Public service as a Living LAB_2nd Edition



Testing solutions to improve public services dedicated to the youth


The Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS research centre, together with LabX – Centro para a inovação no Setor Público and IPDJ – Instituto Português da Juventude, has tested different initiatives and technologies at Coimbra’s Ponto JA store.

The passage to adulthood represents a complex time in a young person’s life, namely when it comes to the interaction with the state’s services. Inevitably, everyone faces the harsh reality of learning to deal with the financial and social systems’ burocracy. For this and other reasons, it’s important to understand what the needs of young people are, create suitable solutions and analyse their practicality so that the processes can be simplified.

Ponto JA’s network has 52 stores across the country and it’s a public space dedicated to help and guide young people in finding themselves as active citizens, with an impact on society, and in their relationship with the State’s services.

Following an initial research to understand what the pain points and the enablers of this relationship were, two products were developed – a Landing Page and a Chat Bot. These were tested together with a self-service reception desk and the new concept of the Ponto JA’s store. The aim was to evaluate, through user research techniques, if the two products - attached to a self-service desk – fulfilled the expectations of the youth and identify opportunities for improvement. The concept of the store was also tested by evaluating the experience and receptivity of young people to the activities developed in the store.

Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS’ experience in Human Centred Design was essential for the success of this project led by LabX, as it gave the needed support for the products’ usability tests, and afterward to evaluate the results and create a report of methods, procedures, results, and recommendations.

The Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS research centre is dedicated, in this and other projects, to support from a technological and human point of view, public entities in their mission to update and modernize the State and the Public Administration, knowing that the modernization and digitalization of the State is one the paths for a more resilient country.