Digital and Population Data Services Agency

Working together we renewed the customer experience and customer service and marriage ceremony premises

Sörnäinen’s customer service and marriage ceremony premises are designed to meet the needs and service paths of different users, making it easier to take care of matters. The down-to-earth choice of tones, light and closeness to colleagues all create a sense of security. The partitions used at the customer service points make it easier to handle sensitive matters in an otherwise open space. In the marriage ceremony premises, couples can get married, for example, in rooms that are atmospherically named Lemmenjoki or Riisitunturi. The same atmosphere travels with the officiator all over Finland thanks to the Rakkausvirasto, “the Love Authority”, concept manual.

Truly user-driven renewals

The job description for the Local Register Offices included the maintenance of the population information system and marriage ceremonies. The Local Register Offices and the Population Register Centre merged into the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (DVV) at the turn of 2019-2020. As part of the merger, a customer-oriented operating model was created for the Uusimaa Local Register Office’s customer service concept and premises in Sörnäinen, Helsinki. Rune & Berg Design was also involved in renewing the marriage ceremony premises at Lintulahdenkuja 2. The projects included service design as well as interior and signage design.

The choices in both projects for the premises and services to be renewed were determined in cooperation with the users. The aim was to streamline transactions at the Local Register Office, thus also facilitating the work of the staff. In order to make the service environment, which is shared by several actors, as functional as possible, the staff of the Local Register Office and International House of Helsinki (IHH) were closely involved in the development of service and space concepts throughout the project. The voices of customers and employees are also strongly visible in the renewed marriage ceremony premises – with the agency aiming to treat customers even more equally and therefore, for example, the renewed marriage symbol is gender neutral.

The renewal was guided by jointly defined objectives, or design drivers:

  • Easy, clear and equal dealings with the agency
  • People-oriented, customer first
  • Uniform operating models
  • Versatile and adaptable spaces

To support the renewal of the customer service point, the agency’s everyday life and use of the space were observed, customers and employees of the agencies were interviewed and joint workshops were held. In addition, users had the possibility to comment on, for example, prototypes of operating models and furniture. The pain points for customers’ dealings with the agency were found to be customers drifting into the wrong places with the wrong forms and service numbers. Service guides and advisers to help customers were introduced to the new service model, who receive visitors immediately at the door and advise them on the right service point. Clarity was also increased by the division of the service environment into pre-service and service areas and a separate document collection point.

The marriage ceremony premises have been made as effortless and peaceful as possible for users

The word “magistrate” is a well-established term in people’s minds, so we decided to keep it on the signs in the renewed spaces – this will also make it easier for guests to find the right place. The couple getting married and other guests register at the reception, from where they are directed to the atmospheric marriage foyer waiting for them. In the vicinity of the marriage foyer are two dressing rooms where the groups can prepare for the important occasion. There are two actual marriage ceremony premises: Lemmenjoki and Riisitunturi. Once the marriage ceremony is over, the wedding foyer also serves as a great place to take photos. We created an interior design concept for the marriage ceremony premises, which includes different levels depending on the extent of the desired change. With the help of pre-defined signs, furniture and decorations, it is easy to implement the same atmosphere at different marriage ceremony premises in addition to the Sörnäinen location.

Multipurpose and equal spaces and practices

The premises were designed not only to be user-oriented but also smartly adaptable for different business situations. The service area and marriage ceremony premises are suitable for five different purposes:

  1. queuing service
  2. IHH matters, i.e. International House of Helsinki services
  3. express service
  4. service by appointment and
  5. marriage

In addition to the use situations mentioned above, the marriage ceremony premises can be easily used, for example, for events and meetings where there are no marriages. The service point area can also be used, for example, to hold events highlighting the activities of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. Material flows and furniture choices took into account customer flows and different operating situations. For example, the chairs in the wedding foyers fold up so they can be stored if necessary. The furniture was also chosen according to the availability of spare parts. If any part of the furniture, such as a table top, wears out, it is possible to replace it.

In addition to versatility, facilities and service models were made equal and for the long term. The renewal of the service area and marriage ceremony premises will support the change in the operations of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency over the longer term. The atmosphere in the rooms is visually calm and acoustically pleasant, so they will last and serve a wide range of uses. The calm and clear colour scheme and carefully designed furniture make proceedings easier. Signs use symbols instead of words so they are easy to understand regardless of one’s language. They also have braille versions for those with impaired vision. The service points, on the other hand, are height-adjustable and the idea is that the customer can choose whether to stand or sit.

You can read more about the renewal of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency’s marriage ceremony premises on Senate Properties’ website (in Finnish).