Where anyone can learn to think like a designer

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Sheffield Design School — where anyone can learn to think like a designer

The world of design is inaccessible to most people. It feels like an exclusive club where only the privileged few can call themselves designers.

And at a time when we’re seeing more and more ‘design-led’ organisations and a shortage of designers, this is a problem that will only get bigger.

The idea

Designers helping other people think like designers.

That’s what Sheffield Design School will do.

We’re not just talking about training people up to work as designers. We’re talking about helping people to develop the essence of what makes a good designer.

The one thing that all good designers have in…

Key findings from our design sprint on communicating the benefits of digital to older people

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In October, we facilitated a 2 day design sprint for our project with the Centre for Ageing Better to understand, prototype and test ideas for engaging older people in using digital technology.

I’ve written more about the process of running a design sprint in a separate post and Anna has written about how we’ll be using the insight to inform our comms strategy.

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Rapid prototyping and user research on the streets of Sheffield

But here are the top 5 insights from the 2 days.

  1. Some older people really are ‘not interested’ and they’re proud of that.
    We cannot and should not expect to win everyone over with the argument that they should be online. It’s really difficult to reach resistant people and our Online Centres are doing a great job at breaking down the barriers at a local level. …

How we used a 2 day design sprint to better understand how to communicate with older people about using digital.

Design sprints are a great way to rapidly validate ideas and challenge your biggest assumptions. They’re a great tool for people who have an idea for a new product or service but here at Good Things Foundation, we want to see if they were also a good tool for researching and developing a comms strategy.

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What question did you want to answer in your sprint?

At Good Things Foundation, our vision is a world where everyone benefits from digital.

When we talk about Digital Inclusion, we’re often met with “oh, so helping old people use the internet?”. …

The way we encourage participation determines the value we get from it.

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The question of whether or not we should involve people in design and decision making is a debate that must surely be over.

Co-creation, co-production and co-design are phrases that are now commonplace in a lot of industries and used interchangeably to describe the process of designing with people.

At Good Things Foundation one of our core design principles is ‘Design with, not for them’. ‘Them’ being the people that the members of our Online Centres Network work tirelessly to support. …

Literally searching through bushes to find them.

The aim of the NHS Widening Digital Participation (WDP) project is to pilot twenty different approaches to digital inclusion in healthcare that reach the furthest first.

Digital inclusion and healthcare are things that we know a lot about at Good Things Foundation having worked on the first phase of NHS WDP. But the term ‘furthest first’ is much harder to define.

Earlier this month, Emily and I were in Hastings working with the lead Pathfinder partner, Seaview who provide practical services for the homeless and insecurely housed.

It was during this visit that we found out just what reaching the furthest first looks like. …

10 insights from our 2 day open co-design session in Nailsea

How do people use digital technology to stay healthy? How can a high street shop help people with digital and health literacy? How do you encourage people to walk into a new place for the first time?

These are just some of the questions we were asking when we ran a 2 day open co-design session at 65 High Street in Nailsea, North Somerset.

65 High Street was originally the butchers shop on the High Street. The Town Council have recently purchased the building with the intention to turn it into a Digital Health Hub.

That’s where we come in.

Good Things Foundation is funding the Digital Health Hub at 65 High Street for the next 12 months as part of the NHS Widening Digital Participation project. …

Our first pathfinder is up and running. Read about how we co-designed the first iteration in Sheffield.

Following on from my recent post about how we’re using co-design to drive our pathfinders, I want to share our first example.

Our first Pathfinder is in Sheffield. It’s focussed on understanding how we can embed digital inclusion into existing NHS services, specifically through Social Prescribing.

We’ve reached step four of our process in Sheffield, Test and Refine, with our two pilot neighbourhoods starting the process of testing their new service models that we’ve co-designed.

How did we shape the new service models?

At the beginning of the NHS Widening Digital Participation (NHS WDP) project, we invited expressions of interest from anyone with an idea of how they could embed digital inclusion into healthcare. …

We’re putting our users at the centre and bringing them on the journey with us

At the beginning of the NHS Widening Digital Participation project, Bea talked about our focus on co-design with patients and service providers.

Co-design is key to the project being successful but it’s often misunderstood. This post aims to demystify the term co-design by explaining what it looks like in practice and how we’re using it to direct each of the pathfinders.

Co-design is part of what we and others call Service Design. Service Design is not a new concept, but it’s a term that has become widely used in recent years since the emergence of Digital Service providers such as The Government Digital Service (GDS) and Home Office Digital to describe the research and design process that they go through. …

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Part of the Yoomee vision is to ‘help nonprofits innovate like startups to make the world a better place’. We take the best practices and tools used in Silicon Valley and use them with the good guys.

The Yoomee Investment Week is an opportunity to learn about and test new ways of working that can make us better at what we do for our clients.

We wanted to bring both of these together.

We used Investment Week to test how we can improve the way that we help nonprofits innovate like startups.

More specifically, we asked ourselves this question: Could we take the Design Sprint process into the third sector to help charities and nonprofits increase their impact using digital tools? …


Tim Brazier

Head of Service Design @goodthingsfdn designing ways to help people overcome digital and social exclusion. Founder @SheffDesignSch. Formerly @yoomeehq.

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