Giving some TLC to our TIC

If you’ve picked-up and read our most recent newsletter, you’ll have seen on the front cover that the Heritage Foundation has received planning permission to transform the Goldsmith Centre into its new offices and community hub.

Flip to the back page and you’ll also see that our Local and Tourist Information Centre (the centre) will move to the new premises as well. We’re using this move as an opportunity make sure that the services on offer from the TIC meet the needs of the community and those visiting Letchworth. This means thinking about the look and feel of the space, the facilities on offer and how we can accommodate our visitors. As Heather, Manager of the centre says, we want to make it, “an interactive, beautifully designed space with services that will benefit everyone”.

Behind the scenes work

We’ve started a project based on service design principles, to help us capture insights and information from people to better understand what their needs are from a community information centre.

This project started in December with a keen and energetic group of staff from across the organisation being selected to take responsibility for it and carry it forward.

First thing to get our heads around was, “what is service design?” Rather simply it’s defined as the “design of services”. So for this project it will mean us thinking about who uses the centre and how we deliver the services of providing local advice and information and more besides, to all comers.

Next we’ve had to think about who the users of the centre are. Also we need to uncover why people don't use the centre. Could we make it more accessible and spread the word about what it can provide?

Thinking on these questions we’ve developed some user personas, one even named after a microwave, to plot out why they use the centre. We’re asking ourselves, what challenges they might face in their user experience, and what information we do and don’t know about them, that might influence what services they use.

Having prepared these fictional personas, based on our assumptions, it’s now crunch time. We need real insights from people about their knowledge, experience and expectations of the centre. 

How are we going to do this?

By doing research we can see what services people will want from our new information centre and where we currently have gaps in the services we provide that the community wants.

To help us gather as many insights as possible, we will be creating a pop-up space in the Arcade where members of the community can come and find out more about the process and also provide their insights and ideas to help us create a brilliant space!

If you spot any of our team out and about in the town centre, please do stop and chat to them about how we can make the new centre space as brilliant as possible. If you’re really keen, we’ll be holding open days in the Arcade on the 24th and 31st of January and it’ll be open from 10-3pm. So come on in for a tea and a chat, biscuits will be provided.

Can you help?

If you’d like to help us on this journey, we’d be delighted to hear your thoughts. Pop in to the TIC and chat to the team there, come to the pop-up in the Arcade, or email us at

Look out for more blogs and updates from the team as we continue this project.

Heritage Foundation staff working in a service design workshop