Now Including: Process, tools, methods & skills

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Now Including Process, tools, methods & skills


Design To design is to make something with a purpose something which answers a need. Designers solve problems. Co-design means doing this with the people who will use or engage with your finished product or service. Service designers have design skills and can help users to design products and services, through a range of tools and methods, for themselves. Some of these tools and methods will be familiar from Includem’s A Better Life. Many of these can be applied to lots of different things - whenever there is a problem to solve, a design process approach can be helpful.


Rather than focusing on our findings, ideas and results, this book documents the process and skills we used to get us there. You can refer to it whenever you have a problem to solve - whatever the scale. The process, tools, methods and skills are applicable to lots of different scenarios. Remember, there are no rules and no “right way” of using any of these - adapt and tweak them to suit your task. For some context, it might be useful to remind ourselves of the project brief set by Includem. We were asked to look at two areas during our Now Including project: a)

To develop tools to better promote the

Transitional Support Service, to assist in increasing recognition of the service to stakeholders, including young people, parents/carers, across the rest of Includem and other agencies. b)

To build on reflections on participation techniques

and existing participation tools being used by Includem, to evaluate and recommend improvements as part of taking forward a Participation Framework that works for Includem’s young people and staff.



fresh way • Gather insights & notice new things 05




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The Design Process

• Make sense of insights • What matters the most?

Every design project will go through the four phases of the design process, no matter the



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created, prototyped &

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& g rin ew plo g n Ex stin ns te lutio so

• Solutions & concepts are

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discipline - service, product, graphic, fashion etc.

• Ideas brought to final stages of development • Production & launch

• Trial & error to improve & refine ideas.


Discover Process Understanding

We made a list of all the people


We began by asking questions.

who need to know about Includem’s

What is participation? What is not?

Transitional Support Service and added

We gave our own answers to these

to it exactly what it was they each

questions, as well as asking other young

needed to know.

people and Includem staff. We thought

about the reasons for these answers. We

We started to think about how we

might communicate with different people

also looked to other organisations for

- not only through paper leaflets but also

their examples.

online and face to face. People began to

tell us that young people make the best

be involved and how they might benefit

advocates for Includem!

from participating in the development of

We thought about who might

Incudem’s services.




Tools & Methods • Research: Includem’s own website & existing written material, other websites, leaflets and forms of communication. Gathered, then cut these up & took the best & worst bits of these to say what we liked & didn’t like. • Talk: To workers, managers & young people. What do they think is needed? • Posters: To gather information & ideas from a wide selection of staff, we put posters up around Includem’s offices which asked people to answer one of our questions. • User Journey: What does a young person’s journey through Includem look like now? Where are there opportunities for participation? Where is there need for better communication? • Persona: Who will use your final idea? What do they need from participation? From communication? How will they benefit?

Skills & how to use them • Objectivity: Looking at a situation and being able to see where the problems lie, without letting your own thoughts & experiences get in the way. Understanding how other people might feel in the same situation and looking at it from their point of view. Use this to make sure that your own point of view is not clouding your thoughts, and that you are designing for everyone who will use your final idea. • Research: Gathering lots of information from different sources to compare. Use this when you first want to begin finding out more about something new. Read about it, ask people who know about it, ask those who don’t. But remember - you can’t learn everything and you’ll get to know more as your project progresses. 10

Define Process

Already some opportunities for young people to participate in Includem’s

service development and to improve communication were presenting themselves. We looked at our findings and insights to identify areas of need. Which problems were most important? Which opportunities were more feasible? We defined each problem and were able to write ourselves “mini-briefs� for each set of barriers and opportunities.

At this stage, we sought the advice of both workers and the Transitional

Support Service Team Manager - what barriers had we missed? Was there anything preventing our ideas from working?




Tools & Methods • Synthesis: This is the process of pulling together everything we learnt during our discovery phase. By bringing it together in one place, we can start to see patterns emerging, insights, or discover the real root of a problem. • MoSCoW: Must, Should, Could, Won’t. We used this ourselves, and with workers, to get a better understanding of the way in which we would hope a project, which asks young people to take part, would be organised. • Barriers & Solutions: We acknowledged anything which might get in the way and thought of creative ways to overcome them. • Problem Statements: We clearly stated what we felt was the real issue or where the need for development lay after doing our research. • Mini Briefs: “We want to... because...” Having defined the problem, or area of need, we were then able to create very specific briefs for ourselves, and to say why we wanted to look at this problem.

Skills & how to use them • Discovering barriers, opportunities & solutions: When we come across something which seems to stand in the way, it is a designer’s job to say “How can we overcome this? How might we use it to our advantage?” We can learn from these barriers to ensure that mistakes are not repeated. We also need to look for opportunities - where is a need not being met? Use this way of thinking whenever a problem presents itself. • Goal setting: By clearly defining what it is we want to achieve at this stage, we can make sure that we stay focused on our original aims. Use this when you wish to see an idea or project through to completion or you have a goal in mind. Don’t forget - be prepared to change these goals when the need arises! 14

Develop Process

We began to generate lots of ideas which might tackle the problems and

opportunities for change which we had found. These ranged from huge ideas which would require a lot of change and a lot of money, to very small ideas which could be brought to life very quickly and at no cost at all.

We began to share our ideas with others to see if we had fully considered

every part of them. We started to make initial versions and to test them; we created the first versions of a referral leaflet and a young persons’ website and we began to explore how young people might be involved in mentor induction training, through just trying it!

Through trying these out, and in discussion with other young people and staff,

we kept making changes and tweaking our prototypes.




Tools & Methods • Storyboards: We used these to draw and write out how our idea might work. What are all the steps along the way? By drawing our ideas, it was easier to share them quickly with lots of different people. • “The Big Idea”: We used these cards to clarify our ideas and to share them with others. We drew a picture to represent our ideas, stated what we want it to do, who it is for, how we could test it and what might get in the way. • Prototyping: This is one of the most important, and fun, parts of the design process! You will never know if an idea will work by just talking about it - we need to test it! We produced rough versions of our referral leaflets, at first just hand drawn, and asked workers to imagine using them. What information would they expect to find? What would it look like? How and when would they use it? We were then able to create improved versions, or iterations, of our idea. We prototyped our idea for young people playing a greater part in Includem’s staff training, by carefully trying it out. Knowing that this was a prototype meant we could be extremely flexible.

Skills & how to use them • Creative thinking: Rather than falling in love with the first idea you have, it is best to generate a whole host of ideas, from the very sensible to completely ridiculous or seemingly impossible. This can help to inform and inspire your final solution. Quickly get ideas out of your head and onto paper or postits allows you to see them side by side and to build on them. Use this whenever you want to find a solution. • Testing & iterating: Take a deep breath and test your ideas. Stop talking and start doing! Test them with the people who will use, deliver and interact with your ideas. Remember, it must work for them. Use this once you have a few ideas you think might work. Make rough, quick versions at first, which can be changed, refined and improved after initial testing. 18

Deliver Process

We have brought our ideas to the final prototype stage; our referral leaflet and

website are ready to be sent to the graphic designers and web designers who will produce them. Our ideas will undergo some further development at this stage, but importantly, the main elements of our ideas should play a part in the final product. We can ensure this happens through clear communication of our ideas, the problems and opportunities we identified and the reasons we feel they are the best solutions.

So now, we need to share our ideas with all those who were involved in their

development and with all the people who might interact with them in the future. We are doing this in a variety of ways; through videos which show how our ideas work, through written documents and through talking to the people who will work with them and the people who can make them happen! To guarantee that our work is taken on board, we will challenge Includem staff to tell us how they will help put it into practice.




Tools & Methods • Video walk-through: We created short and simple videos which show how our ideas will work in reality. This is a great way to get across an idea very quickly. Through acting it out, sometimes we can see where things won’t work and make further changes. We based our short films on the storyboards we created previously. • Presenting: By speaking face to face with the people who will take up our ideas, we have the best chance of making sure they understand the need for them and will become champions for them as they move forward. • Final Prototypes: These are the most highly developed versions of our ideas, which can be shared with the people who will produce the final product or service.

Skills & how to use them • Demonstrating & evidencing your ideas: When communicating an idea, don’t forget to let people know why you think this is the best solution. How did you come up with this idea? Have you tested it with the people who will use it? Use this to give weight and credibility to your designs! • Presenting & public speaking: This doesn’t have to be a dry and boring talk. What other methods can you use to communicate your ideas? Pose questions, encourage audience participation, make it fun. Everyone, including yourself, will feel relaxed and engaged if you do so. This will be far more effective than reading notes from a page. Use this to gather support for your ideas. 22