Lambeth’s Digestible Data

October 26, 2012

On September 18th 2012 Lambeth Council Launched its open data demonstrator tool in partnership with Boiler House Media, funded from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) at its ‘Digestibale Data’ event.

 

Further information on the tool can be found on the Boilerhouse Blog

A write-up of the event can be seen at The Daily Information.

The tool can can be accessed at www.lambeth-in-numbers.co.uk

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Community-led commissioning work with Design Council

February 29, 2012

Lambeth Council has been successful in securing support from the Design Council through its Public Sector by Design programme in relation to community led commissioning.  We are now working with the Design Council to look at innovative and design-led solutions in both Tulse Hill and Herne Hill; the areas were chosen as they presented particular challenges and opportunities.

The Design Council held a kick-off workshop which took place in early February, attended by both internal and external stakeholders to start to co-design a long list of projects.  A second workshop in late February (which I was unable to attend) generated 96 potential projects; these will be filtered down to a manageable number and considered for delivery.

The kick-off workshop was really exciting, engaging and certainly enjoyable. The focus was on using design-led approaches to look at problems and potential solutions.  As part of the process, we carried out an observation exercise to understand people’s needs by spending time with them.  For example, for our group we were given £5 to use on a service, which in our case was to buy some produce from  the local fruit and veg stall/shop. One of the other groups had £5 to spend at the bookies!  All the groups then mapped their experience, recording both ‘magic’ and ‘miserable’ moments, so customer journey mapping in effect.

The Design Council approach to observation is to ensure ‘that before you create something, you understand the people who are going to use it.  Otherwise you may end up creating something that seems like a good idea on paper, but doesn’t work for the people who are going to use it’.   So the message here is connect design thinking to projects and design techniques can help frame a problem in a different way.


Prototyping Public Services

December 8, 2011

What is prototyping?

Prototyping is a way of testing out ideas in practice at the early stages of the design cycle, quickly, cheaply and with others to see if there is demand and if they work.

Dyson is probably one of the most well known organisations that uses prototyping to test their products prior to market, the first Dyson vacuum cleaner went through over 5000 iterations before it hit the shelves.

Prototyping is an exploratory and ongoing process it can be used when designing new services or to test out components of services with residents and stakeholders. Most importantly prototyping is about exploration and ‘doing with people’ in order to develop innovations, inevitably some prototypes will fail but this should be seen as positive. Prototyping is about taking small risks at an early stage in order to maximise opportunities and prevent costly failure in the long term.

How can I find out more?

Nesta and various partners have developed a guide to prototyping public services which you can view here: http://www.nesta.org.uk/events/assets/features/prototyping_in_public_services

I have created a short online presentation to summarise prototyping using information from the guide which contains links to more information and videos as well as case studies here:

In partnership with Barnet Council and Nesta, Thinkpublic have developed a framework for prototyping that contains lots of tools here: http://www.nesta.org.uk/events/assets/documents/prototyping_framework

Thinkpublic has also produced a couple of short videos that explain the concept of prototyping in more detail you can watch them here: http://goo.gl/jpRIS