designers at GDS

Leading the service design profession at GDS and across the UK government, increasing government’s understanding of service design and its capability through recruitment, mentoring and knowledge-sharing, building a strong cross-departmental service design community.

Further reading:
How we support service design across government

Building a cross-government service design community

GOV.UK Service Manual und Service Standard
Landing page of the GOV.UK Services Manual and a wall with sticky notes in a team workshop
Role: Service owner

with Alison Foley, Alan Maddrell, Ben Carpenter, Hannah Cooper, Kara Kane, Hong Nguyen, Mel Dunkley, Shahjahan Ahmed

Evolving the established Service Standard and GOV.UK Service Manual, improving, updating and extending them, developing a collaborative community-led approach with the users, rebuilding and leading the multidisciplinary team behind.

Further reading:
Taking a community-led approach to the Service Standard and Service Manual

How we’re improving the Service Manual’s guidance and navigation

GOV.UK Registers and GDS’s Data Infrastructure programme
Printout of an end-to-end service flow for GOV.UK Registers and a screen for managing registers during a user research session
Role: Design lead

with Blanca Tortajada, Jen Lambourne, Kieron Kirkland, Louise Petre, Maria Izquierdo, Tom Hughes

Designing the end-to-end service offering around GOV.UK registers in close collaboration with user research, content design and technical writing, leading all design activities across GDS’s Data Infrastructure programme and 4 agile teams, working closely with other members of the programme leadership team on the value proposition and strategy.

Further reading:
Designing the register creation process

What you can learn from making data user-centred

Services Week across the UK public sector
Posters of Services Week 2019 at the wall in the GDS office, and a Services Week 2021 screen on a laptop at home with GOV.UK cup next to it
Role: Initiator, co-organiser

with Lisa Jeffrey, Kara Kane, Keeley Robertson, Shahjahan Ahmed and the UK government design community

Initiating and establishing an annual week-long UK public sector event series to promote good service design practice and increase service literacy, co-creating the event framework that allowed 37 government organisations to run 56 formats for over 3,000 participants in 2021.

Further reading:
In case you missed it: This was Services Week 2021

What’s happening in Services Week?

Service design training for UK civil servants
People analysing a user journey, identifying pain points for the users and waste in the service during a service design training course using sticky notes
Role: Service designer, co-trainer

with Clara Greo, Keeley Robertson, Lisa Jeffrey, the UCD communities team and service designers from across the UK government

Developing and designing the first dedicated service design training for UK civil and public servants in close collaboration with learning designer and training lead Clara Greo, training over 800 people with an active learning approach.

Further reading:
How we run service design training as an agile service

What the user-centred design communities team achieved

London Gov Design Meetup
An ethically diverse discussion panel of meetup speakers, a poster for a gov design meetup on inclusive services
Role: Co-organiser

with Conor Delahunty, Kara Kane, María Izquierdo, Nicolás Rebolledo Bustamante PhD, Stephen McCarthy

Running public-facing evening meetups to connect designers working in, for or with government and people interested in the work, support knowledge exchange, and share the experience of people working on public sector projects and infrastructure.

Further information:
Gov Design Meetup

4 insights from 2 years of London #GovDesign Meetup

Digital service transformation in Hamburg
Three women in a workshop leaving feedback on a service flow, one person sitting in front of a laptop with a Hamburg digital service
Role: Consultant, researcher, designer

as part of MBA thesis work at Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Finland

Consulting the Digital First team at the state government in Hamburg and researching its digital transformation approach, working with the social welfare office to review the existing service for applying for a severely disabled pass and improving the offering.

Further reading:
Service design can boost public value creation in government transformation projects

Creating public value through service design: Facilitation of human-centred service transformation in the city-state of Hamburg

teaching and lecturing

Lean, agile and service design
Designer Stephen McCarthy speaking to students at the Royal College of Art London

A half-day seminar on lean and agile approaches, where they come from, why they are useful in the context of the design of services and how to apply them in a student-client project – with inputs, discussions, case studies from the public and private sector and various exercises.

at the Royal College of Art London

with Stephen McCarthy for master-level students

Creating user-centred public services
Martin Jordan being introduced to public adminstration students  by professor Dr Ines Mergel

A full-day seminar demonstrating German and Swiss public administration students the value and process of user-centred public service design through inputs, case studies and hands-on exercises, making them familiar with user research, journey mapping and hypothesis writing.

at the Universities of Konstanz and St. Gallen

for bachelor-level public administration students

Design Toolbox
Designer and teacher Hannes Jentsch standing next to a projected business model canvas

A 3-week design course examining a practical understanding of design, its process and methods through inputs, hands-on sessions and small assignments, students went through the entire design process with user research and prototype iteration.

at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam

with Hannes Jentsch for bachelor-level design students


In May 2022, I joined the German government’s Digital Service as first Head of Design. Since 2016 and for over 6 years, I’ve been working for the UK Cabinet Office’s digital units – the Government Digital Service and Central Digital and Data Office. Before, I worked for Nokia’s navigation and mapping company HERE Technologies in Berlin. Prior, I worked for design and brand consultancies in London and Buenos Aires and startups in the technology, healthcare and finance sectors.

I have a background in communication, industrial and interaction design, and human-centred innovation. In addition, I’ve acquired management skills during my MBA studies in Helsinki.

In the past few years, I’ve been teaching public sector design at the Royal College of Art London, University of Konstanz and St. Gallen.

My pronouns are he/him.


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