Aalto Thesis

Project Finnish Digital Agency - Design System in Digital Public Sector

The Aalto Thesis project for the Finnish Digital Agency (FDA) kick-started in early November 2019 and ended in May 2020. The student team of four solved the challenge of how to make FDA the best digital agency in the world. Read more below!
Aalto Thesis Student Team
Aalto Thesis student team (from the left: Ming, Nandakumar, Christopher, and Fiona) in the Kick-Off Meeting with the Partner / photo: Niina Pitkänen

The partner

Finnish Digital Agency (Population Register Centre until 1 January 2020) is the public sector’s digital services developer and a supporter to other public operators. Finnish Digital Agency collects and maintains Finnish citizens’ information about life events (such as birth, change of marital status, etc.). Finnish Digital Agency aims to continually reduce the client’s need for face-to-face services by developing smart digital solutions, such as the Suomi.fi site.

Finnish Digital Agency is a public organisation, and it employs around 800 people. National laws and EU-wide regulations control the organisation's operations.

The challenge

Finnish Digital Agency is eager to define and develop a consistent user and service experience in the public sector’s digital services. Historical examination, future trends, and international benchmarking would bring exciting insights into the project. The new EU legislation on producing digital services and accessibility directive is in the core of this project. Also, the national law on offering digital services obligates authorities to provide citizens with a consistent, customer-oriented, and a safe digital way of interacting with authorities.

The goal of the Finnish Digital Agency is to make Finnish public digital services the best in the world, and they hope to acquire valuable insights from the Aalto Thesis project towards this.

The objective

The vision of the partner is to be the global leader in developing and providing coherent service paths in the public sector digital services. Therefore, the objective of the multidisciplinary teamwork in Aalto Thesis is to create value to the partner organisation by helping them achieve their long-term goal of becoming, not only European Union’s, but the world’s most innovative and established provider of public sector digital services.

We want to be the world’s best public agency, and we genuinely believe that Aalto Thesis can help us to achieve this goal.

Jani Ruuskanen, Chief Senior Specialist, Finnish Digital Agency

The student team

In this project, the student team consists of four Aalto Master’s students from different fields focusing on different aspects of the partner's challenge:

Ming Unn Andersen

Collaborative and Industrial Design | School of Arts, Design and Architecture

  • Playing make believe in the Finnish Digital Agency. Exploring socio-political implications in digital public sector through Speculative Design and Live Action Role Play

  • How can socio-political implications of the digital public sector be explored using speculative design and live action role play?

Fiona Kaihari

International Design Business Management | School of Arts, Design and Architecture

  • Branding Digital Public Sector: The Case of DVV. The Role of Branding in Designing End-user Experiences in the Finnish Digital Public Sector.

  • What is the role of a brand image in designing complex service systems in the public sector? How to design a coherent and engaging end-user experience through branding in a public sector digital brand?

Christopher Kannaday

Management and International Business | School of Business

  • Facilitating Digital Innovation through Employee Procurement Strategy in the Finnish Public Sector

  • How does a company’s sourcing procedure impact digital innovation output of the firm? Do corporate boundaries, contract length, and other elements of personnel utilisation adversely impact digital innovation output?

Read Christopher's Master's thesis from Aaltodoc

Nandakumar Karinganampillil Sasidharan

Information and Service Management | School of Business

  • Identifying Process Framework and Best Practices for Design Systems in Developing Public Sector Digital Services

  • What are the critical processes involved in the development of a design system in a public sector entity? Which other public sector design system can be considered as a model for other countries?

Read Nandakumar's Master's thesis from Aaltodoc

The time frame of this project was November 2019 – May 2020.

This project allows me to learn more about digital public services in Finland which I'm a fan of.

Nandakumar Karinganampillil Sasidharan, Information and Service Management student

Aalto Thesis student project team captured the audience of 40 participants in online final presentation

Aalto Thesis student team presented their interdisciplinary findings through an online meeting on Friday, 15 May.

Read more about the project outcome!
People sitting by tables and listening to a presentation.

Aalto Thesis is a newly launched model for an integrated project-based and work-life oriented Master’s thesis, executed as a part of a multidisciplinary student team. In the programme, a group of 2-4 students from different Aalto Schools is formed to jointly solve a multidimensional challenge given by a real work-life partner. Each student writes an individual thesis from the perspective of their own field, guided by their supervisor, but the topics of all the students are connected through a common challenge.

Aalto Thesis -tiimi

Silva Saulio

Silva Saulio

Project coordinator
School Services, BIZ
Laura Sivula

Laura Sivula

School Services, BIZ
Aalto Thesis
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