At its core, this is a “getting to know you” tool, akin to SuperMe, or any other introduction activity. However, here we aim to build a really strong bond between pairs of people within the team.

This is designed to introduce empathy and specifically the idea that every person is individual, with hidden depths. You might want to use this if you’re going to be getting your team to engage with potential service users or even engage with the results of such conversations. …


This is a practical guide to using precedence in a workshop environment.

Background

In 2018 I worked with one of the big five energy companies restructuring their internal database systems. In 2016 I worked with the Scottish Ambulance Service defining the criteria by which they’d assess and purchase new equipment. In 2015 I worked with a consortium of hospitality businesses in the north of Scotland to build a coherent tourism offering.

In all of these instances, building consensus from a diverse group of stakeholders was essential. But conversation and groupthink wouldn’t deliver us anything new or concrete.

In the case of…


As a designer I speak well, and I draw well. But I’ve always wanted to learn to write better copy. Here are the top tips and principles I was taught at a “writing for business” masterclass. By applying them to your copy you’ll quickly change your writing, and start to make your audience care.

Being able to communicate complex ideas in a simple, persuasive way is essential for my job. I usually do it verbally. Speaking is really important to me, it’s when I do my best thinking. …


So how much would that house in the middle cost to rebuild, furnish and make into a home again?

Okay, this is about insurance, but bear with me. It leads down to three lovely wee design challenges at the end.

At The Unit, we’ve got a new Non-Exec Director: Ian Hood, Head of Digital at Fidelity. He recently sat down with the majority of the team to channel some of his experience of working in transformation for the insurance sector, and help us understand a little of how the industry works.

Just so we’re all on the same page — here’s a super simple Insurance 101: an insurance company (your insurer may be a brand, who doesn’t insure you…


This is a short article I wrote a few months ago, but never published.

This week I’ve had another occasion to revisit the thinking in my (as yet) unfinished trio of articles on design process. I’m designing a method, or series of design tools, for a large telecoms company to embed in their teams across multiple European countries. The intent is to identify service touch points which are broken, which could be better, or which could exist.

I’ve chosen very carefully to say that I’m designing a method. To my mind design, or certainly the flavour of semi-structured, participatory service…


Redrawn — Original credit unknown — Note: final two stages often reversed

This is the second part in a series of three articles exploring my experiences with design process and how I continue to develop my practice by consciously making process visible.

In part 1 is said the first process I came across was the Double Diamond. If you had a formal design education in the UK in the last 8 years, specialising in product or service, or worked with people from the “design thinking” world in the UK then you probably came across this. …


A Panel from Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson, first published May 21st 1992

This is the first part in a series of three articles exploring my experiences with design process and how I continue to develop my practice by consciously making process visible.

The mention of “process” at any point during my four years at the Glasgow School of Art elicited groans and much eye rolling from the body of students. As a bunch of self-proclaimed unique, talented, free and independent students, what could forcing us to fit a structure do but confine our vast creative output, quash our emerging skills and subvert our talent?

We knew best, and what we knew was…


Written a few years ago on the subject of co-design.

One of the main jobs of a designer working in a facilitation setting is to provide a safe zone for uncertainty to sit in.

Digital Sketchbook; December 2012

Designers live in a world of unknowns. Unknowns are exciting, and filled with potential. They’re dangerous and often turn out to be the wrong unknown at the wrong time, but without letting yourself sit in that foggy land of uncertain possibilities you won’t discover whats wrong and what right until too late, you can’t create new, you can’t create different and you can’t discover paths into…


How do we deal with entwined social, technological and personal urban futures

On March 17th The Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA) held a short question and answer session surrounding the challenge of creating “Age-Friendly Cities”. The real takeaway from the whole event was simple.

The population is going to have more life experience than ever before. This can be a good thing. So let’s treat it like that.

It’s time to shift paradigms from one in which old people are a drag, a waste of decaying space who take up houses young couples could be being valuable in, to one in which we recognise and encourage these bastions of wisdom…

John Sunart

Facilitator and designer with intent, writing from Brighton, England. Previously a Flitcroft

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