Make It Stick: Workshop 3 at Blackburn with Darwen Council

21 August 2015

Make It Stick Templates created

  • What do you think of Appletrees?
  • In our area, what contributes to your health and wellbeing?
  • How did the review go for you?

Six people participated in this second and equally lively of two workshops with Blackburn with Darwen Council, producing three templates for a range of contexts relating to an exploration of what participating individuals know about the services with which they interact. The group also seemed gain a lot from sharing and reflecting on their approaches to conceptualising a Visual Voice for the warm-​up task which they later used to inform their template designs. 

Feedback from this group also gave strong indication to increase workshop time by thirty minutes in future to allow for people to finesse their template designs.

At this stage of project delivery, enough people are now developing new Visual Voices using the Make It Stick template to offer opportunity to reflect on the design of the tool. Some things to think about when designing the tool could be to:

  • Consider whether it is helpful to fill all the labels so that people using the tool have a closed set of options, or if it is more helpful to fill in some but not all labels if a prompt is needed.
  • Remember that designing a Visual Voice is designing a framework for others to respond rather than giving the response.
  • During the workshops, people tended to see the people stickers in a literal way relating to the real people involved in the subject. However, could they represent something else to equally good effect? For instance, could they represent or personify ideas or thoughts?

Make it Stick: Workshop 2 at Blackburn with Darwen Council

14 August 2015

Make It stick Templates created

  • My meeting

Three people participated in this first of two workshops with Blackburn with Darwen Council, all specialising in engaging young people in care. Following on from the last session, some changes were made for this workshop to simplify and reduce time needed for warm-​up tasks and increase time spent designing templates. We also introduced the use of a different Leapfrog tool, Interactive Journey to use as the format for workshop evaluation. 

I really like it. I can really see how… for a short exercise [it can be used] for anything really. You can be creative with it.”

The template they created gives the respondent a space to explore hopes, worries and questions for an upcoming meeting. Through lively discussion over the course of the session, the group came up with lots of ideas for how they could use the Visual Voice with young people. Future possible iterations for the template they created included personalising the Visual Voice with a photo of the young person to help that individual see themselves in the process of interacting with the service. Likewise, ideas were discussed for life story work for young people in foster care, where photos of family and carers could be included together with their own room as a way of exploring their relationships with those people or as a way of preparing them for new placements. Other ideas for different templates included agenda setting for meetings with children and storyboarding.

The group discussed how quick they found the design process and echoing the first workshop, they considered how they might transfer the skills acquired through Make It Stick to improving some of their existing paper tools and resources. Exploring how else they could grow and adapt this tool, the group talked about using of large blank copies of the templates to enable young people to work in pairs or groups. They also made suggestions for building a library of graphical elements including clearer instructional illustrations for using the template to work with young people who have autism.

Make It Stick workshop 1 at Lancaster City Council

13 August 2015 

Make It stick Templates created

  • How would you like your centre to look?
  • What would encourage you to stay in this area?
  • Design your new play area!

Five people from across Lancaster City Council participated in the first Make It Stick workshop. Having prototyped the workshop with the Leapfrog team, this lively session gave us our first opportunity to see how people would respond to it and how it runs in our partners’ workplaces.

I have a great tool to use” 

Once the group were familiarised with the background and technical knowledge and free to start designing their templates, they enjoyed this hands-​on process, subsequently needing extra time at the end to complete them to a standard with which they were satisfied. They were struck by the versatility and flexibility of using PowerPoint and felt they were taking both a new tool and new skills away. This included exploring techniques not anticipated in the tool design. For example in “Design your new play area!”, standard shapes most closely resembling the label shapes were used to crop images of textures in order to give participants different flooring options to consider. The Visual Voice tool lends itself well to concepts relating to designing space and two of the three templates created, took this approach.

Members of the group also talked about how they could transfer skills gained through using the Make It Stick format to improve designs for some of their other tools, referring to how they could improve game cards they would be using in an upcoming session.

Equally, they liked being able to share ideas for real life examples of consultations as part of this small workshop group, exchanging ideas and encouragement with each other. Moving forward, reactions in this workshop seemed to suggest that there could be a number of ways people may want to use the Visual Voice and Make it Stick tools depending on what they need and the time they have. For instance, creating a template from scratch using Make It Stick may not always suit them. They might be looking for something that they can just quickly overlay and print with minimal changes required. In this case, one for the existing Visual Voice interactive PDFs could be useful as well as a growing number of templates created by others using Make It Stick.

Owls of Creative Evaluation: Conference Presentation

Last month Leapfrog presented a paper on ‘Owls of Creative Evaluation’ at the AHRC‘s Soundings and Findings Conference at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. It was a three-​day conference in which Leapfrog presented two papers. One of the papers looked at Creative Evaluation. The conference had wide range of subjects from design theory, participatory research, health, well being and social innovation in community based research projects. We presented our on going work on evaluation from GSA and our work with the Highlands and Islands communities. We spoke about what we have done in the past, our challenges and what we intent to do in the near future.

After the presentation, we opened the conversation to encourage our audience to speak about their experience and challenges they faced in deploying evaluation in their respective projects. This turned out to be not only an interactive session but also insightful. This useful exercise was intended to capture the challenges they encountered during evaluation process and how leapfrog can address these issues in our wide range of short project and major project we work in the coming years.

From conversations it was understood that there was a great need for creative evaluation while traditional evaluation methods are not suitable all the time. The audience spoke about how the emphasis in the project is mostly to meet funder’s need and this means the purpose of evaluation is skewed and often the long-​term impact is missed. The evaluator can often be biased and look only for what they want to find. How do we make sure the evaluation is done objectively? This made us think that Leapfrog should be carrying out more reflection in our “process” as our projects unfold. This will help us answer some of the challenges other researchers have faced in their projects.


Report documenting Leapfrog’s Tools for Non-​Written Consultation project

Leapfrog’s first project has resulted in the creation of three tools that enable people to contribute ideas and opinions without the need to write. This project was developed around an intensive weeklong ‘Tool Sprint’ with public sector partners at ImaginationLancaster. The final tools are:

Visual Voice: Customisable activity sheets which don’t require any writing
Interactive Journey: Designed to help people enjoy exploring a space
The Grid: A box of things for creating interactive grids anywhere

The tools and their instructions are available in from the Tools section of the Leapfrog web site. Leapfrog welcome feedback on how you use the tools so they can be evaluated and improved as part of on going research. To read more about the Tools for Non-​Written Consultation project please download the PDF report on the right which documents the co-​design process and its outcomes.