Tailoring to be user-centric


Mediation for divorcing parents 

Every year, 25,000 children in Norway experience their parents divorcing. And although many breakups are amicable, a lot end up in conflict, something which puts enormous strain on the children. Therefore, mediation is vital in reducing that strain, because even though couples fall apart, parenthood continues.

More diverse user-groups triggered an improved service

Due to  earlier surveys  on  family counselling, Bufdir (The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs) wanted to pursue  opportunities  for  innovation and improvement.  Findings concluded that there were geographical and professional differences among Norwegian mediation services and that family counselling tasks had increased in complexity as a result of more diverse user groups. Therefore,  the  goal  has been to create an improved mediation service – one that’s more user-centred and dependable.

Upgrading by applying  service design  methods

By applying  service design methods  such as user involvement  and  co-creation  with representatives from  Bufdir, EGGS  helped  emphasise  areas of improvement.  These included increasing  the expertise and competency  in service design  within  Bufdir  by  highlighting  how  it can be used in multiple ways to  upgrade  Bufdir’s  services.

Within a couple of weeks, EGGS got to the core of what mediation is all about and what’s important for children and their parents. This is a field of expertise that psychologists and therapists work with throughout a lifetime and which EGGS grasped the essence of very quickly.
Wenche  Mobråten, Director,  Bufdir 

Children of divorcing parents many time suffer emotinally when the process is not solved beacause the parties cannot agree. Mediation Service helps make the process smoother and avoids putting too much strain on the children.

Getting to know users’ actual needs

We conducted a series  of interviews with parents and children throughout the various stages  of mediation, interviews with family counselling mediators, observation of parental mediation,  and other miscellaneous sources. Each of these proved to be highly informative regarding having empathy and a profound understanding of users’ needs, and their experiences of mediation services.

By applying  service design methods  such as user involvement  and  co-creation  with representatives from  Bufdir, EGGS  helped  emphasise  areas of improvement.

Modules catering for tailored mediation

Most importantly we learned that different parents have different needs, so together with  Bufdir we designed  a  modular based  service,  making it easy to tailor mediation for  different family situations.  The service is divided into two  different  mediation paths that parents can follow depending on their level of conflict. 

The first path  is straight forward mediation  for parents with  a  low  level of conflict, and  where couples  manage to  communicate to find a solution.  The second path is for  parents with higher degrees of conflict, making  communication and  collaboration  more challenging.

The two  mediation paths are  illustrated step by step for each contact point,  and display  digital and mediator tools, along with information for parents and children. Guidelines  have also been  developed, providing general user-orientated policies.
I’m delighted with the results. The entire process has been very inspiring.
Wenche  Mobråten, Director,  Bufdir

What is mediation?

Mediation Service is a  statutory  public  service  in Norway  for divorcing parents with children under 16.  It was established  to ensure that the needs of children were met during and after a divorce  and is  offered at  49 regional family counselling centres throughout  Norway.  Mediation is a process,  so the agreement must  be revised and adjusted to  grow with the child  and to any changes in family situations.

Major digitalisation plan for the directorate

All projects received top-level support at Bufdir  and are part of a major on-going digitalisation plan for the directorate. The entire process is a co-creation  between the directorate, mediators, child-welfare officers, staff and  end-users. This has led to a changing of mindsets and what best to focus on for users, as well as  a re-direction of human resources to those who need them most. 

EGGS carried out the service design of Mediation Service, as well as the design of the digital concepts while  Making Waves is responsible for implementing the digital tool that’ll support parents throughout the mediation process. The tool is expected to be launched in 2019. 

An award-winning service design

 Mediation Service was recognised for its potential to help limit distress for children and parents during divorce.

The new mediation service by Bufdir is a great project! It is not that couples go through a divorce knowing how to proceed with the divorce without causing stress and sorrow for their children. The fact that Bufdir offers a differentiated mediation course can potentially save both parents and children from lasting wounds. The process has been comprehensive, both concerning the training of employees and course holders and the specific solution the families will use.
DOGA Award's jury


Sounds interesting?

Åshild Stav

Have a chat with our Lead Service Designer
Åshild Stav
+47 971 51 743

Marte Grevsgard

Get in touch with Creative Leader Service Design
Marte Grevsgard
+47 917 74 683

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