Here at the Institute of Design Innovation, Glasgow School of Art, we are in the process of developing an innovative storytelling evaluation tool for some of our partner organisations in the Highlands & Islands. As a part of our second short Leapfrog project we organised two workshops this month with partners from Eden Court Creative, Third Sector Interface Moray, Moray Council and Moray Art Centre. These were co-​design workshops — the participants were potential user and design experts gathered to brainstorm design ideas for creative storytelling evaluation tools. In the first workshop we identified what the problems and challenges were in gaining feedback and conduct effective evaluation. For example, our partners noted a lack of visual, expressive, engaging and creative evaluation tools to capture stories. The objective of the first workshop was to develop ideas to build evaluation tools.

During the co-​design workshop, we used lots of visual materials such as modelling clay, Play Foams, Re-​mouldable Sculpting Beads and other similar materials as a way to assist our participants to communicate ideas and experience. As expected the visual materials turned out to be more accessible and quick to use (compared to the written word, for example) and participants were able to develop their abstract ideas and design concepts into a physical model. Our first workshop lead to three interesting ideas:

  1. Evaluation Journey Game
  2. Storytelling App and
  3. Story Capture device

As part of our short project we developed these ideas with our partners into working prototypes. Even though the tools were specifically designed for our partners in the Highlands & Islands our intention is that these tools could potentially be adapted to other organisations across UK for their individual evaluation needs.

During the second workshop the prototypes were demonstrated to the participants to gain feedback for all three ideas. This session helped us to evaluate our evolution tool. This proved to be challenging and insightful. Our partners made suggestions on how to keep the tools open-​ended and engaging, so that everyone who plays with the evaluation tools are kept involved throughout the process.

While designing an evaluation tool it is important to bear in mind that evaluation should be structured so that there is some thought and intent as to what is to be captured, how best to capture it, and what the analysis of the captured data will tell us about the project.