The public service of the 21st century

Usually, the bootcamp is done by cleaning a class and all projects are collected around trash. This is the end. I feel ashamed then because anyone else could build upon the knowledge or ideas coming out of the intense training week focused on critical thinking, collaboration and other principles of people-oriented design methodologies as design thinking, human-centered design, design sprints, etc.

Before an ordinary class which moved into several design studios during a few minutes

I’ve decided to take a different approach this year. I chose one wide and complex theme instead of offering multiple topics. Each group had the same starting point which should be more enriching during discussions not just for me but for groups as well. The theme was a public service of the 21st century. 

The Czech TV is national public service broadcaster together with the Cesky rozhlas and CTK. As a member of an initialization, team we work on the future of digital experience provided by the Czech TV. Our goal is to identify the most challenging issues within the online environment in the connection to the overall heritage of Czech TV for any audience. One of them is the role of public service in the 21st century.

Kick off

The more concrete you are, the fewer surprises you can expect. Keep eyes and head open.

I’ve learned that dealing with complexity is super frustrating at the beginning but amazingly rewarding in the end. The Czech education system pushed us to deliver what teachers asked us in an exact way. So you as a student have to write essays to write essays and get credits instead of seeing an opportunity to experiment or research something to learn out of our activities. The missing meaning in given tasks then moves to the working environment while the individual creative potential changes into just the executing one.

I’ve framed a design space for students with a little bit of theory about public service followed by several examples dealing with the use of different multimedia. We’ve touched museum installations, drugs, refugee crisis or other topics covered by the Czech TV or Czech Radio.

The week goal of a bootcamp is to come with validated ideas based on a team researching activities in the context of public service, any multimedia experience and people living in the Czech Republic. Broad, challenging and for some people maybe even boring.

Themes defined by students

My perspective can be simple different in comparing with yours. The world is colorful.

Students started with deconstructing the challenge by individual brain-writing followed by a group discussion in order to define topics for the user research phase. They have their own points of views, stereotypes and they can’t truly design for someone else without understanding themselves and then expanding their views by views of people they don’t usually meet.

I was a kind of surprised by the involvement of students within this topic. I thought that they’re not going to perceive a public service as relevant and not seeing a connection between law and democracy. I could observe discussions dealing with the relevancy of public services between multiple groups while opening a topic of attractiveness between commercial and public services.

The overall result of their views on public service covers several diverse topics. The topics were defined based on the student discussion, analysis, questioners and guerrilla research conducted in the streets of Prague. Therefore these topics must be taken as hypotheses or signals and not as facts.

Attractiveness of public services
The feeling of the Czech TV shines with obsolescence especially to a younger audience which prefers the environment of online streaming instead of on-air. The obsolescence doesn’t come just from the way Czech TV communicate but what kind of shows are promoted.
The students observe that the audience perceives Czech TV as objective, serious and the most up-to-date. However, if an audience can choose between these attributes and some kind of an attractive form, they rather choose attractiveness on commercial services.

The trust factor
The trust factor is not defined just by a trustful authority which a public service should represent. Trust comes out of presenting multiple perspectives on topics, the objectivity of an author and certain popularity where a brand still plays a huge role.

The meaning of concession fee
Respondents shared their perspective about transparency which was mostly connected with a concession fee and overall operating of public service. The communication tendency of public services seems to be complex and not transparent. So while people do not perceive meaning in the overall service, they refuse to pay.

The new ways of communication
The tendency of public services is to stay strong and relevant on existing communication and distribution channels without a space for experiments and being able to react on new platforms where lifetime is much shorter than back in time. However, digital natives expect to meet with public services at places they spend most of their times.

Researched & defined challenges

A question often generates more questions and answers.

I’ve had a chance to observe a certain information gap between being present during the user research activities or just being informed about them. For this reason, I teach students to combine insights with how might we questions to sum up user research activities.

I push students to first define insights covering a concrete persona in a situation with motivation and expected outcome.

When a mother needs a little bit of time, she borrows a phone to her child, so she isn’t worried about child activities within an online space.

I believe that our brains work better when we make a challenge out of the problem or observed insights. 

How might we help parents to have their kids activities in the online space under control?

Then prioritize the list of HMW’s and deciding which one to move forward with and the toughest part of the bootcamp is over.

Attractiveness of public services
How might we help public services perceive as attractive in order to stay relevant for digital natives?
How might we help young people to explore the content of public services that they don’t know that exist or it’s not distributed to them?
How might we help people to offer objective and serious content of public services in order to stay relevant and attractive?

The trust factor
How might we help news consumers with information verification in order to be able to identify objectivity?

Listening experience
How might we help to digital natives to make a public service attractive, clear and accessible in moments when they don’t have time to watch or read?
How might we help to public services with a distribution of audio content in a clear way in order to improve awareness of social themes?

Consensus fee
How might we help to public services communicate a reason for consensus fee in a clear way?
How might we help people to perceive public services as transparent in order to understand their meaning and value?

The news ways of communication
How might we help to public services being relevant within communication and distribution channels of the 21st century?
How might we help to public services transform the form of shows from on-air into the online world?

Selected students concepts

A small change at the beginning of the design process defines an entirely different product at the end.

A first group coming with a certain solution usually leads the other groups towards the form of their solutions. There are bootcamps which are full of physical models, apps or services. I’m not so sure why this is happening. Maybe because I don’t give enough various examples of prototypes during the lecture or just we as human beings tend to follow what see around us.

Evaluating a trust factor of articles

A community-based authority that helps you to evaluate a trust factor of an article, server, publisher or journalist running on the ecologically based servers.

Team: Yulia Rezaeva, Lucia Kocúreková, Davit Simonjan, Michael Borák a Anastasiia Mozharova

Listening experience on demand

A popularization of podcasts as a listening experience through a campaign because podcast as a medium isn’t known in Czechia and people can spend time with people that they would usually not meet.
Improving the listening experience through not just removing image but rethinking the format to be able to listen to the core message in a short time and then deciding if I want to listen to the whole show or centralizing all podcasts into one place without eliminating the power of a brand.

Team: Matěj Halama, Darybayev Izbassar, Hiep ha le a Michal Dvonč


Making a video-platform with a focus on a user as a single human being in order to find relevant and attractive content which is hard to identify without watching on-air.
Key features: clarity, meaningfulness, accessibility, attractiveness, usability

Team: Josef Cach, Tereza Pajgrtová, Tomáš Návrata a Maksym Bilousov


An event connected to the content of the Czech TV to open society topics and support face to face interaction.

Team: Dominik Tran, Thuy Ngoc Truong, Vladimír Batista, Lukáš Janda a Adam Opalecký

Concessionary fee

A video campaign which shows the real meaning of concession fee based on production or achievements of the Czech which would be not possible without them.

Team: Josef Pazderka, Arlanov Petro, Kateryna Pasiukova, Vlada Ratovskaya a Václav Rychtařík

Social media

Connecting on-air with on-line through extending the show story on relevant communication channels as Norwegian show “Skam“.

Team: Ramilia Sibo, Filatova Hanna, Kseniia Kulikova a Kate Kuzminskaya

Exploring the communication format of news for social media in order to communicate fast and simply with ability to get to know more.

Team: Tomáš Horáček, Eliška Jenková, Maksim Tanuilov a Sofia Bragina


Being able to find what is relevant for me
The public services should use the communication media and style of the 21st century in order to stay relevant for target groups which spend most of their time on social media or other aggregators of information. Being relevant means to be someone similar to you, someone do you appreciate or who care about you. The attractiveness and form of experience are often stronger than the content itself and distribution matters.

Objectivity is not perceived just by one authority
The trust factor is not defined just by trustful authority but by multiple different views on the problem because a consumer has an opportunity to see diversity as well as a connection between all media.

The television is an old-fashioned thing
Today’s shows are not just about a certain episode or a movie during the show time. An audience is expecting to be immersed in the theme of a show on multiple levels and time.

The meaning to a public service defines transparency and perceived value
The public services must be transparent with their economy approach for the audience as well as observing paths to distribute values to citizens.

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