I recently ran a prototyping bootcamp with David Townson for 60 healthcare practitioners from NHS Humber and Yorkshire.

The intensive session exposed the group to super-practical ways of prioritising service touchpoints to test and then testing them.

A number of the group walked away with a clear idea of what they would be prototyping the following day.


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UNDP Montenegro

March 16, 2013

in Uncategorized

As part as my role as a service design associate for Nesta, I’ve been fortunate to recently travel to Montenegro to facilitate a workshop on Service Design. The session had participants from Montenegro and neighbouring countries learning and trying out everything from observational research to prototyping. Like all organisations that manage their budgets tightly, UNDP are looking for smart ways to test ideas quickly and cheaply to determine which ideas to pursue and which to walk-away from.

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David Townson and I are fortunate to be working with Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust to support design and prototyping of their Community Payback Visibility service. The team won funding from GeoVation’s neighbourhood challenge to develop an app which will enable the public to nominate sites for community payback and track the progress. Jason Davis gives his thoughts on Service Design in a great blog post.

Watch the supporting video here.

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Ran our third GeoVation Camp at the weekend, hosted at Ordnance Survey’s wonderful headquarters. Supported by a brilliant team of facilitators plus service designers from LCC and Imperial College as well as hardcore geodata experts.

The 17 teams worked their socks off in preparation to meet the judges and pitch to them.

Find out more here



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I’ve recently finished working with Reading Borough Council supporting the training of children’s centre staff in prototyping. The session is a one-day bootcamp in the fundamentals of prototyping with plenty of hands on ‘trying stuff out’. I’ve been working with the internal training team to train them up so they can rollout bootcamp Reading Council wide. In 2011 I worked with the Director of Children’s service to prototype a new volunteer-led service where parents have been trained and supported to become mentors and buddies to other families, offering support and a link to other services for families – this was part of NESTA and the Innovation Unit’s Transforming Early Years Programme – find out more here. The results have been significant. The new service has doubled the reach to families whilst reducing costs by £29,000. 20120325-220633.jpg



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squash court blueprinting.jpg

My project with Maiden Lane Food Loop continues at pace – please read ealrier post for more backgrond. I led a blueprinting session with stakeholders from Defra, Policy Studies Institute, E.L.C.R.P., Camden Council and SEED Foundation.

Before running the session I was asked what I needed. I said a big wall would be great. I got a squash court. It was wall space paradise!

The purpose of the session was to map the residents’ journey across the life of the food waste recycling service against various touch points. It provided a great opportunity for the team to truly understand the service from end-to-end and to pin-point where there were opportunities to improve the experience for residents.

In the New Year we will be working up improvements and I’ll be leading a session with residents to understand how they would like to use the compost being produced on the Maiden Lane Estate.

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Public Services by Design

December 10, 2009

in News

colin and sean

I’ve been supporting the Public Services by Design (PSbyD) programme led by the Design Council and funded by BIS. Over the past few weeks I’ve been working with the splendid PSbyD team to design a serious of workshops for public sector organisations to help them figure out how best to exploit design thinking and apply it to meet their specific needs. Last week I co-led some pilot workshops for HMRC and the Youth Justice Board with Colin Burns, a thoroughly good guy, facilitator and designer.

The pilot continues until the end of March. So far so good…

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food loop main.jpg

Food Loop Maiden Lane is a new project running on the Maiden Lane estate, in Camden, north London.

The aim of the project is to work with residents to design a scheme that will help them to recycle their food waste. The food waste will be composted on-site and used to grow fruit and vegetables.

The Food Loop team believe that the best way to get people to care about food waste is by making the local benefits of recycling and composting visible, and by ensuring that people are able to design a system that best meets their needs.

The project is a collaboration between the residents of Maiden Lane, SEED Foundation and the Policy Studies Institute, with the support of Camden Council. The project is funded by Defra’s Sustainable Behaviours Unit.

I’ve been supporting the project team by running working sessions with a design group formed of Maiden Lane residents and the Food Loop team. Using disposable cameras we tasked the residents to understand fellow residents’ food waste behaviour by photographing things such fridges, bins and kitchens table. More importantly though we began to think about ways of overcoming barriers to recycling food waste and the team designed how the new scheme should be communicated. They was no shortage of great ideas and now the scheme is in pilot mode with the communications released and residents starting to use the scheme.

Over the next month I will be working with the same resident group to discuss progress to date and design the next iteration of the food waste scheme prototype.

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national trust main.jpg
The National Trust is a national treasure. They have 3.5 million members and 52,000 volunteers. More than 12 million people visit their pay for entry properties, while an estimated 50 million visit their open air properties. They protect and open to the public over 300 historic houses and gardens and 49 industrial monuments and mills. You should visit!

I’ve been working with the team at Forum Corporation and over twenty-seven individual National Trust properties to help them design an improved visitor experience. Andrew Shapiro, from Forum, and myself having been touring England and Wales working with properties teams to really understand the property personality and experience through the eyes of visitors, staff and volunteers.

The individual property teams have been really hands-on in designing the visitor experience and are well on the way to prototyping their new ideas and executing their implementation plan. The response has been brilliant.

National Trust are now busy measuring the impact of our work so watch this space…

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Design Bugs Out

September 7, 2009

in News

Design Bugs Out

The Department of Health, the NHS Purchasing and Supply agency and the Design Council challenged the UK’s design and manufacturing community to design and prototype new hospital furniture and equipment that will reduce healthcare associated infections (HCAIs). Earlier this year I worked with the Design Council on the Design Bugs Out project.

My role was to develop an approach to evaluate hospital equipment and furniture prototypes, forming part of a wider evaluation of the project. I interviewed product designers, experts in Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs) and representatives from NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (PASA). and then developed a model based on IDEO’s Design Thinking.

My recommendations are included in the Design Bugs Out report pictured above.

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