Day 4, Futures Academy: Ideas to prototypes

We had our biggest turn out at this morning’s stand up. There is a growing interest in what we’re doing and conversations are already starting about how this would work for other teams, which is really exciting.

Thursday's standup

After the stand up we went straight into generating more ideas, using different methods like brainstorming or using constraints and analogies to come up with a wide range of ideas based on the opportunities identified during our research phase. It was great to see the team continue to use sketching to help explain their ideas.

We selected three ideas to prototype and spent the afternoon in Chelmsford library and high street testing these with Essex residents. The team quickly built on the ideas as they made them tangible, using paper and cardboard models. They used these in pop-up testing to understand what works for users and made immediate updates to their designs.

Prototyping in the library

This method helped us identify if we are going in the right direction. One team learned that the idea they were designing was much more complex to implement than they initially thought, and Steve reflected:“Your idea might not be a viable solution and that’s OK. It also helps you see the size of the iceberg under the surface.” It’s better to find out early before investing substantial time.

It was also important for the team to test with the users without co-producing, as they said “we learned how to be careful not to co-produce the solution with the users and ask questions that give us behavioural insights and focus not on what people want, but what people need.”

Testing prototypes in the library

Tomorrow we will showcase the work that we have done at our show & tell. This will be a chance to discuss further opportunities. If you are a member of Essex County Council, join us at C309 at 2:30pm. The team will also have their final sprint retrospective to reflect on what they’ve learned, what they’ve loved, what they’d change and how they are feeling.

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