Leapfrog seeks to explore the ways in which engagement practitioners can be enabled to adapt tools if they don’t already, when the circumstances require it, so we aim to design tools to be flexible. We are building a sense of how Leapfrog tools might be influencing tool-use practice for those involved with the project either through tool-use or co-design. However we did not yet have clear understanding of how engagement professionals currently include tools in their engagement practice regardless of whether or not those are Leapfrog tools. To resolve this, our next step was to develop our understanding of what it would take for engagement practitioners to adapt and appropriate creative engagement tools by observing what they do and why, when selecting, using and adapting any of the tools at their disposal. We wanted to do this with as wide a range of engagement professionals as possible including those with no existing connection to Leapfrog.
In Tailor Made, which ran between July and October 2017, we did this by conducting an online community engagement survey followed by five interviews with engagement professionals to discuss tool-use and tool-adaptation in their practice. Over 60 people responded to the survey from around the UK working in a broad range of public, voluntary and academic contexts where community consultation is carried out. The interviewees represented public services including youth and library services, community engagement linked to private enterprise in oil and gas drilling, and academic ethnographic research through community participation. The diverse approaches and needs of their work made for highly varied engagement practices. However, they each shared a reliance on tools to undertake creative forms of engagement.
The report you can download from this page describes the survey and interview design, what we found out and what insights are now emerging from that research. We thank all of the people who have participated through the surveys and interviews for kindly sharing their time and knowledge with us. The insights we can now draw from these accounts will contribute to better-informed design implications for flexible creative engagement tools.