Earlier this month, Service Design in Government conference was held in Edinburgh. It’s rare to bump into another service designer in this town, so having the cream of the crop come to visit and share their work was a total treat. Big thanks to the organisers for a smashing set of talks, and the space to talk between them.
Sophie Dennis asked us all to reflect on what we’d learned, and what we’d take away. I wanted to take away the sense of being open with your work, of having the community to share it with (and so later feedback and get better) while the work is ongoing.
3-day conferences are great places to see and hear from other practitioners, but work is often wrapped up and reflected on before it’s shared.
I’d like to share more work mid-project, and I’d love to see others using the design community for that.
So I thought about the ways to share your work. To make it approachable and understandable to others.
We’re often working on complex issues, that are tied into other issues. How to make it clear what you’re focusing on, what the ask is and where you’re headed?
One thing I’ve found helpful over the years is to claim some wall space and label what you put up. Sounds simple (and the simple things often work best.)
Walls of work catch people’s eyes, and are an open invitation to come over and learn more. They can be spaces to share the current update of your project, or ask questions and gather responses.
Placed in a corridor, near a staff kitchen or on the way to the cafeteria or toilets they are going to be noticed and engaged with.
[Ways to cheat your organisation's rules on sticking things to walls = buy some foam boards, like these ones. Bonus is that you can take them around different rooms with you]
Some people will want you to talk them through the work, and for that to work well having a flow and structure to your story often helps. Other people will want to work through it themselves, or when you’re not there. In that case, having clear labels and questions is doubly-handy.