Laura was invited by Jennifer Milligan, a Consultation and Engagement Officer at Lancaster City Council to talk at one of the customer insight group’s meetings about Leapfrog and some of the tools Jennifer and other colleagues at the council have co-designed.

In the meeting, the tools Wordplay, The Right Ideas and Everybody were introduced with an explanation for why we designed them, suggestions for what they might be used for and ideas for adaptation that have been suggested by our partners. At the end of the meeting, Jennifer and Sue, both part of the co-​design of the tools, helped to promote the tools to their colleagues by talking about how they had used and adapted them. This may demonstrate the value that they both place on the tools following their involvement in the design.

We all discussed how the tools might be used with adults, which is a challenge that has been mentioned in another tool sharing meeting with charity volunteers. This raises a few questions about our tool design, such as what is it about the tools that make people think that they are just for young people and not adults and how do we change this? What do we think are the differences between tools designed for adults and tools designed for young people?

There were also a few comments about lack of time to use the tools, with one member of the group saying that she does not have time to get people to come in and give them lots of ideas so she would prefer to give a few options for people to comment on using the tools. However, what possibilities are then missed by not gathering all the ideas? How do we get people to reflect on their current practises to make the leap to becoming more open to new ideas in their engagement activities? How do we make the tools even quicker to use if printing something out takes too much time? In our most recent tool design with a group of young people, most of the tools are kept so simple in structure that it is possible to recreate them with just pen and paper. Perhaps this approach is something we could explore further as a way to make tools more attractive to engagement professionals who are short on time?