28-30 Sept.


Thursday, 28 Sept. 14:55

Domain Driven Design at UK Parliament

Anya Somerville, Silver Oliver and Michael Smethurst

45 min talk
'The two Houses (Commons and Lords) are largely autonomous, as are many of the offices inside the Houses. Many of Parliament’s current systems have evolved separately over years, digitising processes in isolation.

We’re a team of information architects, data architects, librarians and user researchers working on a new data model and information architecture for the UK Parliament.

The two Houses (Commons and Lords) are largely autonomous, as are many of the offices inside the Houses. Many of Parliament’s current systems have evolved separately over years, digitising processes in isolation.

Because the software is disjointed, the content and data produced is disjointed, which leads to the website being disjointed and public understanding of Parliament being disjointed. It’s a fairly classic case of exposing internal organisational structures to the world.

To solve this we’ve stepped back from individual offices and software. We’re using Domain-driven Design (DDD), a methodology for exploring, unpacking and disambiguating the language and processes of a community of practice.

We’ve worked with a variety of people, exploring their understanding of Parliamentary processes, capturing the mental models of users inside and outside Parliament. By working with people from both Houses, we have zoomed out to a bird's eye view of Parliament.

DDD allows for creative collaboration between technical and domain experts to inform design decisions. It permits space and time to develop a shared understanding of the domain before going away and designing stuff (UX, data, code, product). It allows design and user needs to be emergent over time.

Having that bird's eye view allows us to de-risk development of data models, code and UX. We’re now zooming back in, focussing on specific areas of the domain.

Beyond Parliament as an entity, there’s Parliament as a cog in the complicated and complex machinery of state. Improving public understanding of what Parliament is for, how it works, and how it interfaces with other parts of the state is increasingly important in troubled times for democracy.


Anya Somerville, Silver Oliver and Michael Smethurst

Anya Somerville

As Head of Indexing and Data Management for the House of Commons Library, Anya Somerville leads a team of information specialists. The team adds subject indexing and other metadata to parliamentary business data, and manages the Parliamentary controlled vocabularies. The processes of Parliament are complicated. The information produced by Parliament is also complicated: we specialise in making sense of it.

Scheduled on

14:00 - 14:45
Stephanie Hughes​
14:55 - 15:40
Domain Driven Design at UK Parliament
Anya Somerville, Silver Oliver and Michael Smethurst
'The two Houses (Commons and Lords) are largely autonomous, as are many of the offices inside the Houses. Many of Parliament’s current systems have evolved separately over years, digitising processes in isolation.
In-built Intelligence: The Information Architecture of Intelligent Environments
Paul-Jervis Heath
The ‘internet of things’ moves technology out of our hands and into the environments we inhabit. Rather than devices which constantly demand our attention, technology can be embedded everywhere yet goes largely unnoticed until called upon; present but at the periphery of our attention for most of the time. This creates a new relationship between us, the environments we inhabit and the technology in those environments.
15:50 - 16:35
Experiment-Driven Service Development
Peter Boersma and Jason Mesut


About EuroIA

EuroIA is the leading Information Architecture (IA) and User Experience (UX) conference for Europe.

EuroIA has travelled through Europe over the years: Brussels, Barcelona, Rome, Berlin, Paris, Prague, and most recently, in Amsterdam. In 2017 will be in Stockholm for the first time. Learn more about EuroIA.

EuroIA is organised by volunteers all around Europe, with three co-chairs, an active committee and over 35 country ambassadors. Find out who is who at EuroIA.

Välkommen in Stockholm

EuroIA goes to Stockholm, the Capital of Scandinavia, one of the most connected, environmentally friendly and creative cities in the world.

EuroIA 2017 will take place at Elite Hotel Marina Tower, situated in a historic mill on the waterfront, only a few minutes from the city centre.

Elite Hotel Marina Tower Stockholm,
Saltsjöqvarns kaj 25,
131 71 Nacka,
+46 8 555 702 00


Our sponsors

The following sponsors have already committed to EuroIA 2017:

Trivago is a hotel search which empowers more than 120 million travelers every month in their search for the ideal hotel. By using trivago, you can sift through over 900,000 hotel deals, from 250+ booking sites and hotel chains at once.

FatDUX: Headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, FatDUX creates innovative interactive products that improve the quality of people’s lives and improve their clients’ bottom line. These products include websites, intranets, software applications, and industrial interfaces. You’ll find FatDUX offices and representatives throughout Europe and the Americas.

User Intelligence: User Intelligence is a user experience design and evaluation collective based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Our consultants work on the design and evaluation of complex, interactive products and services, usually applications on websites, mobile phones, interactive TV, or desktops. We always keep the end-user in mind, without losing sight of the business context of our clients.

Tobii Pro, being a world leader in eye tracking products and services, helps business and science professionals gain valuable insights into human behaviour. Our innovative and high-quality eye tracking solutions capture human behaviour in a natural way, ultimately affording users access to valuable, objective data about real responses to stimuli..

Rosenfeld Media: Rosenfeld Media connects people interested in designing better user experiences with the best expertise available—in the formats that make the most sense, and in ways that demonstrate the value of UX.
As UX becomes mission critical for more industries, organizations, and people, they expect to be there—as a trusted source of really helpful, really valuable expertise that helps make sense of user experience design. is an industry leading prototyping platform which gives designers, entrepreneurs, and developers the power to create pixel-perfect web and mobile app prototypes that look and feel just like the real thing. All without a single line of code.

Balsamiq is the maker of Mockups the rapid wireframing software that combines the simplicity of paper sketching with the power of a digital tool so that teams can focus on what's important. Balsamiq is a small and personable company that competes on usability and customer service. Balsamiq believes work should be fun, and that life is too short for bad software.

Sketch gives you the power, flexibility and speed you always wanted in a lightweight and easy-to-use package. Finally you can focus on what you do best: Design.

GatherContent helps to take the chaos out of producing website content. The easy to use online tool helps you to organise your website content in one place, ensuring content is in the right structure, well written and ready for the CMS. We also help you manage workflow and approval processes, ensuring that content is complete and ready on time.

Great user experiences require solid consumer insight, brilliant digital design, and sustainable business models. This is the core of the digital transformation, and where we thrive – collaborating to turn your business strategy into profitable products and services that people love.

Axure RP gives you the wireframing, prototyping and documentation tools needed to make informed design choices, persuade any skeptics, and document your design... and maybe win a few fans along the way.

Optimal Workshop is the creator of a suite of usability tools to help improve your website navigation, define information architecture, understand first-clicks, capture qualitative research, and more.

What are you waiting for? Add your company’s name to this list...

EuroIA 2017 is also on Medium, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. For help, ping the co-chairs Francis, Raffaella or Angus or drop us a line at info (at)