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This is a significant partnership for Snook with the Home Office, over two years, working on the inside of Government to design and deliver critical services that are used by the whole population. 11 years ago, Snook first walked through the doors of the Home Office with a new product we were developing - MyPolice, the UK’s first online feedback tool which we successfully launched in Scotland. Since then we’ve worked on projects helping housing organisations consider the journey of asylum seekers, worked with senior policy makers on security and worked with operatives in control rooms to design the software and services that manages 999 calls. It's a big landmark for us and we can't wait to get started.   [post_title] => Home Office + Snook [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => home-office-and-snook [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-09 09:25:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-09 09:25:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wearesnook.com/?p=19191 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 19016 [post_author] => 91 [post_date] => 2019-12-19 12:54:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-19 12:54:39 [post_content] => We turned 10, so we’ve been celebrating and reflecting on everything we’ve learnt along the way. And of course, we’re always looking forward - thinking about how we’ll build for the next 10 years.  Firstly, we became part of the Northgate Public Services family. This move gives Snook the opportunity not only to scale as a company but to scale our impact. From discovery to build, Snook is now positioned to go deeper into projects and work on large scale services from national policing and control rooms to the benefits system.  We also went through a strategic re-brand. This wasn’t about just designing a new logo. We wanted to find new ways to talk about and re-define our purpose. It's allowed us to better articulate why we’re here and act as the starting point for defining our missions and culture.  We’ve worked on too many projects to write something about all of them. So we’ve cherry-picked some highlights here, aligned with our mission areas. We hope they convey something of the breadth and depth of our work and our commitment to making the world more human.

Thriving Planet

In April, after an inspiring Design on the Inside (DOTI) event, about sustainable environmental action, we set up the Design+Climate Community.  The aim is to work collaboratively with the wider community of designers and related disciplines to develop ways of considering the environment at every stage of the design process. We've started in Glasgow and London and are looking for people to host in cities and towns across the world next year. If you’re interested in joining us and seeing what we can do together, click here. We’re currently working with Climate-KIC, supporting them to develop and test their ideas for organisation design as they reorganise around their new mission. Design-led approaches have played an important role in making sure they have the internal functions and structure that will enable them to continue delivering important climate innovation work. DOTI Fest 2019 was a platform for honest, system-wide conversation and collaboration which was designed to embody our commitment to environmental awareness. We wanted to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, so as well as lining up a whole day of amazing speakers, workshops, forums and fun we made sure that everything from the breakfast pastries to the name tags and decorations was sourced zero-waste, recycled and reusable. [caption id="attachment_18885" align="aligncenter" width="578"]People discussing something at DOTI Fest 2019 DOTI Fest 2019[/caption]

Next-era Government

In April we led a discovery with OpenCommunity, a group of local authorities pioneering data standards for community services. Off the back of our research, there are now 10 councils actively piloting implementing the standards to help people find services that help them live a fair, healthy and equal life.  A great example of the Local Digital Declaration to #fixtheplumbing in action. The real benefits and savings of standards adoption will come from improved availability and quality of data about community services. Better access could play an important role in preventative health and social care. People have joked that digital should be the basis of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – over food, water, shelter, and warmth – but in fact, there is evidence that people do prioritise connectivity over essentials and comfort. The importance that refugees attach to owning a mobile phone is a reminder of that. As more public services go online, digital exclusion is expected to drive inequality gaps. We worked with the Scottish government on a report which concludes that the seamless integration of digital and human engagement is essential as Scottish public services expand.

Good Business

We’ve been working with a global company that delivers around 100 services in areas ranging from defence contracts to leisure facilities. They wanted to improve the catering service they provide to large institutions like schools, hospitals and universities. We focused on a higher education college in the UK, conducting research and co-design with students and the client. We’ve come up with prioritised recommendations based on feasibility and the areas that align with their business plan. Like the work we're doing with Climate-KIC, the focus on enabling them to adopt user-centred design as the way they do business as usual is key. We help organisations to develop these capabilities in-house.

Healthy Lives

We’ve worked on several projects that address the impact on young people’s health of poverty and the increased demand for mental health support.  Not all of those eligible to receive free school meals actually get them. We worked with pupils in Scotland to understand their experiences of school lunches whilst also seeing how the Child Poverty (Scotland) 2017 Act gets implemented on the ground. Ultimately we wanted to see how we could make a difference - effectively working to flip the benefits model on its head by bringing services to people instead of waiting for people to come to services.  Meanwhile, in London, we worked with Hammersmith and Fulham to address the impact of food poverty on children and young people. We went out to communities and engaged with local volunteers, residents and children to research, co-design solutions and start building an alliance. We’re now working to explore how these ideas can be delivered in practice and to ensure the alliance continues to flourish after the project. In order to tackle the root causes, we’re supporting staff in children’s services to connect with other parts of the council to harness existing resources and explore how to improve the whole system response. We’re working in partnership with Barnado’s and Public Policy Lab to develop a library of best-practice guidance for developing digital mental health products for young people. This is part of the recently launched #RESET online Mental Health funding Programme. We’re thrilled to have partners to go on an open and exploratory journey, to build something new that we hope will ensure that young people can access effective support when they have difficulties with mental health.  We’ve done a lot of work around mental health over the years, so in the spirit of putting our own oxygen masks on first, we also trained the whole Snook team in both studios to become Mental Health First Aiders.

Communities for All 

One of the ways in which communities thrive is in the work of many volunteer organisations run by and for members of the public in their spare time. This year we achieved a long-held ambition to work with the Scouts! They asked us to look at improving the adult volunteering experience and we sent members of our team out to meet with people all over the UK, often at weekends (because that’s when volunteers are doing their thing). We learnt that Scouts the energy and enthusiasm that drives people to volunteer can lead to burnout or feeling under-appreciated in the end.  We’re currently prototyping solutions to explain the realities of volunteering, open the communication within the Scouts community and help Scouts feel recognised. We’ve been working with Renfrewshire Council, in partnership with Dartington Service Design Lab and funded by the Life Changes Trust, to ensure all young people in care have their voices heard. We've worked with them all the way from user research and co-design through to testing and implementation. Research with young people revealed that good conversations are key enablers for many important decisions in a young person’s care experience. We’re now building a framework to improve the quality of conversations and will be testing a shared resource, co-designed with young people and practitioners to improve care experiences from early 2020. Another great experience of being involved in creating a fully built service from research to delivery was with Hackney Council. After finding out that over 50% of applications fail, we worked with them to design and launch a new digital service for household planning applications. We met with planners, citizens and housing experts to understand their needs. In alpha, we developed a series of recommendations and prototypes, designing an end-to-end service using the GDS Design System. In beta, we’ve designed a new data-led service and re-worked the user experience to include dynamic forms to make the submission process easier and effective. 

The next decade is about systems 

As you can see from above, no one project we run is simply a ‘health’ or an ‘environmental’ challenge. As Dahlgren and Whitehead pointed out, your health is connected to your socioeconomic level. Many issues are determined by economic factors or the environment. When we talk about designing a world where people and planet thrive, we recognise this isn’t the challenge of one organisation alone, but a systems challenge. Our new missions are purposefully wide and we’re proud of that. We want to work across systems in the next decade, working with multiple partners who connect together to build alliances that will tackle the tough inequalities and human and planetary health problems that exist today.  We’re here for that. If that sounds like something you want to do - get in touch, we’re planning out 2020 and beyond as we type.  But for now, 2019 has been an epic adventure. We’ve grown in size and impact and are so excited about what we can achieve. 2020 will see both the London and Glasgow offices moving to new premises. We’ve got big plans to do even more with DOTI (watch this space) and tons of exciting project work coming in.  But now it’s time to turn off the laptop and have a well-earned break. We hope you’ll be enjoying a relaxing, joyful, harmonious holiday and look forward to seeing you in the New Year. See you in January 2020!   [post_title] => Snook 2019: A year in review [post_excerpt] => From co-designing services and training charities to sustainability and our 10th year as Snook - these are our highlights of 2018. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => snook-2019-year-review [to_ping] => [pinged] => https://wearesnook.com/design-like-theres-a-climate-crisis/ https://wearesnook.com/free-school-meals/ https://wearesnook.com/sharing-knowledge-to-build-better-mental-health-services/ https://wearesnook.com/put-oxygen-mask-helping-others/ [post_modified] => 2020-01-17 13:00:49 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-01-17 13:00:49 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=19016 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 18402 [post_author] => 90 [post_date] => 2019-12-03 00:33:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-03 00:33:00 [post_content] =>

Snook was founded 10 years ago this December. Sarah Drummond reflects over nearly a decade of great work, and where we want to be in the future.

We’re stronger now than ever before. We have a full portfolio of work for the year, doing the things we love best — working on some of the most significant Scottish and UK Government programmes around.

Over the years we’ve grown a team of over thirty in Scotland and London and recently, we have brought in more support roles to make it easier for great work to happen.

This year more than any other, Snook has hit its stride, and we’ve finally been able to take a step back and ask ourselves — how can we make an even bigger impact in the world?

Snook was founded on a mission to scale the design capability of the public sector and to make it more user-centered.

So many things have happened since the early incarnation of those principles, embodied in the slightly questionable poster above.

We have trained thousands of people and delivered hundreds of live products and services that have touched the lives of people across the world.

There are too many to list, but over the years we’ve helped Samaritans design ways for people to improve their mental health, supported Neighbourhood Watch to help older people facing fraud, worked with the NHS to redesign A+E, created new national care services with the Scottish Government, worked with housing providers to support vulnerable tenants, helped local authorities commission new homeless systems and launched award-winning platforms supporting young people to prepare for the world of work — to name just a few.

Alongside this, we’ve released our own products that improve the world in areas we’re passionate about. From CycleHack, an award-winning initiative to overcome the barriers to cycling in 50 global cities, to Dearest Scotland, a snapshot of the referendum which culminated in a book of letters written by citizens to the future of the country.

In recent years, we’ve pushed the design industry to be more accessible by running initiatives and events on inclusive recruitment and inclusive design. We also started ‘Design On The Inside’ a set of events, conferences and (soon to be) podcasts. It shares the knowledge of designers who work inside large organisations and furthers our mission of increasing in-house design capability.

We are beyond proud of the work we’ve done. I’m eternally grateful for the people who’ve employed us, and even more for those we’ve worked with. We are now hooked on the same mission — we want to design a world that’s more human.


So where now?

All of this is a huge achievement, especially for a studio that’s only been around for 10 years — but the world is changing.

Our mission is still the same as it was, but how we deliver it today needs to be different. The market and its needs are changing. I’ve been open and honest about my scepticism of the traditional design studio model in meeting the new demands and needs of the Government, our NHS and the wider public sector.

In the past five years, we’ve seen countless service design projects (both our own and those of other agencies) struggle to get delivered through consultancy, and it can be unsatisfying for both the team and the organisation investing in them.

We’ve also noticed an increase in the number of technology companies with product oriented models being awarded work by designing multi-channel services. This is generally being done without having the in-house skills to undertake the work, or expertise to build capabilities of organisations, leading to badly designed services and unsustainable delivery models.

“We need the NHS’s staff and patients to benefit from this talent [in the marketplace] and we need this talent to see the NHS as a brilliant market for their innovation.

The new NHSX CEO, Mathew Gould summarised what the market needs far more succinctly than I could. For organisations supporting the NHS to deliver world class health services to work differently, he said; “We need the NHS’s staff and patients to benefit from this talent [in the marketplace] and we need this talent to see the NHS as a brilliant market for their innovation. All this means a clear approach — creating the platform for digital innovation and creating the standards that will allow that innovation to plug in safely. It means not competing against the market and resisting the urge to build or commission everything ourselves”

We are facing a reality where government, the public sector and many other large organisations have and will become platforms on which products and services are built. To do this we need open, ethical organisations who can take on this challenge, build real partnerships with these organisations and build their capability so that they are able to deliver these services sustainably.

More importantly, these organisations need to be able to make these partnerships well in the first place, and that means rapidly increasing their capability in design, from policy downwards.

The route of delivery

Right now, Snook simply doesn’t have the scale to be able to do this on our own. This is why we’ve chosen to take Snook to the next level by integrating with a partner that can help us achieve this mission.

There are two main options open to agencies looking to do this — work with a large consultancy firm, as so many other agencies have done, or work with a delivery one.

We chose delivery for all of the reasons I talked about above. The strategy, after all, is delivery — not more strategy.

Our exciting news

I’m excited to announce today that the partner we’ve chosen to join with is Northgate Public Services (NPS).

What we needed to find was an organisation who had a deep expertise, knowledge and platform for scaled delivery. That’s what NPS has.

If you don’t know NPS, they have helped to screen more than 10 million babies for hearing loss, maintained over 21 million people on the NHS Organ Donor Register, provided 50% of police forces in the UK with vital frontline information and supported 150 social housing providers to deliver efficient services to tenants across the globe.

They have the scale and technology, we have expertise in user centred-design that they want to bring deeply into their products.

This move marks a change in both the pathways of Snook and NPS. For Snook, this means scaling the level of delivery we’re able to offer, and for NPS, this means becoming a design-centred, user-led organisation.

The design studio model of yesterday is in danger of becoming obsolete for the type of capabilities the sector is calling for, and we want to ensure we’re listening to the patterns we’ve witnessed.

For me, this integration is about both Snook and NPS creating the type of organisation a 21st-century public sector needs in order to deliver great services.

Part of this means accelerating the independent initiatives we’ve started, like our work on inclusive recruitment, our Design Patterns for Mental Healththe User Research Library and Design on the Inside.

Working with NPS will provide us with the ability to invest in building these platforms in the open, with an aim to support wider sectors for good beyond our own work.

We don’t see this as ‘tacking’ design on, this is about fully integrating user-centered design into the heart of a delivery organisation that can not only innovate but sustain and maintain delivery.

What’s next?

Firstly, it’s important to say, Snook isn’t changing.

Our mission, name and services won’t change. We’re committed to continue the work we’ve been doing and will work with NPS to build a shared capability in Service Design, transformation and delivery.

We will still have our studios in Glasgow and London, and continue to invest in the skill development and pathways of our team to grow and hone their talent.

We are however growing, and we will be hiring.

We will be developing our skills and offer in digital product design and transformation more deeply by integrating our teams together.

We want to go beyond our client expectations and set the vision of what great looks like, and we can now do this at scale. There are a number of critical things we want to ensure happens in our work together with NPS;

  • All the services we design, past and present, consider user needs first, building services that work first time for those who need them
  • We live in a world where services work inter operably, exploring how our platforms can be open to enable this
  • Ensuring all of our products and services are accessible
  • Developing critical thought on user data

Further to this, we have always advocated for preventative models of care and service. With scale and data, we can begin to explore and test preventative health and care models and explore how to ethically bring these to life in the sector.

To make sure that all of these things get delivered, I’m going to support Snook in a new role as Chief Digital Officer for NPS, and join the executive team at Northgate. I’m excited to be operating at this scale and set the pace for a company to develop deep capabilities in Service Design and human-centered design.

Opportunities like this don’t come along often, and when they do, you know it’s right. I’m proud of Snook past and present who have taken us to this stage, and even more excited about what the future holds.

You can read the NPS press release here.

You can read my personal blog on the last ten years of Snook here.

It goes without saying, there are some people who I owe dear thank-yous to for being part of the Snook journey to date:

Lauren Currie — Co-founder with me at Snook who I shared many laughs and cries with for the first half of the Snook journey.

Cassie Robinson — A dear friend, confident and board member who helped Lauren and I start up Snook in the first place.

The early crew — Andy Young and Kirsty Joan Sinclair who really solidified the early portfolio of Snook.

Our first project ALISS — Peter Ashe, Christine Hoy, Andy Hyde who we shared our first project with and invested a whole lot of love into bringing people together to design a system to support people with Long Term Conditions.

Glasgow School of Art — In particular Gordon Hush who’s been a long time support and let us set up an office in the art school for our first six months and Irene Macara McWilliams who made me think hard during my masters year.

Open Change — Known as Mike Press and Hazel White who supported us during the early days and continue to be great friends in the world to build more design in Scotland.

Our board — Stuart McDonald and Scott Cain who have provided fantastic support and asked the hard questions of me.

My partner Lou — Who has shared the joys and the pain of this bumpy ride for the past four years and helped keep me sane, without Lou, I’d have given up.

Friends and family — There are FAR too many of you to mention, but you know who you are. Thanks for supporting this first part of the ride.

All of the Snook team and extended family — Snook is nothing without team and I’m eternally grateful you’ve joined the journey for however long or short in our mission. You know who you are and there are too many to name individually that would favour anyone, so a deepest thank you.

Valerie Carr — My longest standing Snook, super mum and all round fantastic role model. Thank you for standing by me and continuing to invest so much of yourself into what we do at Snook.

Simon Smith — Our strategy director who’s really supported me in turning the company around in the last year by investing so much time internally to get our wheels turning smoothly and helping to make this move happen.

NPS, and Steve — for making this an easily smooth ride. It’s been a pleasure this far and we’re looking forward to working with you.

[post_title] => Snook at 10 and beyond [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 10-years-of-snook [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-03 22:40:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-03 22:40:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=18402 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 13597 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2016-10-17 10:38:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-10-17 10:38:08 [post_content] =>
Over the next two days, we are going to be in Brussels with the European Commission bringing together policy labs under the header of ‘Lab Connection. We’re excited to have been invited by the UK’s Policy Lab from the Cabinet Office.
Lab Connection is a first in its kind when it comes to gathering policy labs, EU policymakers and public authorities from across Europe.

It’s not just talks

The labs from across the EU are working together to look at and consider where labs best add value on societal challenges, and how.
I’m going to be supporting to facilitate some of the sessions over the day, focussing on young people and also digital rights/development in EU countries.
I’m interested to find out more about how policy and delivery can better work together to ensure a flow of insight from the frontline workers - including true autonomy with the frontline of our services and systems to re-design as we deliver. How can policy best serve this future idea?
We’re also going to be showcasing our collaborative lab, Systems Changers that we have been running with The Point People, commissioned by Lankelly Chase Foundation.

Systems Changers

Systems Changers is a Networked Lab that connects the insights of frontline workers across the public and voluntary sector into policy-making. The Labs include frontline workers, their organisations (whether that be the NHS, Local Government or a local charity) and the people that access their services. Started in 2014 as a partnership between the Point People, Snook and Lankelly Chase, the programme was initially designed to ask:
Can, and how can, the insights of frontline workers influence systems change?
Now in its second year, the programme is focussed solely on the ‘how’. The network of frontline workers participating in Systems Changers is increasing with each new programme and a platform is being designed so insights from the frontline can continually feed into how services and systems are shaped.
You can follow my two days via #Policylab4EU
[post_title] => Snook at the EU Policy Lab Gathering [post_excerpt] => We are going to be in Brussels with the European Commission bringing together policy labs under the header of ‘Lab Connection. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => snook-eu-policy-lab-gathering [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=13597 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 12229 [post_author] => 16 [post_date] => 2016-09-16 12:24:14 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-09-16 12:24:14 [post_content] => After 2 wonderful years and 3 great months at Snook, I’m moving on to do a master in Service Design at the Royal College of Art in London. This new chapter will not be the end of my time at Snook, as I’m eager to contribute to upcoming projects and will be joining as an ongoing associate. Before I leave the Glasgow studio, Sarah asked me to do a blog post of my highlights at Snook. Here are my proudest moments! 22028608786_e08608ec63_z

1. Aye Mind GIF workshop

Workshops, images, GIFs! Aye Mind is our project improving the mental health and wellbeing of young people by making better use of the internet, social media and mobile technologies. A collaborative project with brilliant organisations; NHS GCC, Young Scot, Mental Health Foundation and funded by the European CHEST fund. I led the first GIF making workshop, with the rest of the Aye Mind team, encouraging a small group of young people to have a dialogue about mental wellbeing through GIF making. Image making allows people to think about mental wellbeing and what advice they’d like to hear in a playful and creative way. Those feel-good images and messages can then be shared with others online. Since then we’ve created a mini version of the workshop, and we’ve published exactly how to run the workshop (including the downloadable materials) online. This means that the workshop has now been carried out at least 10 times by us and others, with over 300 people participating and an even larger number of positive mental wellbeing messages going out across social media. Check out #AyeMind to see the images and messages. Check out this post if you’d like to run your own workshop. 22028608786_e08608ec63_z

2. The new studio hunt

Our old studio was above a quintessential coffee shop on Bath Street, and we were fast outgrowing it. With no prior property knowledge, I set about finding a new design studio for Snook. What a hunt it was! I started by looking around the city at ‘office space to rent’ signs, phoning the numbers, working out how many square feet our new place would need to be. Gradually I started to understand rates and energy efficiency charts. I got to know a few estate agents over the months as I studio-hunted who were bemused by our requirements. Every estate agent in Glasgow: ‘You need a place with no carpets?’ Me: ‘Yes, a design studio never has carpets.’ Eventually, with some help from Anne and the rest of the team, we found our current studio, a huge spacious top floor office that needed some renovation. And here we are all settled in at 84 Miller Street!


3. Whose Round and Cash for Kids fundraising

Using Whose Round, a project that promoted safer drinking for young people, in collaboration with Young Scot, we decided in 2014 to raise money for children’s charity Cash for Kids by asking people to swap a drink for a donation. We were promoting the message in bars on social media, at Christmas parties and all over the city. Eve and I spotted an opportunity; the taxi drivers of Glasgow. There are hundreds of them, daily coming into contact with thousands of Glaswegians night and day. If we could get our alcohol awareness message into their cabs we could reach a huge amount of people, and remind them to swap a drink for a charitable donation. Network Cabs liked the idea and invited us to their headquarters that day to drop off business cards with the message on. I hopped on a train to an old business park in the middle of nowhere, where I saw a taxi depot. I was taken to meet the Network Cab boss, who warmly shook my hand and took a huge bag of Whose Round/Cash for Kids promotion from me. They insisted that I got a Network Cab back to our studio on them and that Christmas we raised over £1000 for Cash for Kids. img_7932-copy_1340_c

4. Jam Jam Jam

The Service Jam takes place across the world, strangers collaborate to design, build and test new products and services. The tagline is ‘48 hours to change the world’ and it’s a lot of fun. I went to my first jam in 2014, before I started working at Snook and the event opened my mind to the possibilities of service design. The next year I was a designer at Snook, and helped brand, organise and run the 2015 Service Jam alongside expert hack/jam/lab leader Keira. For the brand identity, I captured the wild spirit of the jam by pouring jam on the scanner for the poster! Then in 2016 I ran the Glasgow Service Jam, a lively event. Two people who attended Snook’s Service Jams are now running their own jam events in Ireland and Hungary, I hope we inspired them to inspire others. IMG_5502

5. Auburn Snooks

Another highlight for me was setting a mental wellbeing brief for American Auburn University students, and leading them through the design process alongside Eve. They came up with brilliant prototypes including; a campaign for Solitude, a location-based ‘Friendr’ App, a journal for reflection, a new way of linking with others playing sports, as well as my person favourite, positive messages on coffee cup sleeves.


6. Community Alcohol Campaign

We were faced with a tricky mission; to encourage people over 18 to think twice before buying alcohol for underage people, and to offer alternatives to drinking for young people in Glasgow. For this campaign, I loved trekking around Govan with Marie, armed with some simple activities that encouraged people to open up about the tricky topic of underage drinking in their community. We even re-appropriated the drinking game ‘Never Have I Ever’ at a youth club to get young people talking about their experiences of alcohol and what they felt should be done to combat it. This user research culminated in a tailored campaign that encouraged community responsibility through portraits and quotes.

See you soon Snook!

The rest of the team have made all the workshops, interviews, away days, days in the studio, and nights out an absolute joy. Snook is a rare organisation with an attitude to learn and grow constantly. Always open to innovation within the company and looking at how things can be done better. I would recommend Snook to anyone looking for an encouraging workplace where they can have a real impact. [post_title] => 6 Snook Highlights from Charlotte [post_excerpt] => Moving on to do a master in Service Design at the Royal College of Art in London, after 2 wonderful years and 3 great months at Snook. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => 6-highlights-charlotte [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=12229 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11292 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2016-04-19 10:14:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-04-19 10:14:30 [post_content] => We’re excited to announce the launch of Snook Training – a series of Service Design training workshops focused on specific sectors. We’ve developed these sessions from years of experience to support organisations in developing the in-house capacity to become customer-centred, design great services and deliver value to end users. With Snook training, we’re focusing on turning our experience and methods into sessions that train staff and showcase pathways to embed design and agile approaches inside organisations over time.

How it all started

At Snook, we’ve always considered the importance of design-led organisations and the people within. These are fundamental to design and delivering great services that focus on user needs. This approach ultimately leads to increased revenue and/or improved efficiency. We know in our hearts it is right to focus on developing organisational capacity. As experts, we continue to lead in designing services, but we also want to ensure our emphasis remains on growing the organisations and the people we work with. For that reason, we have developed a series of training workshops focused on specific sectors where we teach design methods and the real how of developing a service and business that supports it. We have started with the Education sector, and we are iteratively developing these to work with our existing clients and sectors we have experience in. Over 2016/17, we’ll be launching an open Service Design Essentials for Businesses training and anyone working in the service sector. This includes developing specialist courses in service design for sectors including health, the cultural sector, local government and the cross-over within ‘digital transformation’ projects. building capacity

What’s on offer now?

Service Design for Education training This training focuses on the education sector and higher education specifically. Why? Because in the world of increasing competition and external metrics, higher education institutions (HEIs) are facing pressure to perform. Increasingly, students are judging institutions by their overall experience and that picture is informing the choices they make. In addition, institutions are coping with legacy systems and the old way of doing things, and we all know there must be a better way to deliver a great student experience. Our training process of service design allows us to break down the student journey, the components of how the experience is put together and how it is delivered at the same time. We believe in future-­proofing institutions by showing them how to be able to confidently design experiences for students and staff that work and are sustainable. As well as identifying new ways to solve problems that impact your institution, the one-day and two-day Service Design camps will teach you how to put your students, staff and key stakeholders at the heart of the design process.

Why should you come along?

A key approach which is rapidly gaining ground in the Higher Education sector is to use human-centred design to make services more useful, usable and efficient. There is already plenty of evidence of how this approach has impacted on public service delivery – for one example, the SPIDER project. During out training, you'll learn more about ways of fostering continuous improvement and how to deliver consistent service standards whilst understanding client needs. This includes:  

building capacity2

We’ll be joined by

We’ve teamed up with Jean Mutton to deliver the Service Design for Education training. Since 2007, Jean has pioneered the application of service design principles to improve the student experience working with a range of HEIs across the country. Jean has vast experience of working within the education sector having worked in management within the Higher Education sector for over 30 years. Jean is a consultant in service design and co-authored a Guide for Service Design for FE and HE published by JICS.

Come along

Our next training session is a one-day workshop on Thursday, 5th May in Lancaster. Grab your tickets today or find out more by clicking on the image below. Snook training_Lancaster

Let’s chat more

Got you interested and you’d like to find out more? Check out our website and get in touch with our training team. Email: training@wearesnook.com Receive news and updates on upcoming events on specific sectors: subscribe to our newsletter   [post_title] => Introducing: Snook Training [post_excerpt] => We’re excited to announce the launch of Snook Training – a series of Service Design training workshops focused on specific sectors. We’ve developed these sessions from years of experience to support organisations in developing the in-house capacity to become customer-centred, design great services and deliver value to end users. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => introducing-snook-training [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=11292 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 10548 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2016-02-09 18:00:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-02-09 18:00:44 [post_content] => Graphic Designer Full-Time / Salary dependant on experience Are you ready to Snook? We're looking for an experienced Graphic Designer to join our multidisciplinary team at our HQ in Glasgow. Could this be you? Read on and apply before the 1st of March.

The role

As a Graphic Designer, you will be a key part of project teams delivering work that identifies and improves services, products and experiences for our clients. We are looking for designers who are confident, can work across teams with minimal support, can convince others of their design decisions, are able to mentor and teach, and can take responsibility to manage smaller projects.

Essential skills


Team skills


Desired Skills


Application details

We want to see a CV, online portfolio and an example of something you’ve built on the internet. Send this to jobs@wearesnook.com with the subject title “Hire Me | Graphic Designer”. Remember, the deadline for this application is 1st March. Good luck! [post_title] => CLOSED: Come Snook with us! [post_excerpt] => We're looking for a Graphic Designer to come Snook with us. Could this be you? Read on and apply before 1 March. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => join-snook [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=10548 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9462 [post_author] => 18 [post_date] => 2015-12-17 12:04:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-12-17 12:04:12 [post_content] => Snook has been involved in the field of Open Badges for a long time and has seen the interest among educational stakeholders increase over the years. Several organisations have contacted us to get support, advice and information. Thanks to a grant from the UFI Charitable Trust, Snook has started a new phase of the BadgeMaker project. To expand the support for Open Badges, Snook has launched a Quarterly Open Badge Networking Group. The Networking Group will aim to create strong connections between the participants, further the development of Open Badges and better understand the use cases as well as the barriers. It will help us access learners, educators, decision-makers and policy-makers and research the end-to-end journeys, not only of learners but also of educational organisations. Snook hosted the first Networking Group in our new Event space, The Interchange, on December 15th, 2015. Attendees came from a wide range of organisations: Glasgow Life, Glasgow Caledonian University, Creative Scotland, Education Scotland and Digital Me. Click here to view the presentation. The BadgeMaker project team introduced the new project and its objectives: Where we are: This is still in a work in progress. While Borders College recruits their Digital Ambassadors as their first cohort of learners to co-design the Open Badges, our next steps will be to: If you are interested in Open Badges, don’t hesitate to get in touch: curious@wearesnook.com. [post_title] => Open Badges Networking Group Scotland [post_excerpt] => If you are interested in Open Badges, join the Quarterly Open Badge Networking Group. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => open-badges-networking [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=9462 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 8352 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2015-08-01 15:10:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-08-01 15:10:37 [post_content] => Last week, I spent the day at Hyper ‘prototyping’ a lesson plan – sharing both Service Design and research methods and how these can/are used within organisations and how to overcome barriers. When I say prototyping, getting the short straw coming nearly last after so many fantastic industry experts I asked the crew at Hyper what they wanted to learn. It’s easy to take design method toolkits, books, videos, tutorials etc but actioning these within large, and complex environments and organisations can be a struggle to say the least. So, I focused not only teaching how I/Snook practice ‘design’ but also how to think about creating environments within organisations to allow design the space to be used. It was refreshing to share this thinking, as we re-brand Snook, it's less out with the old in with the new, but more an exercise of finally communicating what we've always been doing - organisational design and interventions whilst we co-design new products and services. The crews' questions were challenging and spot on, a sign that you'll want to hire these guys.  They know their stuff, have a depth of experience from working directly in Healthcare in Boston to graphic design in the advertising industry so there is a confidence in industries of all kinds. Now, they are learning the magic of collaboration, dealing with conflict, design facilitation and the power of visual – all underpinned by experience design.  Seriously, ones to watch I reckon. This post is a quick synopsis of promises I made to share reports and slide decks I mentioned. My presentation: we didn't go through all of this but the focus is on how to present strategy and recommendations after a design research stage. It is a collection of our work with councils and Governments and my thinking on designers making platforms and space for knowledge exchange to happen.
Hyper Island from Snook
Dept. Health and Dept. Work and Pensions report with the Point People. Breaking down learnings/insights and then recommendations. Worth a look for the subject matter on mental health and employment. For the Hyper crew, an example of breaking down design research and seeing how reports can be split into sections via either user groups or topic matters. Critique of the emergent lab culture in governments and local authorities. We discussed the benefits of labs around creating space for innovation and also the down falls of lack of mission and focus on process rather than outcomes. This report comes at a time where ‘lab’ culture is growing.  This helpful report on growing social innovation by the Young Foundation supplies a short synopsis of other methodologies to driving social innovation in cities. More links to lab reports here. Snook's Learner Journey Report for Scottish Government on breaking down insights and research across the Learner Journey in Scotland. As an addition, it was great to catch up with Lauren, my co-founder of Snook, as we both drive forward in new directions and after ten months of our heads down on developing our pathways, it was great to share, challenge and compare our current work.  It is quite unbelievable to both sit down together and reflect on where we've been and come as two young woman starting out in Scotland. We recounted both the highs and challenges of running a business and shared our ideas for the future on where we both want to go. It was also nice to be positively heckled during a talk (by Lauren of course!).  Thanks Lauren for having me, I’m always excited for a Hyper visit. [post_title] => Snook goes to Hyper [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => snook-goes-to-hyper [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=8352 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 8280 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2015-07-30 10:16:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-07-30 10:16:15 [post_content] => Snook rebranding. It’s happening. It’s a big endeavour but it’s exciting!

Where do you start with rebranding Snook?

A company rebrand is always exciting. And daunting. Snook was born 6 years ago and since then, we have grown and changed considerably. This year in particular, we opened a new office in London and continued to build on our work across England. We are also moving our Glasgow headquarters to a larger new office and opening an events space. With business expanding, we are refining our strategic direction and working on our website to ensure it reflects what Snook has become and our full potential. At this stage, we felt the need for a company rebrand. The design and development of Snook’s new brand identity is a joint team effort and spreads across the whole offer of Snook, both externally and internally. A re-brand for us is not top down. As always, it is bottom up and includes our customers and audiences giving their input and feedback into the process. This journey means we not only cover graphic and digital design but at the same time look at our strategy, service offer and ensure this works alongside our business plan and future aspirations. It involves strategic sessions with Sarah and our team. We’re using their knowledge to reflect on our tools and services, our previous and future work and their input into what will help us move further towards our ideal state as a company.


Snook’s rebranding started with an #opensnook session in March 2015. We worked on our company as we would with any of our clients. The team focused on identifying our key stakeholders, mapping everyone that interacts with Snook – from clients to workshop participants. We worked through a branding circle discussing and defining our mission and core values. This exercise helped us clarify our direction as a company. Approaching our identity rebrand as a team highlighted some of Snook’s core strengths, a sense of shared responsibility, ownership for what we stand for and deliver, personal initiative and positive company culture.

Snook expertise

We also clarified our expertise by dividing our offering into 6 key services: - Research - Design - Strategy - Delivery - Build Capacity - Events Having all these elements in place helped us structure our thinking to tackle the visual part of our branding and ensure that our direction reflects the complexity and breadth of Snook’s expertise as well as its values and mission. This influenced the choice of our logo, typefaces, colour palette, patterns and will guide the development of endless Snook’s assets (which we are still in the process of mapping through brainstorming sessions and shared documents). While working on the new brand, Snook’s designers had to keep some distance. Balance their inside knowledge of the company with views and feedback of the team while mitigating their attachment to Snook and its old/new brand identities.

Time management

Unsurprisingly, one of the main difficulties of an in house rebrand that emerged during this project is time management. Juggling external projects and Snook’s branding, resulted in prioritizing the former and postponing the latter. To overcome this issue, we defined a stricter development strategy and timeline, using Basecamp and Evernote to track to do’s and milestones and Slack for internal communication and brand updates for the wider team. Once our basic brand is defined, our plan is to use the expertise of the team, having specific team members leading the development of various components of our identity. For example, a grid/layout system for all our documents, and a range of templates suitable for the development of proposals, reports, toolkits, presentations, prototyping, mockups and wireframes.

The new brand

The brand is still a work in progress but we are set on keeping Snook name with its cheeky nature, and keep the red colour which we have used throughout the 6 years we have been in business. We wanted to go for a more modern, slick feel than the original logo; keep our Scottish component which has always been at the heart of the company, but translate it in a more geometric pattern and new colour palette that builds a DNA for all our documents based on the content. We are very excited to start sharing snippets of our new identity so keep an eye on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

A question for you

Meanwhile, we leave you with a question: what new tagline would you give Snook?‪ We welcome your feedback and views so share your thoughts using #opensnook and follow our progress. [post_title] => Snook Rebrand [post_excerpt] => Snook rebranding. It’s happening. It’s a big endeavour but it’s exciting! The brand is still a work in progress but we are set on keeping Snook name with its cheeky nature, and keep the red colour which we have used throughout the 6 years we have been in business. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => snook-rebrand [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=8280 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7862 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2015-06-22 15:55:26 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-06-22 15:55:26 [post_content] => You’ll see that the website is evolving slowly. It’s technically our 10th week of redevelopment and rebrand. In reality, the team has been launching, managing and finishing some big projects for our clients. So the new website gets pushed back to the bottom of the list but little by little, we’re getting there.
Here’s an overview of what we’ve been up to:
Defining our offerings
We categorised our competences into six groups: research, design, strategy, delivery, build capacity and events. We're working on defining them further so that they fully demonstrate all our strengths and expertise. Putting together client testimonials Client quotes is another new feature on our website and it aims to showcase not only the variety of work we do but also validate it. Forming a framework for case studies In accordance with our offerings, we outlined a framework for case studies. We highlighted this as an important area in moving forward with presenting the projects we've worked on. The framework will enable us to create a consistent display of information across all of our work. Gathering Content This part can be tricky, especially when you have a constantly travelling team. We have been using gathercontent platform to manage content, allow team members to work collaboratively on a case study, monitor progress and capture all relevant information in one place including multimedia and tags. The platform is extremely useful in other aspects of collecting information: we use it both internally when managing communications and externally with clients. Brand Strategist We welcome back Robin who recently returned from South America. She's currently working on our rebrand. Version 1.4 is on its way. We're glad to have you on this journey with us. [post_title] => Open Snook V 1.3 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => open-snook-v-1-3 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=7862 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7964 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2015-06-20 10:33:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-06-20 10:33:35 [post_content] => We're delighted to start working with Vista, a leading provider of services for blind and partially sighted people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. We'll be working with a cross section of the Vista team to support the organisation in designing new services, processes and innovative ways of how Vista can improve the lives of people with sight loss. This will include introducing the team to new design thinking, service design tools and methodologies so that the team involved become the engine room of innovation within the organisation. We'll be working with Vista for the next few months, so keep an eye on our website for updates on the work. Vista logo [post_title] => Working with Vista [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => vista [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=7964 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7624 [post_author] => 16 [post_date] => 2015-04-29 18:40:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-04-29 18:40:30 [post_content] =>   We are working with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde on developing a new campaign and strategy around the alcohol consumption of young people in Glasgow. With Govan as our pilot area, we have been speaking to members within this community to gather insights around the behaviours of young people and alcohol as well as the motivations of agents who purchase alcohol for underage drinkers. It was vital that we speak to a variety of stakeholders from off licences to young people to families. Valerie Carr, Marie Cheung and I visited a youth group in Govan to better understand young people’s attitudes towards drinking, with the hope of creating a new campaign with co-design at the core. We used a number of different methods to encourage the youth we met to openly talk about drinking in Govan. We have seen an abundance of ‘design research’ methods being used, but often find them to be paper based which can be a hinderance if someone has literacy issues or a short attention span. Of late, we have been incorporating games as a way to draw insight but also make a fun experience for the people we are working with. CACBlogpost2 ‘Never Have I Ever’ is a common drinking game. We played a modified version of this with the people at the youth centre. We made it clear that we were gathering insights on their drinking habits and encouraged them to stand in a circle with us. For example, the person in the centre of the circle would say ‘Never Have I Ever… got someone to buy alcohol from the shop for me’ and then people, who had done it, would swap places with someone else in the circle. The person unable to find a new spot would contribute the next ‘Never Have I Ever’. This game worked well as an icebreaker and provided an interactive way of gaging answers. The young people were able to disclose as little or as much as they wanted, in their own comfort zone and they got to lead the questions, rather than having us interview them. Each person took turns standing in the middle of the circle and asked their peers about their experiences. It was also good for us to join in, which meant we had to do a little confessing ourselves while fostering this shared experience with the youth. When running this method, our recommendations include to: Prepare a research outline of what you’re seeking to uncover so you can steer the direction gently, but don’t over do it. 1. Ensure you’ve got a few early ‘Never Have I Evers’ stored up your sleeve to encourage the group if they are shy. 2. Get involved in the exercise to build their trust, but make sure someone’s there to take notes and observe too. 3. Watch out to make sure everyone feels included but don’t push anyone to take part if they don’t want to. 4. Consent forms - always. While traditional paper based tools are useful and necessary, sometimes hacking existing games and incorporating them into the research process can lead to interesting insights that you would not otherwise get. By getting the young people involved in asking questions from the get-go, we were able to uncover new lingo and learn about their individual perspectives in a casual and engaging way.   [post_title] => Snook Method: Never Have I Ever [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => snook-method-never-have-i-ever [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=7624 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [14] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7272 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2015-01-27 14:13:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-01-27 14:13:08 [post_content] => My Dad has always been one for making and sticking to plans. If we go holiday we need to be packed the day before, at the airport at least an hour early and all the travel documents need to be in order in a plastic sleeve in case of rain. Family outings, even for a lunchtime meal, have become a very serious affair. I guess I take after him in that respect: I’ve always been very good at planning out where I am going and what I want to do. I think I recognise that either through luck, skill or a mixture of the two, I will make sure I get there. sambeforeedit_Fotor3 copy As early as primary school in Edinburgh, I knew I wanted to do something artistic and creative with my life. At high school at I knew I wanted to do something in design. And by the time I was studying Product Design at the Glasgow School of Art, I figured that I was doing the right thing. But, you can imagine my dismay when I found myself a university graduate without a plan or direction. Despite this inherent design inclination, for the first time, I found myself unsure of where I was supposed to go. A summer of deliberation and escapism later I was applying for design jobs in and around the Scottish central belt looking for the next direction to take myself in. I was fortunate that this next direction became Snook. I was welcomed into the studio on a dreich Monday in October with smiling faces and offers of tea, and over the past three months I’ve had the pleasure of picking up new skills, working on innovative projects and meeting some truly fantastic people. I worked first on an ethnographic research project exploring the near future of personal banking and monetary management. This was a breath of fresh air to me after a summer of design withdrawal. I found myself re-finding my design footing in interviews, analyses and concept development and all within a fortnight timespan. After this warm-up of my designer muscles, I moved onto aiding the ‘Dearest Scotland’ campaign; a Snook developed initiative to gather the Scottish public’s hopes and dreams pre, during and post independence referendum. I was given the task of further embedding Dearest Scotland into casual spaces in Scotland for which I developed and began ‘manufacture’ of a series of pop-up letter boxes to be placed around the country. Subsequently, Dearest Scotland has become a project quite close to my (Brave) heart and I am excited to see how it evolves in the coming months. Snookster DS Whilst spinning the proverbial Dearest Scotland plate, I was also introduced to Snook’s ongoing work with Carr Gomm in Edinburgh. At Carr Gomm, we were working to embed service design principles and methodology into the running of their organisation and to educate and train their staff on how to identify and creatively solve problems. The all-day workshops in Edinburgh necessitated some offensively early trains from Glasgow Queen Street but even they failed to dampen my mood; I was designing for a living and loving it. Snookster Carr Gomm Now, my time at Snook as a Snookster has come to an end and it goes without saying that I have appreciated my time spent here immensely. It has served as an interesting first foray into what I can expect of being a design professional. And I have to say; I quite like what I see. On further good news, I have the pleasure of announcing that I will be joining the Snook team full time as a Junior Designer in this New Year. The part Snook plays in the evolving role of design in Scotland is so instrumental, and I feel equally excited and honored to be a contributory to it. It seems I’ve developed a plan after all. Dad will be pleased. [post_title] => Samster The Snookster - A Reflection on Interning at Snook [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => samster-the-snookster [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:08 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:08 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=7272 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [15] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7253 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2014-12-19 17:21:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-19 17:21:35 [post_content] => What a busy time it was being a Snookster! I am writing this on reflection, after my snookstership has ended, and I am working as a Junior Designer at Snook. I pursued Snook like an ardent suitor, and they managed to forgive me for spilling tea down myself and my portfolio at my sninterview. On my first day I was a bit overwhelmed by tech: Basecamp, Evernote, Google Drive, 10,000ft were things that were new to when I started at Snook. IMG_7429Every Monday we have a big Monday Morning Meeting, everyone makes an effort to do a Snookspiration (you can click here to see mine). We also write on post it notes 'Last Week I Learnt' A bit like saying grace before a meal, except it’s before the working week. IMG_8757Last Monday my ‘Last Week I Learnt’ was that being a designer involves more than design. This seems obvious, like being teacher involves more than teaching children and being a farmer is not all picking vegetables and feeding sheep – they probably also have to do paperwork, planning, tidying, and cleaning... But I still think it is worth noting that being a designer involves doing more than sketching things and sitting on Adobe. I concede that I didn’t do an internship at Snook, I did a ‘snookstership’ which is way funner and more enriching. My snookstership was awesome because I wasn’t just sitting on my mac, I wasn’t just making tea, I wasn’t just making videos, I wasn’t just making spreadsheets – I was encouraged to do all of those things, occasionally simultaneously. 10557635_1529731950574889_9111285643404645862_oWhose Round is the project I was thrown into; an alcohol awareness campaign for young people in Glasgow, with Robin the project lead as my inspiring mentor. My brief allowed me a lot of creative freedom, which I wasn’t expecting as a wide-eyed graduate fresh out of Uni. I talked to lots of strangers, via email in real life and on the phone, and got better at it in the process. Robin and I went out on many nights armed only with Golden Cones and persuaded drunken people to have their photos taken. We spoke to people who said ‘You’re promoting alcohol awareness, but we’re already drunk’. Of course there is no point promoting alcohol awareness to people who are always sober. I made a fake sick concoction and spat it all down myself on camera, for an alcohol awareness film. I went to Dundee with the Know Sugar team and spoke to people about diabetes, and made a little film about the weekend. So being a designer turns out to involve writing pub quizzes, and being a quiz master. Growing sunflowers and emailing people. Going to meetings with interesting people who care about design. All of the exciting extra tasks that come with being a designer are the things that make it interesting. Being a snookster and a designer at Snook requires more than design skills, which is why I love doing it. Punny title by Sam Johnson. [post_title] => (Char)Lotte's to Learn - A reflection on being a Snookster. [post_excerpt] => This is the post excerpt , trimmed down to 20 words , What a busy time it was being a Snookster! lorem ipsum dolor sit amet [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => charlottes-to-learn-a-reflection-on-being-a-snookster [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=7253 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [16] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7237 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2014-12-15 11:37:09 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-15 11:37:09 [post_content] => ... an alcohol aware Christmas! This morning, it was my turn for Snookspiration (I'm Alex, by the way). Now, many of you may consider it a cop-out to have the team make Christmas decorations – but it's our final week of Snook working, and there's a distinct lack of festive cheer in the studio. (Not quite bah humbug, but not Christmassy either.) Doing our bit for the environment, as well as being innovative and creative, we used our scrap paper to create paper chains, and a Christmas tree! Most of our scrap paper features mock-up print outs for one of our current projects, an alcohol awareness campaign called Whose Round. Find out more about the campaign, by clicking here. This festive period, the Whose Round gang have teamed up with Best Bar None to raise money for vulnerable children. Money raised will go to Glasgow children's charity, Cash for Kids – so swap a pint for a donation, and support a child by texting GLAS81 £3 to 70070.   IMG_4601 IMG_4603 IMG_4604 IMG_4605 IMG_4606 IMG_4607     [post_title] => Snookspiration: It's beginning to look a lot like... [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => snookspiration-its-beginning-to-look-a-lot-like [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=7237 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [17] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7121 [post_author] => 13 [post_date] => 2014-10-28 12:11:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-10-28 12:11:28 [post_content] => Includem, a charity that support some of society’s most troubled and vulnerable young people, this month hosted their annual staff conference in Cumbernauld. Since May, I’ve been working as an embedded designer at Includem. Sarah and I headed along to the conference to share some of the things young people and workers have been helping me work on over the past few months. Around 90 members of staff were in attendance for a jam-packed day of talks, workshops and the highly anticipated buffet lunch (note to self: tacos do not assist engagement in sophisticated conversation). Guest speakers included Dr Carol Craig, CE of the Centre for Confidence and Byron Vincent, poet and comedian, who reflected on his own experiences as a young person in “various northern sink estates”. The conference saw the launch of our newspaper, which hopes to answer the question “What is Transitional Support?” and presents some of the ideas proposed and developed by young people and workers over the past few months. Staff received a copy of this in their delegate pack, and the young people involved will receive their own copies this week. The conference was also the platform for the premiere of our “Now Including” film, in which four young people and three Transitional Support workers share some thoughts on the Transitional Support Service. Conference_6029 We took this opportunity to facilitate a workshop with staff; “From Where to Here?” With some gentle guidance from Sarah and I, participants mapped a spectrum of “transitions” of young people they knew or had worked with. By exploring a wide variety of journeys, we hope they were able to learn from the real scenarios they investigated together and some of the ways in which challenges were overcome. Conference_6035 Participants were also able to appreciate the immediate benefits of creating simple visual stories as a way of quickly documenting thoughts, insights and ideas as well as the advantages of “doing, not talking.” Creating quick and simple visual versions of events leads to far more valuable discussion and the ability to move ideas forward. Conference_6002     Conference_6033 In a very short workshop, attendees had told the story of a young person’s transition, identified particular highs and lows, and thought about how some of these were tackled at the time, or could be supported in the future. We hope they feel confident in experimenting with these methods in the future and can use them with young people or within team development etc. So what next? On November 28th, Transitional Support and I will be presenting our film to the Scottish Transitions Forum – at an event exploring their seven principles of good transitions from the perspective of young people and parents. It is hoped that we can support a young person to attend this as well. I’m excited to begin developing and implementing prototypes from proposals put forward by young people and outlined in our newspaper. I’m looking forward to working on this in collaboration with young people and workers from Transitional Support again. This week I’ll be meeting with Includem’s Development Team to discuss some ideas regarding plans for team training, development, sharing and learning, with the aim of giving Includem the tools they need to practice this sort of thinking in the future. I'll also be taking a look at "Your Views" - Includem's current feedback platform, and helping to develop this into a tool which encourages greater participation. There are already some exciting proposals on the table for this, so hopefully we can develop these in a series of prototypes with young people and workers. Alongside this, by reflecting on some interesting insights from my time at Includem thus far, I'm hoping to help implement a strategy for engaging young people in a meaningful way in the future, which benefits individual young people and Includem as a whole. [post_title] => Snook at Includem's Staff Conference [post_excerpt] => Includem, a charity supporting troubled and vulnerable young people. The day-long conference was jam-packed with talks, workshops and more [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => snook-at-includems-staff-conference [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=7121 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [18] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 6816 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2014-06-09 11:28:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-06-09 11:28:00 [post_content] => Every now and again you meet somebody who is really special. Roxana is one of those people. She came along to the Snook Ensemble in 2012 and within a few weeks she was a Snookster. We were lucky to work with her for two years and now we're celebrating her time  at Snook - she brought optimism and smiles in magical doses, as well as sheer hard work and determination. Roxana has worked on a wide range of projects for our clients such as Stirling Council, NHS 24, Scottish Government and Hyper Island. She's written clever stuff about what she learned and we are delighted to share it with you.
"Service design? Say what? In this blog post I will tell you about how I went from Occupying to working with the government. In September, 2011, I was a visual perfectionist with a fresh Communication Design MA degree and a strong determination to change the world, a desire that sprang out of personal experiences of a world that wasn't rising to my expectations. First, I Occupied, but at the end of the day, occupying felt too passive for me. So, I became a Service Designer at Snook working in the public sector in Scotland. After 2 years in the field, I feel I have something useful to share. I want to tell you about what being a Service Designer entails, what it takes to apply it in the public sector and a few tips for those who are thinking to work in this sector. Service Designers? Service Designers are applied scientists. They research the world as it is and use that information to hypothesise possible scenarios of how a specific service could be different, design a strategy for it and then test it with the end users. If the odds are on their side, they also get to implement that strategy. Implementation is usually a complex process and is dependent on many external factors such as budgets and organisational aims. Community engagement Service Design starts with people and studying their behaviours and values. You need to continuously find new ways of using existing or inventing new research and engagement methods that help you relate to the people you meet in order to gain insight into their lives, needs and desires. The art of designing engagement tools can sometimes turn into a hexagon-shaped hell when you do it for the first time (as it did for me), but most often, keeping things simple is best. As much as it is about finding patterns, researching for design involves looking deep into the detail and identifying the oddest insights - they can sometimes be your best friends. Knowledge carriers However, giving people a voice is only the start. One of the key roles of a Service Designer is facilitating interactions and building relationships between service providers and users. At Snook, Service Designers are called translators. What this means is that, as a facilitator of conversations between the user and the provider, you need to carry knowledge from one to the other. In order to do so, you need to  know how to generate insights from research and work with different levels of meaning. There are so called 'lower level insights' and 'higher level insights' and you need to ensure that your final insights belong to the same level of meaning. Co-design To make your idea a reality, you will need to learn to be a maverick and a deep end diver. That means using your skills and ingenuity to test your ideas. Putting your rough prototype out into the real world is scary, but vulnerability breeds power. This stage in the design process reveals important aspects about your design that you might need to reconsider. It is an iterative and emergent process that can be very efficient and insightful when users are invited to use and give feedback on your prototypes. Organisational change Service Designers work together with organisations to apply and implement the services co-designed with users. Working inside the public sector can be challenging if you are someone who has had little contact with this sector. Supporting organisations to put people first, implement changes and sustain them takes determination, guts and patience. You will need to go out of your way to understand dynamics of politics and organisational culture. You will also need to be fluent in 'Ultimate Babel' in order to relay information targeted at many different audiences and choosing your language accordingly depending on whether you are addressing the NHS, local government or academia. Future Service Designers Here are five lessons I learnt from my experience as a Service Designer at Snook: 1. Immersion in a new sector or field is a long process and requires interest, sharp focus and an enterprising spirit. Service Designers need to place great emphasis on immersive research that allows for deep insight and knowledge creation. 2. Service Designers need to work closer than ever with clients and involve them at every stage of the design process. Similar to how the public sector needs to work together with their users in order to deliver user-centred services, so designers need to create an accessible narrative for design to increase buy-in and demand of designed services. They need to educate clients and the public about the value in design and what it can do in order to usher supporters who can advocate for procurement processes, funding streams and systems that facilitate a thriving environment for small design organisations and independent designers starting out. 3. Graphic Designers, working in a Service Design studio will be the ultimate challenge to test your abilities of communicating clearly, concisely and effectively. However, you will need to give up your visual perfectionism for adaptive empathy. Typography is beautiful but most often, in Service Design, legibility will do. 4. Working in the public sector can sometimes mean you have to consider politics, agendas and organisational dynamics. You will need to learn where your responsibility as a designer ends and where the clients' start. Without management skills, you will not achieve the impact you are aiming for. Stand your ground, delegate work efficiently and master filtering feedback and responding to it. 5. 'Design is not always sexy'. (Sarah Drummond, Co-founder at Snook) It is not about Post Its. It is, though, about people skills, management skills and intentional mindsets that are able to construct a vision, build efficient partnerships and use design to turn insights and creative concepts into realistic and sustainable innovation. What is design? Practising in a field that is constantly evolving and where new disciplines are rapidly emerging, it is imperative that we constantly probe ourselves and seek to build a coherent discourse for our discipline. My experience of working at Snook has prompted me to reframe my design practise. Service Design has allowed me to support organisations to research and implement development by involving the user. In further pursuing my career in design, I am interested in reversing the process and using design in supporting individuals to gain access to unknown worlds, whether that is the financial gobbledygook or their neighbour's morning routine - I am eager to design visual, experiential and immersive interventions that open the design process to the public and engage audiences in conversation, critical thinking and build new connections and relationships between people. From Service Design, I gained a glimpse in the public actor in Scotland and the processes behind it. This will allow me to act as a more educated challenger of the status quo and someone who can make realistic and informed suggestions of ways in which life in society might be different. In this time of scarce jobs and financial adversity, I feel as young designers, we need to reinvent conventions and catalyse alternative ways of thinking. But in order to do that we need to first challenge our own practise and take our personal and professional selves outside our comfort zones."
We're extremely sad to be saying goodbye to such a talented and wonderful human being! The good news for YOU is Roxana is now transitioning into Experience Design and is available for collaborations and adventures of all shapes and sizes. Be sure to follow her tweets, check out her website and seize the chance to work with her! [post_title] => Five lessons I learned at Snook [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => five-lessons-i-learned-at-snook [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:11 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:11 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=6816 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [19] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2956 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2012-08-03 10:01:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-08-03 10:01:05 [post_content] => Sync is a new two-year programme for the cultural sector in Scotland and we excited to be part of it!
"Sync will be hosting Culture Hack Scotland — a playful and productive experiment to see what developers, designers and cultural professionals can make together in just 24 hours. We will be running a Geeks-in-Residence programme — pairing up creative technologists with forward-looking organisations to make new, valuable, ambitious projects. And we will be publishing an online magazine called SyncTank — showcasing the freshest thinking about how digital is enabling, inspiring and changing our cultural practice and experiences."
Snook are delighted that our very own Andy Young is part of Sync’s first set of Geeks-In-Residence. The 2012 placements are: Denise Ross working with Stills. Stef Lewandowski working with Eigg Box/Island of Eigg. Yann Seznec working with Scottish Opera. Phil Leggetter & Andy Young working with macrobert. Alistair Macdonald & Andy Young working with Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Now that the matchings have happened, over the summer each of the talent or talent pairs will meet their host organisations and start to explore what direction their residency will take. Sync are looking forward to what should be five exciting and instructive engagements and of course as the residencies kick-off and develop everyone will be sharing their stories through SyncTank. So for now, congratulations to those six people and also the five hosts and we're looking forward to supporting Andy on his Sync journey!! [post_title] => Snookster / Geek-in-Residence [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => snookster-geek-in-residence [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=2956 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [20] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2850 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2012-07-10 10:55:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-07-10 10:55:37 [post_content] =>   I'm very pleased to announce we were accepted to go forward in the Design Council and Nominet Trust's Working Well challenge.  After a whistle stop tour to London to pitch we were informed that we'd made the final three.  At Snook we're pretty blown away as some of the others entries were of a really high quality. The challenge;
"With record numbers of 16-24 year olds not in education, employment or training, there is a pressing need to improve how young people secure the opportunities they deserve. Jargon such as ‘NEET’ not only does many a disservice, but presents the situation as a problem of economic policy rather than an opportunity to do something practical to help. The Design Council in partnership with Nominet Trust is running a competition to design, build and launch new digital products and services that help young people develop their talents and make a living. We believe well designed digital technology can build upon the skills and abilities of young people and the exceptional work of those already supporting them."  
We will be working with; Young Scot , a national youth information and citizenship charity for Scotland. They provide young people, aged 11 - 26, with a mixture of information, ideas and incentives to help them become confident, informed and active citizens. Firstport aims to release the potential of social entrepreneurship in Scotland to benefit communities and individuals and to promote social change. Telaco is a web development & communications consultancy based in Glasgow, Scotland. Six by Six are specialists in enterprise level online technology and e-commerce systems on Linux and PHP platforms.   Our idea is called Newstart - A programme that enables young people to form temporary micro-enterprises that respond to burning, societal questions via online publishing. Newstart will allow young people to develop soft skills in communication, collaboration and self-organisation, whilst gaining practical experience of self-employment. I'm really excited to be taking this forward, thanks to our partners and Design Council and Nominet Trust for believing in the idea. Watch this space. [post_title] => We're working on the Design Council's Working Well challenge [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => were-working-on-the-design-councils-working-well-challenge [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=2850 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [21] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1589 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2011-09-09 15:33:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-09-09 15:33:52 [post_content] => This month we held our very first Snookersuperfication event. We were delighted to welcome these awesome people into our new studio: // Matt Stitt, a final year product design student at Grays School of Art in Aberdeen // Alex Barton, founder of studentdesigners.com // Christina Kinnear, Regional Membership Manager at Design Business Association // Daniel Sunden, a final year product design student at Glasgow School of Art in Glasgow // Katie Edge, founder of Edge to Edge design // Flaviu Lungu, a freelance digital designer // Charles Tomlinson, a freelance graphic designer // Barbara Beek, recent Illustration graduate from Duncan of Jordonstone College of Art and Design in Dundee // Craig Owens, recent graduate of Jewellery and Metal Work from Duncan of Jordonstone College of Art and Design in Dundee // Jamie Sunderland, a third year product design student from the Glasgow School of Art in Glasgow // Claire Abraham, a fourth year textile design student from Duncan of Jordonstone College of Art and Design in Dundee // Lucy Denham, a service designer based in Northumbria // Eleanor Forrest, a human factors consultant We didn't have an agenda so we started off by deciding what we were going to talk about for the rest of the day. Here are some of the questions that came up: // How does Snook find projects? // Where do Snook's ideas and motivations come from? // How do you measure impacts of projects? // How do you freely scale a service design business model? // What is best ways to engage non designers with design methods? // Will service design still exist in 5 years? // Where can we ( and how ) apply our design skills to / in Scotland? // Does Scotland have a vision? what is yours? // What is the one thing you would change about design education? // How do Snook plan to get involved in design education? Most of these questions tap into ventures we are working on right now so it was great chance to learn from each other and share experiences. We held a break out sessions around the Studio Unbound focusing on how to get yourself out there when you are a designer. Also, we held a break out session about designers working in the public sector and the role craft plays in the work designers do.
"Just a quick e-mail to say THANK YOU for your time and invitation last Saturday. I had a great time, met interesting people and learned things too. I admire your willingness to bring creative people together and tell us a bit about the business you are involved in. Again, THANK YOU and say HI to the entire Snook team!!! :)))))" Flaviu
"Thanks again for the invitation to the Snookersuperfication and for organising such a nice gathering of people.  It was very nice to get to meet you in your own offices (great location by the way!) as well as getting to understand better your vision of service design (and Design in extenso). But what I am the most grateful for was the chance to meet, talk and interact with a very interesting group of like minded people.  If we add to all that an awesome buffet, we really had all the ingredients for a very pleasant afternoon and evening." Charles
"Just would like to say thank you for having me on Saturday! Thanks for putting up with all the questions!@ It was lovely to catch up with you, Sarah and Kirsty and be inspired by what you are doing! Your achievements have (jealously) spurred me on and given me a great additional enthusiasm boost :)" Alex
Thank you to each and every one of who you came along. We really enjoyed meeting you all and learning about what you are up to and the journeys you are on. Hopefully, this is the beginning of something exciting that can bring something valuable to the table. We would love to hear your ideas for the next event - who should we invite? what should we do? If you would like to be part of the next Snookersuperfication event send an email to lauren@wearesnook.com with ‘Snookersuperfication’ in the subject line and tell us in less than one hundred words why you would like to be part of it. [post_title] => Snookersuperfication success! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => snookersuperfication-success [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=1589 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [22] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1412 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2011-06-20 09:55:48 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-06-20 09:55:48 [post_content] => Hi, I'm Karen, and I'm the newest addition to the Snook team.  When I first came across Snook and the work that they were doing, I was incredibly excited.  It seemed to me that there was enormous cross-over between the work they do in 'transforming people' and what I'm all about. Snook were looking for a graphic designer.  I am a graphic designer, but in a previous life I also worked as an occupational psychologist.  This means that I have worked with people and teams to understand how people work and interact within organisations, and have also been involved in enabling culture change.   At the heart of both Service Design and Psychology is a real focus on people.  Understanding what motivates them, what they want from services or products and how to get the best from them.  The work that Snook do is all about enabling positive change through design.  Occupational psychology also studies how to enable change within organisations.  The fundamental principles of both disciplines are the same - it's all about the people at the centre of the process; listening to them, being empathic and designing services that suit their needs. So for me, Snook ticked a lot of boxes.  Working for Snook not only enables me to use my graphic design skills but also to indulge my love of discovering what people think.  And for Snook, hopefully the same is true - they get a graphic designer but also someone who is totally engaged with the aims of Service Design, who understands the importance of the people at the centre of the design process and who knows how to empathise with people. It's been a whirlwind few weeks since joining Snook.  But from what I've seen so far, I can honestly say I have nothing but admiration and respect for the energy, passion and dedication that Lauren, Sarah and Kirsty bring to each project that they take on.  They seem reflective, thoughtful and full of enthusiasm for making communities a better place.  I am too.  I hope that I can add as much to Snook as they will undoubtedly teach me. I'd love to hear from you if you'd like to discuss any of these ideas with me.  You can email me on karen@wearesnook.com or talk to me on twitter @karenjmaxwell. [post_title] => Hi I'm Karen and I'm new at Snook [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => hi-im-karen-and-im-new-at-snook [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=1412 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [23] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1394 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2011-06-06 10:12:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2011-06-06 10:12:23 [post_content] => I’m the new boy in Snook. Well actually I’m the only boy in Snook. And the only person over thirty. Well over thirty actually. So those are the gender and age issues taken care of. Snook is a brilliant and beautiful idea that I am thrilled to now be a part of. Design has this incredible potential to transform public services and the civic sphere in positive and progressive ways, and Snook is at the very vanguard of this new design movement. The challenge is to develop new strategies and tools that empower ordinary people to shape change. I see the new design as a political force that replaces the tired and irrelevant mechanisms of party politics with a vibrant socially responsible creativity. At its core, Snook comprises four dynamic, highly talented and visionary individuals whose  productivity and quality of work is simply remarkable. They have already made their mark on service design in the UK, and founding partners Sarah and Lauren have been invited - all expenses paid - to run workshops and consultancies from New York to Beijing, from Taipei to Berlin. And they have only just graduated. That is truly remarkable dynamism.   The world is transforming and needs wholly new ideas, creative tools and methods of working. Those companies reshaping our world, from Google to Twitter, and the emerging social movements creating a new impulse for democratic change, as we have seen in the Arab Spring, are led by a new generation that has not been institutionalised, and is more determined to embrace change. Snook is part of this. In the corporate world, there’s another new phenomenon - bi-generational management, which is the norm for most successful high tech start ups in the US. Linking the youthful vision of Generation Y to the experience of the Babyboomers appears to give new companies a competitive edge. That is what we hope too! I actually have a day job. I am Professor of Design Policy at the University of Dundee. I have written two of the leading texts in the field of design management, which have been translated in Chinese, Russian and Spanish. I have led major research projects in design, and been a design policy advisor to the UK government. I was co-director of the Design Council’s Design Against Crime project. I have been invited to speak to conferences throughout the world, and have broadcast on TV and radio about design. Before working in design education and research, I was a community activist and research consultant for local government and trades unions. I taught one of the founding Snook partners, and feel privileged to be working alongside her in my associate role within Snook. One of my jobs is to help Snook develop and grow, and to help manage that process of change. So, I act as a coach and mentor to the team and an advisor on their strategic and operational development. Snook is in the knowledge business. So am I. This means that my second role is that of helping Snook communicate the knowledge they create, and turning that knowledge into products. I also help to ensure that Snook is informed by the latest academic design research, and where necessary to build alliances and partnerships with academia. Snook has always had a strong educational role and ethos, demonstrated through projects such as Studio Unbound and more recently Matchable. As the education landscape undergoes continued transformation, then new opportunities arise for Snook to innovate and provide new services. I will be working very closely with them on this aspect of their business. A new chapter is opening for Snook. This is nothing to do with me, but is a consequence of an expanded full time team, new projects, a new dedicated office in the heart of Glasgow, new business systems and new strategic objectives. Exciting times. Very exciting. Especially because I have a small part to play in the shift from Snook Beta to Snook 1.0. I can't wait to see Snook 2.0!" [post_title] => Hi I'm Mike and I'm new at Snook [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => hi-im-mike-and-im-new-at-snook [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=1394 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [24] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4087 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2010-12-11 14:56:26 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-12-11 14:56:26 [post_content] =>


A couple of weeks ago, Snook spent time in Kuopio, Finland, courtesy of Satu Miettinen after Lauren had been a couple of years ago on her ‘Finland Frolicks’. We were invited to teach at the Savonia University of Applied Sciences.We had heard good things from Lauren’s Finland Frolics in 2010. We were working with the fantastic Work Play Experience who use theatrical tools in Service Design, a very refreshing take on the discipline. The visit was to run the Winter Service Design School at the university.  Working over two days we were taking the students and staff from initial research and film ethnography to concepts which will be prototyped for real.  The topic was designing for the elderly.  We looked at three strands:
Work play x

Work play x

We began with the fantastic warm up from Adam and Markus of Work Play Experience.  Anyone who has had the pleasure of being part of a WPX workshop before will know what it is like to warmed up in the company of rubber chickens.  The duo wake up the left and right hand side of the brain using some bizarre exercises, but it works, and participants are left wide eyed, determined and ready for some hard work. We were working from personas that had been created by the students and interviewees in the format of films.  We wanted the group to empathise with the personas they were working with so we sat everyone down in groups of three and let participants take on the role of their persona.  By simply having a conversation with one another as the people they were designing for, the group were able to dig deeper and understand what it is like to be a user. Grouping back together and pulling out insights was a tough leap for the workshop participants. At first, they kept referring to what they knew about their personas.  But after some probing we began to pull out interesting themes about the change in situation for elderly people when health changes, how people move from independent to dependent.  An interesting observation was about the points in people’s lives where people drift from families to becoming wholly dependent on them again, and looking at these points to delve deeper into.
Idea generation

Idea generation

Working with the three themes we then brainstormed ideas, in a quick, speed dating scenario.  Groups then settled on ideas and we set to work on the more difficult part; thinking of them in terms of services, rather than just concepts. Using story boarding and rapid prototyping we attempted to expand the group’s thinking from single idea to service.  It was difficult and this is always the biggest leap in imagination.  It was tough and we didn’t quite get there on the first day, but the second day really pushed the groups to expand their concepts to ‘fit’ into real scenarios and complex systems. Starting with Work Play Experience, the participants were put through their paces to improvise and act their ideas out  Supported by Adam and Markus the team who had developed the Skype service for elderly people living in homes had to really start thinking about how this would operate as a service.  By re-enacting the service as a nurse and an elderly woman in a wheelchair problems began to arise that the group would need to design around.  A great way to make participants consider how to design, not just generate ideas!!
Students blueprinting

Students blueprinting

Snook then led the group through a blueprinting exercise, to consider how people might become aware of their new service concepts, join, use and then ‘leave’ them.  We focused on starting in the middle, the ‘use’ part of a blueprint to outline the value proposition.  Breaking down the blueprint to front stage, back stage, and actions of both customer and staff.  We asked workshop to participants to think about what happens before and after the use part of a service experience.
Twitter feedback

Twitter feedback

We ended the fast paced second day with three presentations. We sent the ideas out into the world for feedback via twitter only 30 minutes before.  We received some great feedback so thank you to those who commented.  We had;
“Care in a Queue – adapted #iPad for patients in #healthcare: contact, care, entertainment 4 elderly outpatients in hospital. #servicedesign” “Feel free, connect in ur social life: flexible transport options. Welcome to the Senior Cheer-up Bus! #healthcare #servicedesign” “Closer from a distance: connect with beloved relatives via “Skype for the elderly”. Easy for people in #healthcare centres. #servicedesign”
All the presentations were great! Ideally, the next step for groups would be to move into some live prototyping but really focus on fitting them into the context of existing systems around them. We would also really like to go back to Finland again, it’s a very beautiful country with some fantastic food. If you’d like to know more about this kind of work, contact sarah@wearesnook.com and we’ll see if we can help. [post_title] => Snook in Finland [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => snook-in-finland [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=374 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [25] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 870 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2010-12-01 10:08:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-12-01 10:08:31 [post_content] => Design is moving in new directions. We know this, we've seen it adapting, shifting and transforming in different sectors and in areas that our Industrial Design (with a capital D) predecessors left untouched. I've been lucky to be included in this movement, swept up in it in fact, but it can sometimes be difficult to explain why design is now operating where it is. Day one: Never has this fact hit home more than it did on Friday evening; I was on the phone in Preston station, waiting on a delayed train to take me on my homeward journey from Manchester to Glasgow and explaining to my father why I had spent the day in the dialysis unit in Salford Royal Hospital. Snook were invited down to Manchester to take part in an ongoing project with Martin Bontoft and Janet Hegarty, a Consultant in Kidney Medicine. This relationship is about Dialysis patients better understanding/managing the levels of Sodium and Potassium in their diet through effective yet simple means that can later be reproduced by the team in Salford. The next step was collaboration bringing together departments from all over the hospital to concentrate on issues that raise problems across their various fields. Snook were brought in to help in the area of blood pressure, in particular helping to visualise what it means to patients and how important managing your (invisible) blood pressure is when you are on dialysis. We mocked up ideas quickly and tested them out with staff in Salford.  My day in the hospital with Martin brought lots of ideas to the surface which I then brought to life with paper, scissors, glue and cardboard (our favourite type of prototyping!)

I met a lot of amazing people, who deal with A LOT. The nurses who work on the units, with 170 patients coming in to the thrice-daily shifts, the technicians who maintain these complex machines, and can show you a variety of interesting and informative data with their combinations on the buttons and the dietitians (who I spent more time with in my following trips) who help to shed light on the intricate balance that your diet rests on between dialysis cycles. Speaking to some of the patients was eye-opening and, if I am honest, not entirely what I was prepared for. Watching one particular patient having his needles set up it became apparent that although I had been completely fine with the amount of blood on show; pumping and hissing around the spinning and bleeping apparatus, I was very quickly uneasy when witnessing the pain that was caused by the insertion and subsequent maneuvering of the needles. Sitting at the nurses’ station, clearing the fog in my head and getting my hearing back it seemed that, at times, I can be a little too empathic (I wonder if I’ll lose this?) I really hope that the work and ideas that come out of this project will do something to make the patients lives even a little easier. It’s a tough life when you are on dialysis, spending up to 4 hours, 3 times a week hooked up to the machine – and having to manage every portion of food and every drop of liquid intake in between. Design is capable of transforming, and it is places like this where it’s needed. That’s what I told my Dad on the phone in the station on the way home. Look after your kidneys! Day two: My second trip down to the Renal Unit had an entirely different feeling around it. Having spent time back in the studio creating prototypes and graphic ideas to feed back to the team I was very confident in holding detailed conversations and building ideas with the team in the unit. I’d also made my way into the considerable amount of reading that surrounded the growing project. This is a part of working in design that I love; the fact that we jump from project to project means that we are constantly needing to become knowledgeable in different areas, we collect all sorts of eccentric and intricate stories around us all the time. Snook’s second day spent in Salford Royal was spent mainly with Helen and Sadia; two of the dietitians working across the Hospital, but specialising in the Renal Unit. I began the day by meeting the entire team before Helen, Sadia and myself talked through the existing tools used by the team on the wards. We discussed the patient’s reactions to these; what works well, what comments they have had back, and crucially, how different approaches work well for different people.  One key point that was really driven home was the fact that design has a part to play in this situation, but there is really no way of supplementing the hard work that is required to change behaviours. These patient’s lives are hard. Clever tricks and incentives are really just quick fixes, we need to think deeper.  

Talking to the dietitians it becomes immediately clear that they know their patients extremely well. The nature of their work means that they spend considerably more time with the individuals than other hospital staff. They talk about patients using their first names; the dialysis patients can be coming to the hospital for years, and they really get to know them. As a result, dietitians really are experts in the lives of these people, they know their background stories, habits, how they react to things, what they are likely to take to; they can predict their behaviours. They truly are an amazing team, they juggle a lot – that much was evident to me as I spent a day drawing, talking and reading in their fruit-filled office. I would like to say a huge thank you, Helen and Sadia really helped to broaden my thinking and understanding on the subject. My previous days in the hospital had been spent considering the written material and information available to patients to help them understand and manage their diet and fluid intake; re-designing and planning implementations to aid in the general knowledge of blood pressure and living with Haemodialysis. Quite early on on the first day of research, gathering and observing it became clear that to base a project around the visualisation of blood pressure would require taking into account all that surrounds Haemodialysis; Potassium, Phosphate, Salt, Heamoglobin, ETV, fluid intake, diet, lifestyle, cooking, shopping lists, family support, transport, wellbeing and atmosphere in the wards. There is no way of singling out a particular aspect. It is all mixed up. It is very difficult for patients to consider each element individually when they all play a part in their daily lives, and when their lives themselves exist in a constant rotation of dialysis and non-dialysis days. Worrying and waiting and measuring and counting. I set up a small station in the dieticians office where I was making new forms , graphs and ways of presenting information to patients. We know that as a first step, we needed to concentrate on the time that people coming in for dialysis are able to use to listen and learn. That might be the first 15 minutes or so of their session before they get sleepy. It might not be every session. The idea is to use the smallest amounts of time effectively.

  This means taking a slightly different approach. Salford Royal already have an amazing system of breaking down their teaching of salt intake, for example, into different meals. This means that the patients are only ever concentrating on one section of their routine at a time, and can immediately start to think about how this teaching relates to their everyday life. You then move on to the next meal, and continue in a rotation as many times as necessary. Through this project we have found that the best way to approach this way of learning is to discuss and idea with someone eight times in eight different ways. This is where design comes into its own. The next steps for this project was to design and test these 8x8 steps. We considered about how patients read information, how they might present it to each other, how they can hold conversations with each other (dialysis patients are often on the same rotation as each other for quite a while, they get to know each other.) Snook designed the questions that would be most helpful for the staff to ask and for the patients to ask. We worked very visually; asking patients to make video diaries so that they could begin to learn from each other, using flash cards to swap recipes and fluid tips. We encouraged people to share their defence mechanisms, how their condition affects their everyday life and how they have found ways of dealing with it, overcoming it. Snook would love to explore more of the personal stories; patients learn best from each other as they immediately relate to the other persons situation. We would really like to start working with dialysis champions, sharing their stories for others to learn from. This project has really opened our eyes, and stretched our thinking. We would like to say a huge thank you to all the staff at Salford Royal and to Martin Bontoft, you’ve made us feel very welcome – we have really enjoyed exploring with you.   [post_title] => Making Blood Pressure Visible - working with Salford Royal Renal Unit. [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => making-blood-pressure-visible-working-with-salford-royal-renal-unit [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=870 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [26] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4079 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2010-11-09 21:24:24 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-11-09 21:24:24 [post_content] => Rip and Mix is a creative process. It is a tool that enables you to come up with lots of ideas very quickly. It is a very visual way of working and highlights that starting with user needs is not the only approach to innovation. The tricky bit is sketching ideas very quickly and intuitively. Snook ran a workshop on Rip and Mix with design students at Glasgow Caledonian University. In the past we have used this method to design communication products and services for the elderly – ripping and mixing communication products used by a wide range of stakeholders with communication products specifically designed for the elderly. I have used this tool addressing the question “How can we reduce waiting times in NHS surgeries?” ( link to service design cafe event )  – ripping and mixing products and services focused on time and the passing of time with various health services and other services that require ‘waiting’ such as the theatre… The students had been working on semiotics and affordance so for this workshop we decided to work around cash machines for the visually impaired – ripping and mixing all products designed for visually impaired people and all products and services around retrieving finance (ranging from physical money to intangible information ) http://www.flickr.com/photos/wearesnook/sets/72157623541685322/
“Snook's Rip and Mix workshop was just what my year 1 and 2 undergraduate design students needed. It enabled them to move out of their design comfort zones and propose, through sketching, twenty ideas each on a design problem. The technique utilises semiotics which really helped the students understand the importance of visual analysis. It was fun, energetic, engaging and above all useful. At a post-workshop de-brief the vast majority of students said they would use the technique in the future on a variety of design problems – product, interactive and 3D.  Not one student reacted negatively to the technique – and those who were initially unsure began to see the relevance after the workshop. Overall it was a fantastic opportunity that I’d like to build into next year’s curriculum again.”
Dave Wood, Lecturer in Digital Design at Glasgow Caledonia [post_title] => Working with Students at Glasgow Caledonia University [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => working-with-students-at-glasgow-caledonia-university [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=158 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [27] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 18389 [post_author] => 90 [post_date] => 2019-12-02 23:45:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-02 23:45:58 [post_content] => Prior to working at Snook, she has led a range of projects, from building financial resilience for single parents, to helping people to find work they love. Chandni is passionate about using her diverse range of skills across innovation, service design, product design, UX / UI to create a positive impact for people. Outside of work you can find Chandni taking long walks in nature, reading behaviour change books to learn about human psychology, watching documentaries about the universe and trying new things like the flying trapeze. [post_title] => Chandni Patel [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => chandni-patel [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-03 11:06:29 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-03 11:06:29 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?post_type=people&p=18389 [menu_order] => 36 [post_type] => people [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [28] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 8166 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2015-07-09 13:27:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-07-09 13:27:37 [post_content] => Don't see yourself as a designer? Let our Sarah inspire you to think otherwise. In this TEDxPortobello video, she talks about working at Snook and the Dearest Scotland and CycleHack projects. [post_title] => From Wow Design to We Design | TEDxPorty [post_excerpt] => Don't see yourself as a designer? Let our Sarah Drummond inspire you to think otherwise. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => from-wow-design-to-we-design-tedxporty [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=8166 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [29] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 19632 [post_author] => 94 [post_date] => 2020-09-10 14:22:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-09-10 14:22:08 [post_content] => Matthew studied Political Sociology at The London School of Economics and Political Science and has since built his career working in design and research agencies in London. He has conducted research across the globe for public, private and third sector clients, working on a broad range of projects from the future of work to informal education. Matthew has a keen interest in Art, Design, Music and Photography. Outside of Snook, you can often find him designing and building furniture, rock climbing and taking pictures of the people and places around him. He is also an avid reader and is always looking for a good book recommendation. [post_title] => Matthew Moutos [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => matthew-moutos [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-09-10 14:22:08 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-09-10 14:22:08 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wearesnook.com/?post_type=people&p=19632 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => people [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [30] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 19630 [post_author] => 94 [post_date] => 2020-09-07 15:02:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-09-07 15:02:23 [post_content] =>

About the company

Snook are on a mission to design a world that works better for people. We work with organisations to design more effective services which help people thrive. We do this by engaging with users, building digital products, training our clients, and much more. This year we’re ten years old. In the past five years, we’ve scaled to more than double our original size when we started up in Scotland. We’ve opened a London office and our team is approaching 70 people. And we’ve worked with brilliant clients — from Cancer Research UK and Tesco to Hackney City Council and the Scottish Government.

About the role

As a Principal Developer at Snook, you will lead the new and growing team of developers within our Digital team, and set the standard for our coding approach. You’ll report to our Head of Digital to provide oversight of technical delivery, and provide coaching for technical specialists.  You will:   You will help create a supportive team and a culture of partnership, consistency, operational excellence and delivery.  You will foster good engineering practices, rhythms and rituals, team dynamics and delivery within the Head of Digital’s team. And you will help the team make brilliant connections with the other designers and researchers across the rest of Snook. Principals are our most senior practitioners, but you’ll also work with other Principals across service design and user research to help set and raise the standard of human-centred design across Snook and the sector. 


You should be able to demonstrate that you have experience of some or all of the following responsibilities:

Your skills and experience

We want to hear from a range of people who can demonstrate some, or all, of the following skills and experience:

What we offer 

Snook offer a competitive salary, 29.5 holidays per year (including public holidays), additional annual Christmas closure and a supportive maternity leave policy. We are working remotely by default during the pandemic, as a distributed team. We provide the kit our staff need to work effectively, and the flexibility to help work and life remain in balance. Our London studio space is open for our staff to work in if they prefer not to work from home, and we have a booking system to make sure people can work at a safe distance. Our Glasgow studio is awaiting confirmation following the Scottish Government guidelines. We provide an annual training budget for external opportunities from talks and conferences to more bespoke hands-on training. We respect that people have commitments and provide flexible working hours through discussion. We spend a day together every quarter as a studio to run show and tells. We have an annual team-away retreat for us to come together as a company, taking time out to learn, reflect, and eat snacks. We are an equal opportunity, Disability Confident and Living Wage Foundation employer. We have a bike to work scheme and free membership to HeadSpace the mental health app. We support you with a Snook buddy when you join to get you started. We strive for diversity in our team. If we’re going to design services for the public we need to ensure our team is inclusive. We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and ages, however all applicants must have the right to work in the UK.

How to apply 

Please submit a CV, cover letter and details of your notice period, by Friday October 16th 2020. Please also let us know your preferred pronouns (she/her, they/them, he/him, etc). In your covering letter, please tell us a little bit about yourself, why you want to work at Snook and what sort of design problems you’d be interested in tackling with us. Send your CV and cover letter pdfs to ‘apply-f0fe13d0220301@snook-ltd.breezy-mail.com’ with the title “Hire me: Principal Developer”. At the current time, we anticipate that all interviews will be conducted remotely. We will offer interviews at times that suit you, so if you have children, caring duties, or other circumstances affecting your availability for an interview, we’re happy to offer convenient times outside of work hours.  [post_title] => Principal Developer [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => principal-developer [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-09-17 14:55:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-09-17 14:55:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wearesnook.com/?post_type=jobs&p=19630 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => jobs [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [31] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 19543 [post_author] => 57 [post_date] => 2020-07-01 15:56:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-07-01 15:56:23 [post_content] => Olivia has experience in a variety of fields, from health products to working with charities, and across different design disciplines. Projects have taken her all over the world - from studying design in San Francisco, pitching to investors in Shenzhen, working with remote communities in Chitwan and delivering essential advice services in London. This has allowed her to understand the design process through the lens of different cultures, communities and industries, to see first hand the positive impact design can have. Originally from Ireland, Olivia is a proud speaker of the native Irish language - or Gaeilge as we call it! Outside of Snook you will find her playing with dogs, twisting like a pretzel in yoga or taking in a scenic view. [post_title] => Olivia Holbrook [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => olivia-holbrook [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-09-11 08:51:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-09-11 08:51:58 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wearesnook.com/?post_type=people&p=19543 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => people [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [32] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 19493 [post_author] => 20 [post_date] => 2020-06-01 12:41:25 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-06-01 12:41:25 [post_content] => On this Service Design Day 2020 we wanted to reflect on the many routes our team had taken into service design.  At Snook we currently have 32 service designers  and we asked them to tell us about their education and what led them to service design. Unsurprisingly 27 of our team had completed undergraduate degrees in design and you can see the different courses they took outlined below. Seventeen of our Service Design staff also have Masters degrees and 12 of these are specifically in design-related subjects. We have always been fortunate in our ability to recruit staff from across the world, giving us a strong international perspective, and we currently have staff from Australia and New Zealand, Taiwan, all across Europe (from Sweden to Portugal), and also Central America. Valerie Carr, our Director of Strategy shares her personal story of her introduction to service design by reflecting on who she learned from and what she learned. I’m the single Interior Design Graduate in the chart above and, after graduation, worked in Interior Design until I had my first son in 1989. I then completed a Masters in Computer Aided Design and worked for a while doing computer generated graphics for architects before moving into lecturing part-time.  I continued lecturing right through the birth of three more sons,  then decided to embark upon a PhD when the youngest was four.  We obtained funding from NHS Estates  to conduct a joint Project involving the School of Design and School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Dundee.  The project aimed to evaluate the impact of the built environment on birth mothers, their partners and staff in maternity units. I had the great privilege of being supervised by Tom Inns, a pioneer in Design for Innovation, and learning research methods from the team at the Social Dimensions of Health Institute.  I also learned a lot about evidence-based design and the importance of rigour in user research from the team at Center for Healthcare Design. Anyone interested in the outputs from the project can find my thesis here - but I warn you, it’s very long! It was while evaluating the impact of the built environment that I became interested in how we might design organisations and services to better meet the needs of those who access them. It  became clear that some elements of the interior environment which have been designed for specific  benefit did not achieve the desired impact because of organisational constraints related to how services were delivered.  After taking a midlife gap year in Burundi, Central East Africa, in 2009 we relocated to Lancaster where I worked as Research Associate on an 18 month research project “Design in Practice”.  This project built on the foundations of the Design Council Red Programme, the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement experience-based design approach, and the work of Ezio Manzini and team at Politecnico di Milano. It also gave me the opportunity to work with and learn from an amazing team at Imagination Lancaster.  Prof Rachel Cooper has been instrumental in defining the role of designers in the 20th/21st century (check the link to see another familiar name in Scottish Service Design circles). Daniela Sangiorgi was one of the first academics really exploring Service Design as a discipline in its own right, tracing the origins from other disciplines. The other members of our project team, Sabine Junginger and Monika Buscher brought valuable insights from Design Management and Sociology. Our reflections on the development of Service Design can be found in the papers we wrote.  In 2012, I joined Snook, who were the first (and only at that time) Service Design company in Scotland. Over the past 8 years I’ve had the privilege of working on a wide variety of projects across the UK and beyond. We've seen our team grow from 5 to over 50, and the breadth, depth and impact of our projects increase. We’ve seen User-Centred Design and Service Design become mainstream with the establishment of Government Digital Services and the Scottish approach to service design. Meeting user-centred design criteria has become mandatory for government services in both Scotland and the wider UK. I think back to the absolute bewilderment and frustration expressed by one of the GPs involved in our Design in Practice project in 2009, “I just don’t understand what design has to do with clinical practice!’ and hope more people across the public, third and private sector value the contribution design can bring to making services work better for everyone. [post_title] => Service Design Day 2020: The Many Routes to Service Design [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => service-design-day-2020 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-06-01 13:21:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-06-01 13:21:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wearesnook.com/?p=19493 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [33] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 19451 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2020-05-18 14:36:57 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-05-18 14:36:57 [post_content] =>

This post is the first of a series in which we’ll look at how the UK social landscape has been shaped by COVID-19 and especially government, healthcare and communities. Our focus in these posts will be to share insights and tools that people can take away to help address their own challenges. 

  At Snook, one of our missions is to work toward a kinder and smarter next era of government, and so we have an immediate interest in current shifts in how public services work. Some of these services are new and very visible, like financial support mechanisms for people and organisations in crisis, or contact-tracing initiatives.  Others, however, might be less visible, but ultimately represent longer-term changes in the relationship between government and public.  In this post, we’ll share insights that we’ve gained from developing a tool that enables local councils to run official meetings online – an example of how everyday processes of democratic decision making are being forced to change by the crisis, and what long-term impacts might result

The democratic process, live from the kitchen table 

Before the pandemic only about 12% of the UK workforce regularly worked from home, with less than 30% having ever worked from home, so relatively few people or organisations had systems in place for staff to work from home. While it attracts little mainstream attention, how best to work from home takes on a different significance when it includes core parts of our democratic process.  In the UK, local government meetings are involved in granting permits, licenses, and planning permission, as well as allocating resources and budgets in their area; and a pandemic has meant local governments  needing to find ways to hold such meetings online Defining a service that would meet the legal requirements of a democratic process in a virtual space is more complex than it might first appear. From the second week of the lockdown, Liam Hinshelwood and Liv Comberti from the Snook team began to work with Neil Terry and Chris Cadman-Dando from Adur & Worthing Councils (A&W) to do so. We wanted to describe some of their insights from the development process, and launch a set of reflections for further conversations. 

How do meetings work in physical versus virtual space?

The meeting script. Council meetings run to a tight script. Adhering to an agreed structure is what makes these meetings legally binding. Although some functions of a meeting could be done in writing rather than in person, this would remove the opportunity for everyone to express their opinion as easily, make ‘responding’ in real time more difficult, and limit public participation. Finding ways to take the script online is preferable.  The physical space. Council meetings tend to occur in purpose-built chambers. These spaces are usually organised around a hierarchy, with the person chairing the meeting and their deputies in the centre, and the legal officer seated nearby to offer guidance where necessary. Those who will present, and those who are eligible to vote on arguments, are arranged around them. This makes it easy to see who is guiding the process. The virtual space. All this changes in a virtual context. Here, everyone is ‘on the same level’. The performative characteristics of space have changed, and adjustments to behaviour are necessary – people talk over each other, need to remember to mute microphones, and we also tend to see more casual dress and participants’ homes in the background. The whole atmosphere changes.    [caption id="attachment_19474" align="aligncenter" width="1549"]The need for rapid adaptation from a built for purpose physical space to working from home is not limited to the UK. Left: An image of the empty Hackney Town Hall, UK. Right: A recent council meeting in Clinton, USA The need for rapid adaptation from a built for purpose physical space to working from home is not limited to the UK. Left: An image of the empty Hackney Town Hall, UK. Right: A recent council meeting in Clinton, USA[/caption]

What are the practical problems and solutions of moving council meetings online?

Who is responsible for tech and training? Currently there is no dedicated software to conduct either council or any other democratic meetings. Software decisions usually fall to the IT department, however, because of the urgency of moving online, the responsibility for these decisions fell to the Democratic Services Support Team at A&W. They found a need to train councillors and members of the public who were due to participate in how to use the video conferencing software and digital devices to participate in virtual meetings. Chris says “In some cases, councillors have had comparatively low exposure to modern digital technology, and it is essential that we make sure the training they receive in the necessary applications allows their other, more traditional skills (debate, scrutiny and decision making), to shine through”. Training 70 councillors was, in itself, very resource intensive – imagine what it would be like to train hundreds at larger councils.   Scale and roles have an impact. Council meetings are of different sizes, depending on location and even the subject under discussion. For example, A&W meetings are often 30-60 people, which is relatively small and can work on a call. However, for some other councils these meetings can be much larger (e.g. Birmingham Council with around 300 councillors). As Neil from A&W observes: “In a remote context you can easily control a planning committee of 8 participants, but as the numbers increase, so do the challenges, exponentially.” The roles needed in a virtual context will be, to a degree, highly connected with their scale – facilitating a call with 20 people is not the same as facilitating one with 200+!  New roles. “There’s a need for new roles and new responsibilities in these virtual council meetings,” Liv from Snook says, “and we are only just beginning to understand what these are ”. As Chris describes: “We have identified new technical roles that we would not normally have to consider at traditional meetings. This has meant that we have had to identify additional resources outside of our small Democratic Services Support Team, and train and prepare those people we bring in. In addition to this, traditional roles such as that of the chairman now require different skills and knowledge which has been challenging.” Trade-offs between software and protocol. Most council constitutions require public visibility on how each councillor has voted. In A&W, this is done by councillors verbally confirming their vote. However, in larger councils, registering hundreds of verbal votes one at a time is impractical. The processes councils follow and the tasks required are tied in with the platforms they are using. Infrastructure limitations. Designing around participants’ internet connectivity is a huge challenge. At best it can mean councillors being forced to abstain from voting on issues where they haven’t heard the full debate. The risk increases when the chair or legal counsel’s connection drops. And that’s clearly not the worst that can happen

How can we enable the public to take part – and given that digital inclusiveness is always a problem, what new challenges might arise?

Technology shifts who is being included and excluded. Liv explains: “Physical meetings may exclude parents, disabled people, or simply those living busy lives. Virtual meetings are more likely to exclude older generations or those without access to the technology needed. But overall, virtual meetings may actually be more accessible.”  A less intimidating prospect. Members of the public can now see both the meeting and what participation involves much more easily than they could before. The formality and pomp of physical meetings disappears, making them more approachable and open to all.

How can issues like these be addressed?

The biggest challenge the Snook team found was not the ability of a council team to systematically come up with a solution to every issue outlined above – something they excelled at. It was the sheer amount to think about, and the risk of overlooking or not anticipating something that turned out to be critical. As Chris points out: “In some cases we have protocols for dealing with issues and we can adapt them to the online context. However, there are challenges that you would never ever think about.”  Some councils have been discovering these the hard way. This means greater demands on council resources in a time where they are already considerably overstretched. A new tool. With this in mind, we worked with the A&W team to create an extensive blueprint of every stage of the process – from meeting set-up through post-meeting admin – in granular detail. At every stage the team considered behaviours, hardware, software, governance, and legislative risks. “They shared that what they found incredibly helpful about that”, Liv says, “was that it ensured there was nothing they hadn’t thought about – it was a very comprehensive lens. It wasn’t about putting something in each cell – in a way the blueprint acted as a checklist for them to make sure they’d thought about everything and proposed solutions”.   [caption id="attachment_19472" align="aligncenter" width="1999"]A&W Remote Council Meetings Blueprint A&W Remote Council Meetings Blueprint[/caption] A user manual for governance. Ultimately, a blueprint is a difficult thing to follow, and not every participant needs to know the whole process. Liv told us, “We need a big picture of the whole process, broken down into the different roles required, so that people can see where their role fits in, including members of the public. What we really need to exist is a user manual for each member of a council meeting”.  [caption id="attachment_19473" align="aligncenter" width="1999"]Sketch of A&W remote council meeting process by roles Sketch of A&W remote council meeting process by roles[/caption] Local variation. Such a blueprint would be different for individual councils. “ While there is a centralised Local Government Act 2000 that outlines a strong common framework for what should and shouldn’t be done, implementation is different at a local level. They are currently changing the governance to reflect the current situation”, Liam says.  At Snook, we are deeply interested in understanding what kind of long-term impact will result from these changes and interventions. While it’s likely that many councils will move back towards physical meetings, there are aspects of online provision that we would like to see pursued, especially its ability to make meetings more approachable and accessible. We see digital not just as a lever to transform delivery channels, but as a creator of new activities and roles which will shape what governance will look like around the world.  As Neil puts it: “Whilst the current legislation allowing remote meetings is only in place until next year, we’re planning on some form of remote participation being here to stay. Before the lockdown, we had pressures from those who welcomed remote participation and those who opposed it. In demonstrating what is possible, the opposition has dropped and we’re in the process of shaping the new normal”.  We’d like to thank Adur and Worthing Council for involving us in this interesting piece of work, and Benedict and Marta from Rival for partnering with us on the research for this post. If you’d like to get involved in discussing redesign of democratic processes for inclusion and accessibility in the digital age, please get in touch. [post_title] => Reflections on Covid-19: Exploring remote democratic decision making [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => exploring-remote-democratic-decision-making [to_ping] => [pinged] => https://wearesnook.com/our-principles-for-digital-inclusivity/ [post_modified] => 2020-05-18 15:36:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-18 15:36:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wearesnook.com/?p=19451 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [34] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 19441 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2020-04-30 16:17:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-04-30 16:17:46 [post_content] => We are excited to share with you that an early version of the service recipes for charities platform is now live and is the result of the collaboration of Catalyst with FutureGov, Snook and CAST It collects practical examples to help charities reuse and learn from one another’s digital services. We have been referring to those as recipes: they show the ingredients and steps needed to deliver a service. By charities, for charities, for inspiration or straightforward implementation. These recipes can be reused as they are, or tweaked as necessary. We believe that re-using existing tools and code can help charities solve service design and delivery problems more quickly than building a tool from scratch. It can save time and money, and build a team’s confidence along the way. The platform is in Alpha stage: that means it’s a real thing, it is publicly available and can be used by people, but it is still likely to develop further in response to feedback. We have been sharing this concept with some charities over the last few months and decided to build it, as the feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive. We are aware though, that the devil is in the detail. That’s why we are sharing it openly. By getting it live, we are hoping to boost our learning process for what works and what doesn’t so that we can iterate more quickly based on the findings. We are launching it today with a small but exciting collection of service recipes, with more to follow in the next few weeks. The recipes were contributed by a range of charities, some who have had a strong digital focus for years and others who are just starting out. We Are With You are offering webchat services in order to support people dealing with addiction and mental health issues. It took one week to get the web chat services up and running and demand for the service has remained steady at 50-70 sessions a day. With You's recipe includes how they selected their tools, set up and are staffing the service as well as guidance around how to implement web chat successfully. Young Somerset support young adults with 1-to-1 therapy. In response to COVID-19, they quickly shifted their service online and were able to find a solution that met NHS governance and security requirements. In Young Somerset's recipe, you’ll find how they made the decision to move online, what tools and software they used and risks they considered due to the now remote delivery of the service.  Being Woman offer women digital skills training  to increase inclusion and equality. To help people stay connected during lock down they distributed tablets and laptops and helped them gain skills and confidence to get online. Being Woman’s recipe covers the learning resources and digital inclusion schemes they partnered with, such as  Learn My Way, Make It Click and  Devicesdotnow. We want to thank all the charities who have already provided us with service recipes about the challenges that they’re currently facing and services they are providing.  We will add more recipes every week and we need organisations like yours to share the digital solutions you have had success with or that you are trialling at the moment. With each recipe shared, the library will grow and it’s our hope that you’ll also benefit from it too in the near future.  To share your recipes, you can fill in this form in or send us an email at recipes@thecatalyst.org.uk For platforms and initiatives such as this around reuse, to succeed we need to know if the recipes have helped you and your organisation build a new service, or improve an existing one. We would like to hear from you, whether for general feedback or to share how you used an existing recipe.  Finally, if  you want to learn more about service recipes and our thinking behind it, we talked about service patterns and life events here. This was originally posted by the wonderful team working across the catalyst. [post_title] => Service recipes: our new tool to help you get inspired by how other charities deliver services [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => service-recipes-our-new-tool-to-help-you-get-inspired-by-how-other-charities-deliver-services [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-04-30 16:17:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-04-30 16:17:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wearesnook.com/?p=19441 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [35] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 19392 [post_author] => 92 [post_date] => 2020-04-16 11:18:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-04-16 11:18:02 [post_content] =>

Imagine going about your normal day without access to the internet. At the time of writing, during the COVID-19 lock down that’s more inconceivable than usual with most of us relying on it to do our work, shopping and socialising. But for many, even in ‘normal’ times, access to digital services is highly problematic and contributes to their exclusion from essential services.

Those who depend on the government’s digital services need internet access to sustain their lives. Snook have met people who couldn’t log into their Universal Credit accounts and lost benefits as a result, and there are countless children who are expected to do schoolwork online but have no suitable device to do so at home. By excluding people digitally, we are excluding them from society.

The crisis has precipitated a lot of progress in digital inclusion. From Government Zero to DevicesDotNow to No One Left Behind. A lot of organisations are working together to quickly help people get online and get the support they need during this crisis. Their work builds on decades of experience of working to bridge the digital gap.

The Scottish Government commissioned Snook to synthesise existing research into recommendations for digital inclusion. This research, much of which is Snook’s own, ranges from digital rights with parents and carers, to digital exclusion of children in poverty, to the experiences of getting online for older people.

This is a summary of our findings, which can be found in full in our report, unpacking the complexity of digital inclusion. We see it as a useful resource to provide context to the work going on today.

The key factors in digital inclusion

1. Low cost and accessible connections

Access to the internet is the foundation of digital participation, and people often have limited power over this. Home broadband packages can be confusing, with hidden fees and people feeling forced into contracts. Public Wi-Fi provisions lack bandwidth, block access to certain applications such as streaming services, and are time limited. We met a woman who knew all the hotspots, — as well as their time limits — at cafes and other public spaces on her route to work. She would plan her journey so she could get access to essential services on her commute. Smartphone data, particularly on pay-as-you-go, is the most expensive way to access the internet, and people report struggling to manage their data usage.

“Some people will go without claiming benefits because they have to apply online. People don’t have the IT skills to do this, or access to computers or internet at home. Out of the 50 people we support, only 2 people have home broadband and Wi-Fi, although half of the young people have data on their smartphones.” — Carr Gomm support worker (Online Identity Assurance, 2018)

2. Motivations to get online

People who don’t currently have access need a good reason to go through the rigmarole of getting online. Personal needs such as contacting relatives, shopping or doing homework are strong motivating factors. When people feel forced to go online by certain services they feel disempowered, which isn’t the best place to start learning from. Even when given access to devices, new users without a clear drive of their own are unlikely to use them. For people living with a disability, there is a greater motivation to use digital services, as they are often more inclusive and user friendly by default. However, more is needed to make services accessible and joined up, for instance by encouraging more face-to-face interactions..

3. Access to appropriate (connected) devices

Owning a device allows a person to use it at home and in their own time, and usually increases their digital skills and confidence. Issues are raised around privacy and security if they have to share a device. In families, children are often the driver for acquiring a device to help them with school work and to feel included in their peer group. Providing devices is a quick and easy way to contribute towards digital inclusion, but it needs to go hand in hand with the provision of an internet connection.

4. Skills, confidence and safety

The fourth piece of the puzzle is about giving people the skills and confidence to get online. Most adults worry about how organisations access, process and share their personal data. Technology can be seen as a tool for abuse, but that doesn’t stop people from sharing information, opinions, and photos freely on social media. Despite high levels of concern for child safety, parents don’t trust safety measures such as parenting controls. All these fears can contribute to an aversion to getting connected.

What needs to happen to include everyone in the digital world?

Training needs to be offered and exchanged

Some people get digital skills through employment or education, while others rely on those in their immediate circle. Every person’s needs and motivations are different. This suggests that tailored, task-based training works best. Learnings from community-centred initiatives need to be shared, and skills could be exchanged between user groups.

Our digital rights need to be clear

As more services become digital, we can expect to see more people encouraged to use technology. Concerns for online safety can be a barrier for people choosing to go online. More knowledge is needed around how people can protect themselves online so that they can navigate the online world safely.

Connectivity is a basic need

People make light of the idea that digital should be the most basic of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs — over food, water, shelter, and warmth — but there is evidence that people do, to an extent, prioritise connectivity over food and comfort. Some refugees, for instance, are known to have asked for Wi-Fi or charging services ahead of food or water on arrival in a new country.

When people lose access to the internet though disruptive life events such as unemployment or illness, their connectivity is not addressed as a key need to help them get back on their feet. Regulating connectivity as the fourth utility will help reduce inequalities and allow more and more people to maximise their digital impact.

The full report can be found here.

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A crisis like Covid-19 requires urgent emergency responses. With crises come feelings of panic and we see lots of people running quickly towards the problem to help. But we know those feelings of panic tend to inhibit us to short-term thinking only.

There are various practical ways we’ve been addressing just getting on with the work we’re already doing at Snook. We’re conducting remote user research with control room operators — designing a rapid response to emergency calls seems more pressing than ever when the volume of calls they’re handling is unprecedented. We’re also continuing our work with British Sign Language communities and the National Citizen Service to improve their services. We’re running workshops using video conferencing-delivering a training session in service design for NHS National Services Scotland and convening with 100 designers and charities to look at ways to combine forces in their response to Covid-19. But it’s not just approaches to working remotely. There’s a bigger picture emerging of a world that may have to be restructured radically and will require a considered, long-term strategy to solving all the challenges which we will face globally in the wake of this.

Setting our response principles

We’ve been holding working sessions to discuss our response as a team to Covid-19. At first, we all felt a sense of panic — what can we do to help now? Apart from staying indoors and joining our local volunteer networks, where can we help? The usual questions came up, like asking if civic society needs an app to better organise themselves or building smart emergency response services? The answer was, and is, no. In the second week, we started to understand the scale of the challenge hanging over us and help clients organise and think through their emergency response. As we hit our third week of working in this ‘new normal’, we recognised we needed to set some principles about how we can support our clients past and present. We need to move from a crisis response state to being a calm supportive partner who’s looking ahead.

Our principles and approach to designing in times of crisis:

1. Show what’s possible

  Person shouting through a megaphone There are a huge number of things that need to be completely rethought right now, but bringing about these types of changes can seem overwhelming. For example, making internet access universally free to all those who are currently classified as vulnerable seemed like a pipedream. But we’re taking an approach to change a small thing and seed the bigger idea. We worked quickly with Nominet to get mobile phone operators to zero rate access to nhs.uk, so everyone can access accurate, up-to-date health information during the pandemic. A small win — and now they’re stepping up to provide access to a whole host of sites with new data packages. But this is just the start of a wider job of ensuring everyone is included in a world where there’s a growing assumption that just putting everything online is the answer. It’s not that simple. An estimated 1 in 10 households in the UK have no access to the internet. There are school pupils and students who are currently being told to do their lessons online and are simply unable to. Many elderly people feel they lack the skills to use computers, and the number of homeless is steadily rising, and while some may have phones, they frequently run out of data. These people are being allowed to fall through the cracks right now. But, with this challenge, many small prototypes working in the open can seed the change, and we’ll continue to press for these, linking them to wider positive agendas.

2. Balance immediate needs with the long-term view

Covid-19 will have a dramatic impact beyond the next week, and the month after. Not only specifically in the new normal of physically distancing that has been forced upon us but also in our ability to think, connect and live differently in the future. Who would have thought that in a matter of weeks, we could house everyone who is homeless? Or reduce our C02 emissions so quickly? In the short term, we’re supporting organisations to rethink service delivery with new Government regulations in the now — to support the people at highest risk (the elderly, the immunocompromised). But with this, we must ensure we also take a longer-term view and consider what might come next. There’s then the medium term. What’s coming in the next 4–6 weeks. Data from some of the most highly affected areas in the world such as Italy, shows us that the coming month is about to get much worse and we’ve heard from clients that workforces are depleting by up to a third in vital services like children’s social care. How we staff and continue to deliver vital services needs to be considered now and over the next few months as staff self-isolate or go off sick due to the virus. In the longer term, we’ll see much bigger impacts. How will people who’ve been in self-isolation for months feel? What are the long-term mental health impacts? How will a frontline workforce working in emergency mode feel in six months time after experiencing death, sickness and fear every day? What will happen to our food chains when we rely on much of our produce being imported and transport has been halted? What happens to homeless people we’ve housed in this period when the curve flattens? There are so many questions that need a longer-term view but need to be considered now, so we can start designing for these new needs and scenarios before they arrive on our doorstep.

3. Listen first, look second, build last

Our perspective is to listen first, understand needs, look at what exists then build if needed. We don’t know best. There are vast networks of grassroots efforts, civic sector organisations and charities that know their people and areas well. There are service providers who are experts in what they deliver and the people they support. We’ve seen a host of new services spring up, sometimes outside the organisation’s core expertise, because they saw a need and tried to fill it. We’re keen to help organisations understand their specific skill sets and how they can be put to use alongside others, stopping them from pivoting everything to solve the immediate crisis. If there’s a clear need for something new which no one else can meet, then build it. But listen first, and find out whether someone already does what’s needed and connect them up. Developing a new product or service at this time isn’t needed unless it helps with convening safely or delivering an existing service online. It will just add to the noise.

4. Meet immediate needs safely

Where there is a need, and something does need to be built, it must still meet regulations and good design principles. Yas, research and design will need to move at pace to meet new daily Government announcements or emergent societal needs. But a crisis doesn’t mean throwing out all data, ethical, privacy and accessibility principles. We have basic accessibility guidelines and tools to build quick services that work for people. We have data ethics workbooks to help us ask the questions we should ask to ensure that what we’re doing safeguards users. Organisations like the Information Commissioner’s office have provided supportive statements to help organisations get online at speed — assuring them that they won’t be penalised, but careful to ensure privacy and data standards are not dropped entirely. Even in a crisis, we should not ignore safeguarding and ethical data practice. We must think through our service designs to ensure we put no one in harm’s way.

5. Shape challenges, convene responses

Through our listening, we’re hearing common challenges from all types of organisations. Some of the simpler questions are how to deliver a support programme online. Or get digital access for the people they support. Or figure out how to support people paying for goods delivered to them who aren’t online.We can help by finding common problems and shaping these, convening the right people to solve them and publishing this knowledge. We’re about to bring this principle to life in our work across the Catalyst. This is an alliance of civil society organisations, funders, and digital agencies, incubated on behalf of the Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology. We’ve been working with them and Futuregov to build a list of common transactions that charities and civil society organisations might deliver and how these might be delivered online. We’re going to convene groups of service providers to discuss, share and publish how they’ve taken their services online so others can learn from this, in a series of patterns.

6. Stimulate learning loops

In a crisis, we have a tendency to deliver at speed then rush off to put the next fire out. But many of us are delivering services in ways we have never delivered before. We are learning what works, what doesn’t and what to do differently. We have a role to play in stimulating learning cycles and sharing them with others. Only together, can we learn how to meet the present and near-future needs well. We’re encouraging our clients to keep a short learning log during this time so they can look back and share what’s working and what needs to change. Last week, we held an online conversation involving charities, digital experts, designers, change-makers and commissioners. Someone said after the call that they’d been inspired to make sure they document their learnings, as they’re trying out lots of new ways of delivering their service remotely. Let’s keep inspiring those learnings.

Looking further into the future

We’re mindful of how often great shifts in society can happen after upheavals like this. The NHS was founded in the wake of the second world war. It cost an enormous amount of money — but aren’t we grateful for it now? It also took a great long-term vision and a commitment to the common good. The belief that things can be different and that we can design them to be better for everyone and everything on the planet seemed like a fantasy only a few weeks ago. But in the past two weeks, people are having to face a new reality that’s being foisted upon them. There’s a future to plan for beyond the pandemic. We need to reflect on what we want to keep from how we used to live and what must change to make a fairer, more sustainable future for all. We’ll be considering this in a series of posts soon. In the meantime, do get in touch if you’d like to get involved in designing the best response to the present — and the future — together. [post_title] => We need long-term thinking now more than ever [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => we-need-long-term-thinking-now-more-than-ever [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-04-06 16:43:05 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-04-06 16:43:05 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wearesnook.com/?p=19326 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [37] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 19308 [post_author] => 92 [post_date] => 2020-03-18 14:45:09 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-18 14:45:09 [post_content] =>

About the company

Snook are on a mission to design a world that works better for people. We work with organisations to design more effective services which help people thrive. We do this by engaging with users, building digital products, training our clients, and much more. This year we’re ten years old. In the past five years, we’ve scaled to more than double our original size when we started up in Scotland. We've opened a London office and our team is approaching 40 people. And we've worked with brilliant clients — from Cancer Research UK and Tesco to Hackney City Council and the Scottish Government.

About the role

As a Senior Interaction Designer at Snook, you will be responsible for taking a lead role in projects with a focus on creating intuitive, inclusive and accessible design solutions.  Your work will include designing holistic services that work for a wide range of people, and the design of digital products and supporting the digital design team and wider disciplines to embrace the importance of accessible interaction design.  Your work will require collaboration across our user centered disciplines and go beyond the screen.  You will design in the open, leading the communication of design decisions within the project team and clients, championing the importance of design and user needs.  You’ll relish working closely with our clients and partners, supporting our approach to new business opportunities, and in co-designing services and products with users.


We’re keen to hear from a range of applicants, not just those who have worked in the design or creative industries. You should be able to demonstrate that you are able to meet some, or all, of the following requirements:

Your skills and experience

We’re keen to hear from a range of applicants who can demonstrate some, or all, of the following skills and experience:

What we offer 

Snook offer a competitive salary, 29.5 holidays per year (including public holidays), additional annual Christmas closure and a supportive maternity leave policy. We are working remotely by default during the pandemic, as a distributed team. We provide the kit our staff need to work effectively, and the flexibility to help work and life remain in balance. Our London studio space is open for our staff to work in if they prefer not to work from home, and we have a booking system to make sure people can work at a safe distance. Our Glasgow studio is awaiting confirmation following the Scottish Government guidelines. We provide an annual training budget for external opportunities from talks and conferences to more bespoke hands-on training. We respect that people have commitments and provide flexible working hours through discussion. We spend a day together every quarter as a studio to run show and tells. We have an annual team-away retreat for us to come together as a company, taking time out to learn, reflect, and eat snacks. We are an equal opportunity, Disability Confident and Living Wage Foundation employer. We have a bike to work scheme and free membership to HeadSpace the mental health app. We support you with a Snook buddy when you join to get you started. We strive for diversity in our team. If we’re going to design services for the public we need to ensure our team is inclusive. We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and ages, however all applicants must have the right to work in the UK.

How to apply 

This recruitment has a deadline so please don't wait to submit your application. We will be shortlisting w/c Mon 14th September. Please submit a CV, cover letter, your notice period and a portfolio of your work highlighting key projects. If you do not have a portfolio, we have created a simple template that you can use. Send your CV, cover letter and portfolio as pdfs to 'apply-d589d8545fed01@snook-ltd.breezy-mail.com' with the title “Hire me: Senior Interaction Designer”. In your covering letter, please tell us a little bit about yourself, why you want to work at Snook and what sort of design problems you’d be interested in tackling with us. Due to the current Covid-19 epidemic, we anticipate that all interviews will be conducted remotely. We will offer interviews at times that suit you, so if you have children, caring duties, or other circumstances affecting your availability for an interview, we’re happy to offer convenient times outside of work hours. [post_title] => **CLOSED** Senior Interaction Designer/UX [post_excerpt] => As a Senior Interaction Designer at Snook, you will be responsible for taking a lead role in projects with a focus on creating intuitive. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => senior-interaction-designer-new [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-09-14 14:56:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-09-14 14:56:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wearesnook.com/?post_type=jobs&p=19308 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => jobs [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [38] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 19268 [post_author] => 92 [post_date] => 2020-03-18 14:42:36 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-18 14:42:36 [post_content] =>

About the company

Snook are on a mission to design a world that works better for people. We work with organisations to design more effective services which help people thrive. We do this by engaging with users, building digital products, training our clients, and much more. This year we’re ten years old. In the past five years, we’ve scaled to more than double our original size when we started up in Scotland. We've opened a London office and our team is approaching 40 people. And we've worked with brilliant clients — from Cancer Research UK and Tesco to Hackney City Council and the Scottish Government.

About the role

As a content designer, you’ll work with our project teams to design end-to-end services for our clients at Snook. This role focuses on content design, which combines copywriting with UX design. You will be designing accessible content to guide users through a service or product from start to finish, working with service designers, interaction designers and user researchers.  You’ll design written content that the user intuitively grasps across a variety of digital and analogue channels and meets the needs of everyone who will use it. 


We’re keen to hear from a range of applicants, not just those who have worked in the design or creative industries. You should be able to demonstrate that you are able to meet some, or all, of the following requirements:

Your skills and experience

We’re keen to hear from a range of applicants who can demonstrate some, or all, of the following skills and experience:

What we offer 

Snook offer a competitive salary, 29.5 holidays per year (including public holidays), additional annual Christmas closure and a supportive maternity leave policy. We are working remotely by default during the pandemic, as a distributed team. We provide the kit our staff need to work effectively, and the flexibility to help work and life remain in balance. Our London studio space is open for our staff to work in if they prefer not to work from home, and we have a booking system to make sure people can work at a safe distance. Our Glasgow studio is awaiting confirmation following the Scottish Government guidelines. We provide an annual training budget for external opportunities from talks and conferences to more bespoke hands-on training. We respect that people have commitments and provide flexible working hours through discussion. We spend a day together every quarter as a studio to run show and tells. We have an annual team-away retreat for us to come together as a company, taking time out to learn, reflect, and eat snacks. We are an equal opportunity, Disability Confident and Living Wage Foundation employer. We have a bike to work scheme and free membership to HeadSpace the mental health app. We support you with a Snook buddy when you join to get you started. We strive for diversity in our team. If we’re going to design services for the public we need to ensure our team is inclusive. We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and ages, however all applicants must have the right to work in the UK.

How to apply 

This recruitment has a deadline so please don't wait to submit your application. We will be shortlisting w/c Mon 14th September. Please submit a CV, cover letter, your notice period and a portfolio of your work highlighting key projects. If you do not have a portfolio, we have created a simple template that you can use. Send your CV, cover letter and portfolio as pdfs to apply-21ab17cb4db501@snook-ltd.breezy-mail.com with the title “Hire me: Content Designer”. In your covering letter, please tell us a little bit about yourself, why you want to work at Snook and what sort of design problems you’d be interested in tackling with us. Due to the current Covid-19 epidemic, we anticipate that all interviews will be conducted remotely. We will offer interviews at times that suit you, so if you have children, caring duties, or other circumstances affecting your availability for an interview, we’re happy to offer convenient times outside of work hours.  [post_title] => **CLOSED** Content Designer [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => content-designer [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-09-14 14:56:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-09-14 14:56:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wearesnook.com/?post_type=jobs&p=19268 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => jobs [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [39] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 19265 [post_author] => 92 [post_date] => 2020-03-18 14:42:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-18 14:42:10 [post_content] =>

About the company

Snook are on a mission to design a world that works better for people. We work with organisations to design more effective services which help people thrive. We do this by engaging with users, building digital products, training our clients, and much more. This year we’re ten years old. In the past five years, we’ve scaled to more than double our original size when we started up in Scotland. We've opened a London office and our team is approaching 40 people. And we've worked with brilliant clients — from Cancer Research UK and Tesco to Hackney City Council and the Scottish Government.

About the role

As an Interaction Designer at Snook, you will be responsible for participating in projects with a focus on creating intuitive, inclusive and accessible design solutions.  Your work will include designing holistic services that work for a wide range of people, and the design of digital products and supporting the digital design team and wider disciplines to embrace the importance of accessible interaction design.  Your work will require collaboration across our user centered disciplines and go beyond the screen.  You will design in the open, communicating the design decisions within the project team and clients, championing the importance of design and user needs.  You’ll relish working closely with our clients and partners in co-designing services and products with users.


We’re keen to hear from a range of applicants, not just those who have worked in the design or creative industries. You should be able to demonstrate that you are able to meet some, or all, of the following requirements:

Your skills and experience

We’re keen to hear from a range of applicants who can demonstrate some, or all, of the following skills and experience:

What we offer 

Snook offer a competitive salary, 29.5 holidays per year (including public holidays), additional annual Christmas closure and a supportive maternity leave policy. We are working remotely by default during the pandemic, as a distributed team. We provide the kit our staff need to work effectively, and the flexibility to help work and life remain in balance. Our London studio space is open for our staff to work in if they prefer not to work from home, and we have a booking system to make sure people can work at a safe distance. Our Glasgow studio is awaiting confirmation following the Scottish Government guidelines. We provide an annual training budget for external opportunities from talks and conferences to more bespoke hands-on training. We respect that people have commitments and provide flexible working hours through discussion. We spend a day together every quarter as a studio to run show and tells. We have an annual team-away retreat for us to come together as a company, taking time out to learn, reflect, and eat snacks. We are an equal opportunity, Disability Confident and Living Wage Foundation employer. We have a bike to work scheme and free membership to HeadSpace the mental health app. We support you with a Snook buddy when you join to get you started. We strive for diversity in our team. If we’re going to design services for the public we need to ensure our team is inclusive. We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and ages, however all applicants must have the right to work in the UK.

How to apply 

This recruitment has a deadline so please don't wait to submit your application. We will be shortlisting w/c Mon 14th September. Please submit a CV, cover letter, your notice period and a portfolio of your work highlighting key projects. If you do not have a portfolio, we have created a simple template that you can use. Send your CV, cover letter and portfolio as pdfs to 'apply-4456795eac5e01@snook-ltd.breezy-mail.com' with the title “Hire me: Interaction Designer”. In your covering letter, please tell us a little bit about yourself, why you want to work at Snook and what sort of design problems you’d be interested in tackling with us. Due to the current Covid-19 epidemic, we anticipate that all interviews will be conducted remotely. We will offer interviews at times that suit you, so if you have children, caring duties, or other circumstances affecting your availability for an interview, we’re happy to offer convenient times outside of work hours. [post_title] => **CLOSED** Interaction Designer/UX [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => interaction-designer-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-09-14 14:57:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-09-14 14:57:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wearesnook.com/?post_type=jobs&p=19265 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => jobs [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [40] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 19238 [post_author] => 93 [post_date] => 2020-03-12 17:48:25 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-12 17:48:25 [post_content] => We're hiring at Snook - not just a few roles - lots of them. We’re looking to grow our team in a number of areas because we’ve got a big challenge on our hands.

Why is Snook here?

We’re on a mission to design a world where people and planet thrive. We think deep and look wide to transform the systems that shape our world. That means everything, everywhere – from exploring healthcare’s digital future to tearing down barriers to accessible transport. Bit by bit, we’re making our world more human – so everyone can thrive. We believe that when our world is built around people, it makes everyone happier, healthier, and more productive. Right now, parts of our world aren’t like that. They’re not designed for or with the people who live in them. This creates barriers that make life harder – from small, everyday experiences, to the bigger systems that shape our lives. We’re looking for people to help us make the world more accessible, more sustainable, more effective: more human.

What are we shooting for? Our 5 mission areas

Our missions are like shared dreams we are chasing. They are still in development but we’re crafting key questions that help us aim towards realising them. They are;

1. Thriving planet

2. Next-era government

3. Good business

4. Healthy lives

5. Communities for all

If all this sounds good to you, then come and join our team. We work both in the practical stabilising space (doing the hard work that needs to be done now to make things accessible in the current system) and the emergent space (thinking and articulating what a different system might look like in the future). Thanks to Cassie Robinson for her articulation of emergent models and roles.

What are we working on right now?

Who are we looking for?

We have lots of roles going as our team grows. We break down our roles into: Heads of - support the studio discipline and offer to grow  Principals - leading experts in their field with significant experience  Senior/Leads - experienced practitioners who can take a lead on projects Mid-weight - experienced practitioners Associate - entry level roles  We’re on the lookout for;

Delivery Managers

To support our design teams in delivering project outcomes and work with our amazing clients.  View our Delivery Manager job role.

Head of User Research

To grow and manage our user research team, building and developing our user research practice. View our Head of User Research job role.

User Researchers (entry level to senior) 

Looking for great researchers of all kinds with knowledge in the user research discipline and backgrounds in social sciences or experience in the field. View our User Researcher and Senior User Researcher job roles.

Head of Service Design

To grow and manage our team of service designers, building our practice in Service Design. View our Head of Service Design job role. 

Service Designer

We’re looking for people who are great at designing holistic services that work for a wide range of people. View our Service Designer job role.

Head of Digital 

To grow and manage our digital design team which consists of interaction, developers, technical leads, developers, building our practice in digital design. View our Head of Digital job role.

Content Designer

We need people who have experience of designing and testing language in the context of product and service design.  View our Content Designer job role.

Interaction Designer (entry level to senior) 

People who are great at designing accessible products and services, with a flair for great online experiences and a consideration for the user experience around them. View our Interaction Designer and Senior Interaction Designer job roles.

Digital Product Designer

Experienced designers who are great at shaping product and service direction to join our digital design team.  Job role details coming soon!

Technical Lead (senior/principal) 

A great all rounder who understands and has experience in technical development, data and enjoys unpicking complex challenges and can make simplifying complexity. Job role details coming soon!

Accessibility and Inclusion Design Lead and entry level/specialist 

People with a passion for products and services that are inclusive and accessible to all. We’re looking for people with specific experience in helping design and audit digital services that are WCAG 2.1 proficient but also go beyond this into considering inclusive design practices in all of our work View our Accessibility Specialist and Accessibility & Inclusive Design Lead job roles.

How does this all fit together?

We’re happy to share our organisation chart above. We’ve recognised a need for a new phase of growth which ensures we have a wider range of skills to meet the emergent needs of our clients and ensure we have the right support in place for our team by hiring heads of our disciplines to grow, nurture and train our teams.

How can I apply?

When our adverts go out they will specify requirements and skills for each role. But, we’re looking for a range of people and are open to all kinds of experience so please do apply.  If you’ve applied before, please do so again.  They will all be appearing on our jobs page and linked to this post as they go live. We recently overhauled our recruitment process to help ensure we’re building a diverse and inclusive team. Throughout the recruitment process, we’ll be providing applicants with any support they need. We actively encourage applications from a diverse range of backgrounds.  Please send your application to jobs@wearesnook.com with the title Hire me: Role Title (and your role you’re shooting for). All our jobs are advertised for at least 6 weeks but we are undertaking rolling recruitment so please do send in your applications. We will keep the posts open for as long as we need, to find the right people. [post_title] => We're hiring! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => were-hiring [to_ping] => [pinged] => https://wearesnook.com/inclusive-recruitment/ [post_modified] => 2020-04-17 14:02:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-04-17 14:02:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wearesnook.com/?p=19238 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [41] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 18999 [post_author] => 91 [post_date] => 2019-12-10 12:25:51 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-10 12:25:51 [post_content] => Matilda’s background spans youth work, activism, education and creative event production. After graduating in English Literature, Matilda spent time in Athens working in a community centre, supporting refugees with language lessons, childcare and legal needs. When she came back to London, she completed Year Here - a post-grad committed to tackling society's toughest problems. When she’s not at Snook, she runs Split Banana; a social enterprise that provides relevant and inclusive sex and relationship education to young people. Matilda is passionate about equipping young people with the skills and knowledge they need to navigate the complexities of adult life. Outside of work, you’ll find Matilda campaigning for environmental justice, organising fun, cycling on London’s quiet-ways, putting the world to rights over pints and spending time with her four younger siblings. [post_title] => Matilda Lawrence-Jubb [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => matilda-lawrence-jubb [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-02-18 14:10:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-02-18 14:10:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?post_type=people&p=18999 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => people [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [42] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 18558 [post_author] => 90 [post_date] => 2019-12-03 21:24:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-03 21:24:37 [post_content] =>
Sarah Drummond talks about learnings and best practice in procuring service design.

I’ve been responding to requests for bids from clients in the form of ITTs, RFQs, Briefs, Proposal requests — for over 10 years, across the public, private and third sector for my company Snook. Even after all this time, I’m still surprised at how some of the small things that our clients do at this stage often make it very hard for them to get good results from the work they commission later on.

Procuring design can be a tricky business if you’ve never done it before, or you’re having to explain what it is and what you need via a procurement department.

It’s even more difficult when you are protected by rules that ensure you don’t discuss the job in hand with potential suppliers .

The market is increasing in size with more people eager to commission Service Design, and even more people trying to sell it.

With an increase in the popularity of Service Design (and ‘design thinking’), I’ve seen a growing trend towards clients asking for service design without necessary knowing what it is or how to integrate it with the other outcomes they want to achieve from a given scope of work. ‘Service Design’ has become a catch all for any kind of change, making it increasingly hard to buy as a service from an agency or supplier.

I want the people I work with to get the best possible results — so I’ve written a 16 (awkward) part guide on how to buy service design.

It’s not exhaustive, but rather a list of some helpful tips that might help you if you’re involved in commissioning or selling service design.

I find that these elements help both sides reach a quicker understanding of what’s needed.


1. Be clear about what problem you’re trying to solve

Start with a clear intent, and don’t use ‘Service Design’ as a catch all for all ‘creative’ or ‘innovation’ projects.

Normally it’s good to start with a problem to solve that you have either evidence for but if you don’t know what the problem is, describe the issue you need to explore.

Here are a list of potential starting sentences and project types that I use to describe the different asks that come to us. They help us to define what kind of team we might put on our projects and how we might help answer the ask.

Problem defining and service design: We’re looking to understand why a service we run doesn’t work and how we can improve it

Digital channel shift: We’re looking to exploit digital as a way to scale our service offer

Proposition development: We’re looking to develop a clear product proposition and service to deliver it

Service Design: We need to design a service for the future

Product innovation: We need to think about the wider user experience of a product we deliver

Detail design: We’re looking to design the end-to-end service in detail at a delivery level

Technology driven innovation: We’re looking to understand an opportunity with a new technology we’ve discovered

Capability building: We’re looking to build our capacity to design services and re-align our internal structure to facilitate this

System and problem shaping: We’ve got a big challenge around X and we need to find a way forward to tackle it

User research: We need to better understand if we need to build a service or how we can better meet the needs of a user group.

We need to transform our organisation to centre around our customer needs and set a vision for where we are going.

This isn’t exhaustive but it might help you think about the intent of your project over the process of Service Design.


2. Set a budget or investment bracket

People often ask me ‘how much does service design cost’ and the honest answer is — it depends entirely on what you want to achieve.

Not setting a budget leaves an agency in a difficult position to consider how deep you want to go, for what length of time, if you can add on other deliverables that will enhance the final design. It’s like shooting in the dark.

Without a budget we can’t understand your level of investment and are left without understanding if you have the funds for a Ferrari or Fiat Panda. This isn’t about selling you dead time — we make our client’s budgets work to maximise the value they get for the time they can afford.

Budget can mean the difference in numbers of research participants to how long we spend on shipping the design. A budget range from x to x is fine but at least give the responders somewhere to aim for.

Without this, you end up with either unrealistic budgets where agencies try to over promise or proposals that shoot way beyond what you were looking for or able to invest in.


3. Focus on outcomes not outputs

Ensure your brief or tender focuses on outcomes not outputs. When you ask for a report at the end, you’re laying the focus on the delivery of the thing, not on the knowledge you need to make the right decision to deliver or design a service.

Try dropping reports out from your deliverables and instead focus on a KPI or outcome along the lines of ‘We need to have a concrete understanding of the existing user experience so we can take the right decisions on what we need to change’

Be flexible for that output to change, just ensure you map what you need to know at each stage of the project and work collaboratively with your partner to identify the right format as the project begins to close.

Treat the project as a learning experience and consider how your organisation can join the journey of knowledge development. I’m not adverse to writing reports, but if the focus is on an agency to write a report to meet your stakeholder needs, the richness and value of the original research and insight can get lost in producing something that is watered down to the ‘right wording’. If this is really needed, create a separate budget line to support you to write the stakeholder report.

You should place the value and emphasis on learning, rather than on the delivery of outputs. Raw deliverables are much better and ultimately more useful than over produced tools or reports.

When the output is the goal, we lose all value and meaning in what the intention of the project was at the end.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] The team from Letchworth Garden City working with Snook on a design project, learning was baked in from the outset of the council’s team[/caption]

4. Make the space for your team to learn

Service Design is a knowledge and insight game. If you’re bringing someone in-house recognise that you will gain the most value from them by working with them.

Ensure there is time made available for your team, in particular a product lead, delivery manager or individual closely related to delivering the thing you’re working on to join that team’s journey.

Look wider too, who would benefit from what this team are doing? Any good agency will support you to think about that at the outset, a RACI framework can help with that but it is good to look ahead and make the resource available on your side.

This doesn’t mean looking over their shoulder, but join in their research, attend their stand ups and make sure there are regular show and tells for you to hear about the work first hand.

5. Give us time, commission early

It’s down to an agency to only pitch for a job if they know that they can deliver it. However, I’d be worried if anyone can say confidently they can start within two weeks. Does this business have no other work on? I’m regularly being asked to tender within a two week window and ‘start’ the week after.

We say we can start because ultimately, there are always delays. Contracts, recruitment, finding first dates for meetings, the list goes on, and usually by the time it is all worked out everyone is ready to go, so it usually works out. But it isn’t the best start, it’s good to get that all out the way so our prime focus is the job in hand and our team have had time out from the project that just finished to decompress and ready themselves for the next job.

This could all be smoother.

Try to look ahead in your commissioning cycle by thinking two to three months before you want to start. This means you’ll get a fresh team ready to work on your project without trying to finish off other projects.

Ultimately, this is an agency’s responsibility to be ready to deliver, but just look ahead and commission early, it could make work better for everyone.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="566"] At Snook we often map hypothesis across the project at kick off, building ideas and testing prototypes but they can be really helpful at the outset of a tender process from clients[/caption]

6. Tell us your hypothesis upfront

At the start of any project I map the hypothesis of the project team to gain an understanding of what they think we might find out through the research or what the outcomes of the project might be. It helps us to understand any bias, pre-conceived ideas and recognise any agendas at the table.

It would be really helpful if we knew this when writing a proposal upfront. It helps us to understand what we might want to validate or question from the get go and write a proposal around. Again, any good agency should go through this with you at the outset, however, it is helpful to give the agency more understanding of where your head is at and what they will need to do to validate or break your hypothesis.


7. If you’re trying to win a battle make it clear

Often once we’re commissioned, we find out that our work is more of a political piece than a straight up service design project. This is ok, I understand that part of design can be a democratic tool to validate a user need or perspective with evidence, but it’s good to know upfront. When our work needs to be more persuasive then it’s good for us to think about who is good at that kind of work.

If you aren’t going to be open with a brief, find a way to help an agency understand the wider context of what’s going on. There needs to be budget for some of that understanding and context setting so we can do our work well by understanding the politics of the situation early on.

Design skills can be different from consultancy skills and if you’re going to need a persuasive critical friend, we need to look at our team carefully and think about who right people are to help both surface that insight but then communicate it. That is often not the same person.


8. Beware over delivery promises

We all lose proposals, but nothing stings more than being told someone else promised double what we did for the same budget.

For me, if someone promises you the world for far less than the majority of other bids, this is a red alert.

I’ve been on the commissioning side and been burned early on in my career when someone promised everything.

Ultimately, they couldn’t deliver, and I found they were working all hours to deliver, which meant in turn, the work was sloppy, they were late for meetings and generally didn’t do a great job on any of the project because they had other projects on to bolster their income.

I’d listen to people who push back on the budget, they probably have enough experience to tell you it’s tight. It’s then yours (and theirs) discretion to go forward with the work on the identified budget or bolster it.


9. Remember you’re hiring talent not a process or methods

I’ve lost pitches because ‘our methods’ weren’t clear enough and the competitor had ‘more innovative methods’. Now, I’m not crying over spilled milk here — but it’s really important to remember if you’re hiring designers, you’re hiring good people with experience who can navigate complexity and turn it into direction.

In the modern market of Service Design, it’s pretty easy to pick up a book, learn some methods and dazzle you with the latest buzzwords and methods.

In reality, design means sitting together in a room and working out a route forward by asking the right questions. Those questions come with experience and skills from a design team, not a book.

In commissioning, focus on what they’ve done before, where they’ve done it, what their clients thought, what it helped them to achieve and how they did it. Find out about their process, but don’t weigh this too heavily.

No project is the same with repeatable ‘methods’. Remember it is the quality and experience of the people you are buying, not a process.


10. Don’t expect the answer upfront

We’re exploring together so don’t feel nervous when a design team doesn’t know the answer. The best answer is we’ll find out together but we’re here to guide you.

I’ve been asked a lot for ‘the answer’ or ‘the concept’ in tender documents and the reality is there is no possible way I can tell you. What I can do, is show you where we’re tackled a similar problem but until we get stuck into your organisation and users, I can’t tell you the right route forward.

That is what service design is about, we’re here to take you on a journey to find the right insight and help make a design decision.

This doesn’t mean a design team shouldn’t have ideas. Ask them what questions they would have for you. You want them to be curious and to be ‘thinkers’ who will help uncover the right route forward.


11. Respect the time to think and design

Often tender documents focus on exact days we will ‘deliver’ and what the output is at each stage. For example, for a day of ‘Sensemaking’ what is the output?

The output is a team with the knowledge to design the right thing. But we’re pushed to create outputs that symbolise we’ve ‘done’ this.

I’ve been genuinely queried on ‘time’ that we’ve baked into a proposal for the team to actually design. What they’re doing here is sketching, discussing, researching, prototyping and it doesn’t always need an output.

It seems we’ve forgotten in the world of Service Design that people who are experts still need the space to think.

I 100% stand behind joined sense making workshops and co-design but we need to strike a balance. When we’re not with you, we’re still delivering and sometimes the researchers or designers just need time to think.

I know this point may sound ludicrous, but it happens fairly frequently in commissioning design, to not actually consider the budget to create freedom to just, well, design.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="758"] In roughly 50% of proposals, we’re asked to break down projects by exact days[/caption]

12. Buy time not days

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spent breaking down a day by day delivery to make a budget work. It’s painstaking, and I’d say 95% of the time changes as soon as we meet the client.

It looks a bit like this;

Phase One Prepare research framework — 0.5 days Recruitment framework — 0.25 days Recruiting — 2 days Data and platform preparation — 0.5 days User research x 12 interviews — 4 days User research interview write up — 1 days

You get the picture. Now do this across a project that requires multiple skillsets, lasts over 12 months and you’re breaking down every day down to 0.25 of days to make a budget work and satisfy the commissioner.

Buy time, weekly blocks of time where people work with you on a problem to solve. It’s better for both organisation procuring and agency.

For example:

Phase One Sprint week one: User researcher ( 5 days) Service Designer (5 days) Project Manager (2 days)

Ask what each block will focus on and what the outcomes and outputs are for overall phases. Use this flexibly as a sprint based model and pause (through negotiation and trusting contracts) with your supplier, there’s nothing worse than buying dead time. Getting down to the above level of minutia is really a painstaking approach to negotiate how someone will work for you. Re-frame that to how someone can work with you.


13. Clarify what you mean by ‘on-site’

There’s an increase in asking agencies to work ‘on-site’. I totally get this, and we do it fairly frequently but clarify what you mean by this.

When we see on-site requirements we either a) don’t bid as we don’t think the team can travel daily to the site or b) tip the budget on the travel time and expenses to get there.

What I’ve found, is the reality of ‘working on-site’ daily isn’t actually expected as we’re out researching anyway, and our client likes to come to our studio anyway.

During the tendering process, just be explicit on what this means.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1964"] After 3 days of writing an application for funding, we’re denied because we named one file wrong[/caption]

14. Usability test your procurement process

If I had a pound for every hour I’ve spent trying to understand how to respond, reading multiple documents and piecing together the ask, then responding into formatted templates that don’t work, I’d be rich.

It’s painstakingly hard sometimes when PDFs have input boxes that don’t work, codes for projects must be followed to the letter to save a file and there are complex questions without direct asks. It’s like a test in itself and that isn’t even about our response and proposal as experts.

Make it simple. Have a clear ask and make it easy to reply. Try giving your proposal to someone, even a few agencies to have a quick read and get feedback before formally putting it out.

Keep the questions and page expectations relevant to the contract cost.

Above all, make sure your submission forms work.

I have been close to tears at stages trying to fill in badly designed tender forms and that is not an exaggeration. Often it’s another 3 to 4 hours work.

I understand that this is often largely based on using outdated legacy technology to pass over briefs but there’s some simple techniques above in the documentation you provide to the questions you ask that could simplify the process greatly.


15. Tell us if you’ve done this before, and if it failed last time — why did it fail?

It is rare to find a client who hasn’t tried to do a major piece of strategic change before. It’s even rarer still to find one where that was a roaring success. Knowing what came before — what worked and what didn’t — is a great way to help an agency know what ideas or ways of working need to be avoided when delivering a piece of work.

Do people feel burned by a previous agency? Why was this and what should we do to ensure that doesn’t happen?

This is another helpful political question for an agency to gain an insight into who needs to be won over and how.


16. Meet the supplier

Above all, meet the supplier.

An initial phone call with potential suppliers either collaboratively or 1 to 1 is helpful for everyone involved. It may seem time intensive but in the long run will save resource by reducing any confusion of intent from the outset. Additionally, it allows organisations to decide not to respond.

Nothing works better than a follow up meeting to ask the questions you want answers to, and it helps the agency understand the full brief and what you’re looking for.

This can also be done, law permitting, by doing things like holding a supplier engagement call or recording a video of you and your team explaining the work. Overall it can help agencies to propose better teams and approaches.

I’ve written far too many proposals where we’ve been told that we haven’t been successful in the feedback call because what we wrote initially and what the client wanted were completely different.

Words can be a very ambiguous when it comes to mutually understanding a problem space.

I hope some of these are helpful. I don’t want this to sound like I’m crying over spilt milk — losing a tender is a natural part of any business and expected — but we could make it a lot smoother for everyone involved!

If you’d like to add any please tweet me @rufflemuffin and I’ll build them in with a repost.

I’d really like to thank Zoe Stanton at Us Creates for providing some good additions and eyes on this.

[post_title] => How to procure service design [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => how-to-procure-service-design [to_ping] => [pinged] => https://www.sinnaps.com/en/project-management-blog/agile-project-management-sprint-methodology [post_modified] => 2020-02-18 15:54:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-02-18 15:54:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=18558 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [43] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 18504 [post_author] => 91 [post_date] => 2019-12-03 17:23:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-03 17:23:31 [post_content] => We’ll be working in partnership with Barnado’s to develop a library of best-practice guidance for developing digital mental health products for young people. We’re able to do this because we’ve been allocated some of the funding from the Nominet #RESET online Mental Health funding Programme. This was set up with the aim of helping national charities increase the reach and impact of their mental health services.  At least 1 in 8 young people report struggling with mental health issues, with 99% of them spending at least an hour a day online. NHS services have been struggling to meet the demand, and over half of young people state there is no ‘adequate’ mental health support for them. It’s no surprise then, that there’s a growing interest in how digital can meet the increased demand across the public, private and third sector.

Experimenting and exploring

There’s been an explosion of new apps, digital channels and experimental technologies being used to connect with users on mental health and other challenging topics. At Snook, we’ve been experimenting - exploring what digital can do in this area throughout several project collaborations. In 2015 we worked with the Department for Education, Kent and Portsmouth University to explore new ways in which virtual reality could be used to create safe rooms for young people. It would allow them to work remotely with social workers to discuss traumatic experiences and prepare for leaving care. Across 2013 to date, we’ve worked with Young Scot, Mental Health Foundation and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. explored how technology and social media has affected young people’s mental health and built a range of prototypes to address this, including our launched information and guidance service, Aye Mind. More recently, we’ve been working with Samaritans and clinical experts in the development of a self-help tool, which will give people resources to cope with suicidal thoughts and make an ongoing support plan so they can stay safe in a crisis.

Sharing learnings

From working with charities like Addaction and Samaritans we know there is a huge amount of knowledge about what works in practice. When it comes to the delivery of digital and holistic multi-channel services,  we’ve learned by doing. We know what works (and what doesn’t!) The question is, how can we share this knowledge to design and deliver better services at scale? We’re seeing some poor products enter the market. They’re making which could be avoided by building on the rich knowledge that the charity or public sector often holds.  To address this, we started working with Public Policy Lab and an open community to develop a prototype of a free, public domain set of patterns for the design and delivery of digital services that address mental health needs. We launched a prototype in 2018. This was very much a first iteration to explore how a best practice library could work.  We needed more funding and, crucially, the support and expertise of a charity with experience of providing services to young people to work with. Partnering with Barnado’s and the #RESET funding is enabling us to develop the library’s full potential. We’ll expand it, creating a dedicated section for young people and of course testing to ensure it really works. The aim is is to make sure young people who need support can access it wherever they are and organisations that deliver it can tell that it’s working.  As well as Barnado’s, the other organisations receiving funding include The Mix, Chasing the Stigma, YoungMinds, stem4, Nightline Association and The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. They will deliver a range of activities, including improving signposting online, developing new digital products and digitally transforming their organisation to meet demand.   [post_title] => Sharing knowledge for better mental health services [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => sharing-knowledge-to-build-better-mental-health-services [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-05 01:48:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-05 01:48:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=18504 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [44] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 18502 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2019-12-03 16:23:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-03 16:23:08 [post_content] =>
Building a network around Design for Sustainability
Back in April, Snook was overwhelmed by the energy in the room at DOTI: From Service Design to Sustainable Environmental Action. The sense of urgency and excitement from fellow designers and organisations left us keen to keep up the discussion. We should be using design to address our global climate crisis. In response, we invited everyone back last week to transform our discussions into actionable ideas. Together we mapped out our design processes – from scoping projects and building teams, to managing live products/services and navigating policy implications. We then identified points along the way that required intervention.

Our big questions were:

  • How can we adapt our existing tools and processes to make them more sustainable?
  • Do they need to be replaced with new ways of working altogether?
  • What might these look like, and how can we prototype them?
By forming thematic working groups, we identified a variety of new principles and prototypes to test out in our own practices. To name a few, we recognised the following as barriers and opportunities for further work:
  • Finding ways to ask the hard questions: to ourselves and our clients, and at all stages of our project processes. For example: should we be designing this in the first place? Encouraging clients and organisations to identify their sustainability representatives and environmental policies at the start of projects might support this.
  • Bringing futures thinking into conversations now: to consider the long term impact of our work, potential future users and their needs, and how to avoid unintended outcomes. Building time into our projects to free up thinking and consider possible alternatives with our clients was favoured.
  • Working between scales: to navigate policy constraints that often result in red tape. While designers regularly aim to derive impact by working with influential organisations and policy-makers, community engagement and citizen’s/people’s assemblies can offer more direct routes to projects that avoid restrictions and extractive business models.
Our ambition now is to spark the beginnings of a design network across the UK that is dedicated to sustainable impact through design. We’re calling upon individuals with design and sustainability experience to connect, share their knowledge, and plan new projects around design for sustainability. In particular, we want to develop new processes, tools, and principles to prototype and embed within our design practices at scale. Register your interest in joining us here and we’ll send information about our online platforms and upcoming events.
[post_title] => Design like there’s a climate crisis [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => design-like-theres-a-climate-crisis [to_ping] => [pinged] => https://wearesnook.com/doti-south-reflections-and-next-steps/ [post_modified] => 2020-05-18 14:49:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-18 14:49:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=18502 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [45] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 18479 [post_author] => 91 [post_date] => 2019-12-03 12:47:01 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-03 12:47:01 [post_content] => She graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University with a 1st Class BA (Hons) Degree in Media and Communication. Robyn continued her passion for Digital Marketing through interning at a Fashion & Beauty PR Agency in London, whilst also freelancing as a Social Media Manager and Photographer. Ultimately, landing herself back in Glasgow at Snook, ready to embrace and learn about the Service Design Industry. When she’s not working or bingeing a TV series, Robyn enjoys sudoku or can be found taking her boxer dog for a walk along the beach. Biscuits are by far her biggest weakness and one day she hopes to be a pro at making sushi. [post_title] => Robyn Greenland [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => robyn-greenland [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-03 12:47:01 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-03 12:47:01 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?post_type=people&p=18479 [menu_order] => 5 [post_type] => people [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [46] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 18456 [post_author] => 91 [post_date] => 2019-12-03 12:18:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-03 12:18:05 [post_content] => She also writes a lot of stuff behind the scenes that helps the business run smoothly. Things like case studies, bios and other content for proposals and all the internal comms necessary to make Snook a harmonious, happy place to work. She has a varied CV, which, as well as comms, includes working as an animator, teaching at art colleges and doing press in the music industry. But she knew she’d found her calling when she discovered service design. The use of creativity and collaboration to try and leave the world in a better state than we found it in chimed with her desire to do meaningful work. When she’s not at Snook you might find her down the front at noisy gigs or making tacos with her husband, Dom and son, Danny. As well as writing, she loves drawing, swimming outdoors and good coffee. [post_title] => Melissa Gates [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => melissa-gates [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-03 12:18:05 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-03 12:18:05 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?post_type=people&p=18456 [menu_order] => 13 [post_type] => people [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [47] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 18435 [post_author] => 91 [post_date] => 2019-12-03 11:49:48 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-03 11:49:48 [post_content] => He has built a broad set of skills by working on projects as diverse as corporate culture change programmes to community food campaigns. Alongside his commercial and voluntary work, Liam has also taught design throughout his career. Outside of Snook, you’ll find him running in races that are too long, too muddy, and have too many hills. [post_title] => Liam Hinshelwood [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => liam-hinshelwood [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-07-01 11:33:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-07-01 11:33:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?post_type=people&p=18435 [menu_order] => 24 [post_type] => people [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [48] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 18577 [post_author] => 90 [post_date] => 2019-11-19 22:04:29 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-11-19 22:04:29 [post_content] =>
Not to brag but we’ve been hacking for some years now. Here we’ve updated and expanded on our 2015 blog post to let you know why we still love hacks (and why you should too).

Hacks defined:

A hack is a time-restricted, issue-exploring, and idea-generating event, where participants come together to create a series of potential solutions to a problem and quickly test them in the real world. The ideas themselves might be realistic or impossible, obvious or completely wild. In any case, the strength of a hack lies in the insight you can gain into why a problem occurs and in the transformation from thinking about what the solution must be to understanding the many solutions there could be. Hacks are never the end of a journey, but they are often the first step on the road to real change led by a group of enthused team members who can own the process and transform an organisation. Also, there is coffee and, quite often, cake.

20 reasons to hack – and love it

1. Tackle a wicked problem “That’s just something we can’t change”, “this same thing comes up again and again”, “we’re in a vicious circle”. Hacks are a great place to address your ‘wicked problems’; things which seem too big, too complicated, or too impossible to solve. You might not uncover the perfect solution right away, but it’s a chance to bring all actors, stakeholders, and knowledge together to move things forward and start addressing these ‘impossible’ issues. 2. Research against the clock Time is precious, especially when it’s comes to a hack. You can’t research the whole world, but if you use your time wisely you could find a golden solution. Hacks are a great way to help you recognise your limitations, prioritise, and know when to stop. 3. Test your skills in the real world It’s always healthy to get away from your desk and experience the world outside the office. Go on, step outside, see the problem in the real world and get to work on it. 4. Work with people with different expertise The best hacks bring together experts with different backgrounds from across society. Remember, we’re all experts in something and all have knowledge to contribute in a hack. Work alongside and learn from people working at every level of an organisation, with end-users, with people who work with your end-users, and with partner organisations. Have your mind and your network expanded. 5. Learn to use open data Data and datasets can be scary words if you don’t deal with them every day, and even scarier when you are trying to consider how to make use of this data in a meaningful way. Use a hack as a chance to rummage around in the depths of your organisation’s data and discover what it can teach you about your users or how it can help to make an experience better for them.
hack main image
6. Experiment with service design It’s a brave new world out there, and service design is part of the ever-growing landscape. Believe it or not, ‘doing design’ is very simple. It’s really just problem-solving in a way that puts the needs of the people involved first. At a hack you can have a go at using the tools that help designers solve problems. Paper templates, programmes, and methods will help you to understand and communicate a problem quickly and work through it with confidence. Tools aren’t mandatory and they certainly aren’t homework; but they can be a great way to kick off your thinking and create solutions to everyday issues. 7. Develop your business skills It’s one thing to have a good idea that fills a need but it’s another to turn it into a viable business. Polish up your skills in a friendly, fast-paced environment by iterating your ideas, developing your pitching skills, and meeting possible future collaborators or customers. 8. Brainstorm like never before There’s nothing like a good brainstorm to generate creative, radical solutions. It’s all about quantity over quality in a hack. You only have a few hours or days so don’t fret about landing on the perfect idea straight away. Have lots of ideas, have them often, and test them straight away. 9. Meet your future employers or employees Looking for your next big break or employment opportunity? Hacks can be a great space to seek out opportunities and identify exciting individuals for your next business adventure. They’re also a great place to meet other talented individuals and be inspired by how they work. Maybe they’ll be the next addition to your organisation? 10. Prototype at the speed of light Make it fast and make it now. Rather than having endless discussions on what exactly the right thing might be and what it might look like, hacks are the place to make it first and ask questions later. It will all get a little bit Blue Peter, but by building things, by bringing them to life, we can quickly understand how they might exist and work in the wild (…or how they won’t!). You’ll be amazed how quickly you can pull together a rough draft and how much you can learn from even your earliest prototypes.
11. Test ideas with real people When we try to solve problems, it can be very easy to make assumptions about what other people will respond to. The key is testing our assumptions and then adjusting them according to our findings. Until you’ve tested your prototype with ‘real people’, it’s just a model. It’s natural to want to ask people ‘what they think’ of your idea, but at a hack you’ll be persuaded to actually let them experience it, to observe how they interact with it, and to iterate based on what you learn. 12. Learn to pitch ideas Hacks are the perfect place to pick up and practise those all-important pitching skills. Practice makes perfect, and believe us, you’ll be pitching endless amounts of ideas throughout a hack; to your team, to ‘real people’, and to all the hackers. 13. Get inspired! Meeting new people, thinking on your feet, and discovering new ideas and solutions in a fast-paced environment is a great way to get the inspiration flowing. 14. Experiment with new technologies Whether you are computer shy or tech mad, hacks are the perfect setting to get to grips with new technologies and see where they could take you. Remember, you’re working against the clock; it will be messy, you will break things, but then you might just put them back together again. 15. Make friends Meet people who think and operate similarly or differently to you, learn from each other and you might just end up building friendships that last longer than the end of the day.
16. Develop leadership skills In such a team-based working style, which increasingly mirrors our working lives, you’ll all need to play leader at some point. A hack is a great place to experience and try out different leadership styles, and see how people respond to them. Which styles work for you? For your team? Is it better to lead from the front, behind, or in the midst? A hack lets you figure it out, creating a sturdy basis for the next time you’re in charge. 17. Give public speaking a go (if you want!) Hacks are spaces where failing is encouraged and celebrated. You’re all working towards the same goal, so your audience is always behind you. If you’re a nervous public speaker, it’s a great place to swallow that fear with the support of your teammates, fellow hackers, and facilitators, as well as learn from others. 18. Turn great ideas into start-ups Most hacks operate under the ‘creative commons’ concept; the ideas generated there exist in the public realm, available to all. However, don’t worry about ‘keeping your idea to yourself’. An idea is nothing without an audience and a movement around it, and particularly without an enthusiastic and varied team. Use hacks to explore your ideas with others and bring them to life. 19. Brush up on your team skills There’s no I in team, and there isn’t in hack either… The great thing about a hack is that in such a short timeframe you’ll quickly find yourselves divvying up the tasks, finding new ways to bring everyone’s ideas together. By the end of the event you’ll have no clue which idea was whose and you’ll be one slick, problem-busting team-machine. 20. Most importantly, have fun What better way to figure out problems than having fun while doing it? There will be rubber chickens, there will be moments of spontaneous hilarity, there will be the silliest of ideas. Creativity comes best to us when we are enjoying ourselves. We’re curious creatures and exploring problems and ideas with others really sparks our imagination. Even when things get tough, your facilitators will be there to help you step away from yourselves for a while and to reset your mood. You’ll laugh long and hard at a hack, even if you don’t think you find rubber chickens particularly funny.

“The experience of Snook guiding without intrusion and providing the right environment where all comments and ideas are potentially valid is one that could be mistaken for chaos, but is probably closer to genius.”

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Play. It’s one of the core characteristics of Snook’s culture, and one we try to encourage when working, both internally and with our clients. At Snook we tackle serious issues with a sunny disposition. We believe that this attitude leads to innovative and creative solutions.
Here’s our thinking on why play, work, and creativity go hand in hand.

More laughter = more productivity

Work is not often associated with fun, or a place of laughter – but it should be. According to Robert Provine, a professor of psychology at the University of Maryland: “Laughter is the quintessential human social signal. Laughter is about relationships.” But why is this, and why is it important at work? Simply put, laughter creates better communication, fosters empathy and increases cooperation between colleagues. It’s a fundamental human communication tool that can create stronger connections between workers. At Snook we are huge fans of funny GIFs. We regularly invest time creating custom emojis for each other and are proud of our honorary ‘bants of the month award’. We take stock and laugh out loud at (and with) the colleague who brings the most banter each month. We see laughter as a valuable part of company culture and time.

Older and wiser?

As we get older, we can often become more reserved when it comes to playfulness. Why is this? Is it because we can’t be “bothered” with the frivolity of play? Or maybe we just don’t have the time. But we should make the time. As Bernard Shaw puts it, “we don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” When workshopping with clients we like to bring along our handy box of tricks. This includes building blocks, craft supplies, and play-doh. At first there can be some resistance to this as professionals wonder why their corporate boardroom is becoming filled with toys. However, as this resistance fades, it turns to playful interaction, prototyping, and collaboration. Workshopping with toys, making with unusual materials, and stepping away from computer screens allows participants to think outside of the box. This act of play can alleviate stress, creating a non-competitive and productive atmosphere – the perfect storm for generating new ideas and initiating creative conversations.

Answers come to those who play

Laughter and playfulness are creative fuel for your brain. Being able to experiment at work frees us from stress and anxiety, two things that are fundamental drains of creativity. Think about the last time you faced an issue at work? How did you tackle it? How did you relieve stress and anxiety, and what tips would you share? Imagine what would happen if you laughed about it! What if you were given time to play with the possibilities of the outcome? This thought process creates an atmosphere that is free from a fear of being criticised or judged. When given the space to think of creative and innovative solutions you can get excited with the possibilities of play.
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How design patterns can help deliver better journeys across providers.
We sit in a no-man’s-land. The contested space for bikes, buggies, wheelchairs, bags and the occasional pet. A man who has just been wheeled on board asks if I can pass his bags. The attendant has left them out of reach and he needs to work. He is smartly dressed and makes this commute twice a week. He travels to the city for work on Mondays and returns home on Thursday for the weekend. The attendants often leave his bags out of reach. Sometimes they put them on his lap as they push him through the station. This hurts his legs. He jokes that today he is glad to be on board. Sometimes he is left in the waiting room, watching his train departure time come and go without anyone coming to help him on board. He is forgotten. Occasionally, Passenger Assist forget to take him off the train. He remains on board, travelling up and down the line until someone helps him. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1892"] Illustration by Julia Scheele[/caption] Over years of conducting user research on buses, trains and planes, we’ve heard far too many stories like this. The Deaf student who ended up stuck on a train back at the depot after the service terminated early. He missed the audio announcement, and no one thought to check if there were people still on the train. The woman with the broken pelvis waiting for nearly an hour for someone to come and help her carry her bags between the train and taxi. The autistic child who was distraught at having to change trains three times in one journey and not being able to sit in the same seat. Too often we find out that people with a range of mental health issues consider navigating public transport too stressful. Negative experiences like these often lead to people giving up on public transport, feeling safer and happier in private vehicles. This though further segregates them from society. Once people have invested in a car, they are unlikely to switch back. There is some great work being done by the likes of NeatboxWest Midlands Railway and others to overcome many barriers to travel for people with a range of physical and mental health needs. These stories and many more have several common features:

1. Problems that could be designed-out in advance

Most of the issues could have been planned or designed-out in advance, by involving users in the design process and testing prototypes with a range of people before implementation. From physical challenges like the poles on trains that prevent wheelchair passengers from passing, or digital signs with road names being placed behind the wheelchair seat on some buses. To more complex challenges like the autistic child wanting to sit in the same seat number for a rail journey.

2. Friction at boundaries

The majority of challenges also occur in the changes between transport modes and providers. Where transport providers have a support service, this often does not cover the end-to-end passenger journey, only the part provided by that organisation. Providers need to help their customers reach their destination. This highlights a key opportunity for Mobility as a Service (MaaS) concepts to better connect multiple modes and create an easier journey for passengers with accessibility needs.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1892"] Illustration by Julia Scheele[/caption]

3. Human error and misunderstanding

Things go wrong with human interactions, often unintentionally and due to a lack of awareness. The heavy bags that were placed on the wheelchair user’s lap, the driver who announced the train termination over audio without realising there may be a Deaf passenger on board. All of the stories are everyday journeys that people should be able to make easily and without unnecessary stress. This suggests that staff roles need redesigning to provide a great experience. Ensuring all customer-facing staff have the right training, such as specific disability awareness and mental health first aid. Enough time to help people and treat them as individuals, emphasis on empathy as a job requirement, permission to be flexible when necessary. Research is also needed into the organisational processes and rules that are causing the current challenges.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1892"] Illustration by Julia Scheele[/caption]
We need to design services that meet the needs of people with both physical and mental health requirements. And this needs to be across all transport services, not just special apps that work in certain areas or for one provider.

Design patterns for accessible and inclusive transport

Service design patterns offer a great opportunity to create more accessible transport services. Design patterns stem from architectural practice, such as making sure steps on stairs are equally spaced for ease of walking. They have since been applied in the service design world by GDSProjects by If and here at Snook to ensure consistent experiences for users across multiple services. Defining accessible design patterns for transport services would enable all providers to adapt their services to meet a range of needs, without each provider having to conduct specific research or design individual apps. Good service experiences go far beyond apps and design patterns could be used for better experiences at stations, planning travel, face-to-face with staff and over the phone. Furthermore, a set of standards would help hold providers to account when things go wrong or fall beneath an acceptable level. At Snook, we want to develop service design patterns for accessible transport as part of our mission to help deliver better, more human-centred travel. We are looking for partners and are exploring funding options, so if you are interested in working together get in touch! Email curious@wearesnook.com with the subject line Design Patterns for Accessible Travel.
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Ten years ago we couldn’t have imagined the connected world we now live in. The possibility of MaaS (Mobility as a Service) and the integration of various transport services into a single, on demand product – was a long way off. It was a conceptual Northstar that didn’t have the right data infrastructure or technology to land on. The announcement in March 2019 that City Mapper would be launching a (rival) travel card to TFL offering cheaper tariffs plus a bus service, that utilises user data to run smarter routes, brings us closer to understanding what this might look like in practice. However, what cost will this have to our public transport infrastructure?
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1892"] Source: citymapper.com[/caption]
Whether commuting, shopping or making a one off trip, MaaS benefits when thinking about it from a door-to-door perspective (your home to place of work, or end location) and by asking how seamless journeys of value can be built for customers. As policies like ULEZ have finally become a reality in cities like London, traditional product companies (like car manufacturers) are having to quickly consider how to integrate their products with wider public transport systems whilst looking at all transport modes, as a co-operative interconnected system.

It’s always been my belief, that the major players in the system –  from public transport providers to car manufacturers – can benefit from Service Design.

Service Design helps us explore the end-to-end experience of users and the underpinning of the business model in how it is delivered, and what value there is for the user. The tools of Service Design give us a space to explore and develop these new joined up travel systems, all from the perspective of the end user leaving the front door.

Bringing Service Design to the world of transport

Our journey into transport began in 2011. We worked with the brilliant Dr. Steve Cassidy at MMM Group, a global mobility consultancy. With them, we developed the “MMM Doers toolkit” which sought to integrate the core tenets of design practice into MaaS. We adapted our service design methods that we were using at the time within Government and healthcare, and focused them on transport, developing training for Steve and his team.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1892"] Source: mmmgroup.com[/caption]
Our adaptation focused on the testing side of design, detailing how the methods and approaches could be used to identify behaviour change around transport and how they could encourage more active travel. Working with their vision for a MaaS model, we were able to play around with strategies for business model design through a service lens with added user value. For example, we looked at being able to shop and order shopping on journeys home; to shared service models for carpooling. After this project, it became clear to us that transport can benefit from taking a user-centered approach. It can be used to reconsider how it constructs itself as a whole system around the user – providing vision on how partnerships across places could be developed to meet these needs. We still see a major lack of joined up travel options for users, particularly in rural locations. Much of this eventually comes down to a lack of visionary partnership in how needs can be met, and a joined up user journey enabled.

With a platform infrastructure, we can design alternative travel options

A big interest that evolved from this work was how to encourage active travel into an everyday journey. We had the fortune of working with MMM on prototyping an app that would encourage city commuters to walk an extra one or two stops whilst waiting for the next bus/train. In this scenario, by demonstrating more prototyping, a better case could be made for investing in these concepts as you can actively show potential behaviour change. This was only possible due to the emerging technological capabilities that utilise local transport data.
Our depth of knowledge in this field increased when we worked with the great team over at Run Friendly on The First and Last Mile – changing the everyday journey on behalf of Go-Ahead. We delivered the user research that showed the benefits that might be happen if people switched from car travel to public transport. Plus, we helped build a case for people to use active travel modes for the journey to and from the railway station or bus stop. Through this work we confirmed the value of taking a user-centered approach to travel and the benefits prototyping can provide – in understanding user needs and behaviour change in the door-to-door journey.

In the world of Maas, everyone is your user

Much of our disjointed travel systems are a result of conflicting politics. Service Design has a real role to play here. If we really are to engender seamless transport systems we need to look at how end-to-end journeys can be delivered through partnerships. By mapping the user journey we want to see, we can work back from the user experience to look deeper into how the system needs to operate in order to enable it. We can still disagree and protect our ‘share’, but by looking from a user perspective and needs, it provides us with a vehicle to discuss what ‘could be’ and root our own interests around this. This will be about openness and standards. These partnerships need to look at how they safely open up their systems and data in order to connect with one another. This requires standards, APIs, and a number of open system approaches that will allow innovators and companies to provide connected offers to customers. By bringing it to the perspective of the users, it will hopefully result in all players in a transport system developing integrated offers that give us seamless, cost effective and connected opportunities for travel.
[post_title] => Mobility as a service [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => mobility-as-a-service [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-03 18:19:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-03 18:19:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=18547 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [52] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17887 [post_author] => 89 [post_date] => 2019-11-10 16:22:01 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-11-10 16:22:01 [post_content] => A Psychology graduate and Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Aisha has had a diverse career in HR, working across many sectors and industries. These include Fast Moving Consumer Goods, the third sector, local government, utilities and consultancy. A true generalist, Aisha has experience building HR functions in start-up companies from the ground up. She brings together her experience in a unique way, is agile (trained in Agile PM, that too!) and flexible to support the growing nature of Snook and its ambitions. [post_title] => Aisha Taylor [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => aisha-taylor [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-06 16:51:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-06 16:51:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://localhost/snook-dev/?post_type=people&p=17887 [menu_order] => 38 [post_type] => people [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [53] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17270 [post_author] => 10 [post_date] => 2019-05-22 13:16:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-05-22 13:16:18 [post_content] =>
Last month, we opened our doors to DOTI: From service design to sustainable environmental action. We left with a sense of urgency, to reflect on our practices as designers to try and ensure our solutions are as sustainable as possible. As a community, we rallied in the belief that our practices can contribute to building what’s desperately needed to confront climate catastrophe.
Our brilliant panel of service design expects and sustainability champions from STBY, the Design CouncilBulb and Incredible Edible led an open discussion with our audience. We touched on:
  • The politics of the invisible (pollution, CO2, biodiversity loss) and the power of those with influence. Trust and power play a massive role here and we need to understand these as ‘materials’ for better design.
  • Our capacity to prototype, to make – the craft of design – means we can show what’s possible, which inspires movement. We need this creativity because we need to move fast.
  • As designers, we cannot get debilitated by the scale of the problem and political inactivity. We respond to problems by ‘doing not talking’ and we need to bring that ethos to this monumental challenge, bridging the gap between academia and reality.

From human centred design to ‘living-things-centred-design’

We’ve heard your feedback and have outlined a number of ideas. We know there has been plenty of work already done here by Sophie ThomasJohn ThackaraJonathan ChapmanEcoLabs and countless others. We want to bring together people who have been working in the space already, with others who are keen to mobilise. Our ideas don’t chart a route forward, but aim to address our practice and build accountability within our industry. We also know that we’ll need the support of those that hold positions of power, leadership and finance, and we are actively working to connect those dots.

Our big questions:

Next steps

We’re hosting another event in London to address these questions, plan our next steps, and aim to widen participation across the UK. Register your interest in joining us here and we’ll send more information soon.
  • “Design is the first signal of human intention”
    Daniel Wahl - Designing Regenerative Cultures
[post_title] => DOTI South: reflections and next steps [post_excerpt] => “Design is the first signal of human intention” [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => doti-south-reflections-and-next-steps [to_ping] => [pinged] => https://wearesnook.com/our-world-is-getting-warmer/ [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:08 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:08 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=17270 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [54] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 13416 [post_author] => 18 [post_date] => 2016-09-29 09:28:17 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-09-29 09:28:17 [post_content] => It’s been a while since we updated the story of our BadgeMaker project. What follows is the transcript of the presentation given to the UFI VocTech Showcase in London on September 28th and at the Open Badge Networking Group in Glasgow on September 29th. It’s been a hard journey, but we’re getting there. The UFI Charitable Trust funded the project and their unwavering support as we hit roadblocks has been invaluable. Throughout the project, Borders College have involved their learners, lecturers, digital learning and IT teams to make the project deliver real impact for future learners. View BadgeMaker presentation

Showcase new skills

Inspired by Scout badges, Open Badges are an international standard to inspire people to learn new skills, recognise and showcase those skills, in particular to employers. BadgeMaker’s brief was to support innovation champions in Borders College to build an Open badge prototype. We worked with learners and lecturers to explore how Colleges can use badges to challenge users to try new skills, like submitting their assignment as a podcast instead of a written paper for example. The co-design with young people showed that open badges help learners put their learning experiences in perspective, use them as assets to reach their objectives for their next destination.

Identify the barriers

We also worked with lecturers and managers to identify the barriers to adoption, in this case around buy-in, resource and technical constraints. The insights from the business case and stakeholder research moved us away from a commercial solution to a free open source Moodle plugin to improve the Open Badge experience.

Crafting an original approach

There isn't a single Open Badge solution for all organisations. We want to look at the needs, constraints and opportunities and support each organisation into taking their first steps into digital badges. We want to guide to the platform most appropriate for them - as a short, medium or long-term solution - and fill the gaps in the offering if need be. Offering the best possible solution in this initial implementation is key to building support. Instead of bringing people to an open badge platform, we see potential in bringing open badges into their existing learning environment. It allows users - from learners to educators and managers - to experiment with badges, to observe the benefits and deal with the barriers one by one. We know that openness, innovation and out-of-curriculum activities could be challenging. For this to work, our research has shown the benefit of free and open source solutions as any outlay - no matter how small - can be a barrier.

Free and open source

By making the Moodle BadgeMaker plugin free and open source, we hope it will allow the 200,000 College learners in the 26 Colleges in Scotland who use Moodle (and eventually 3,000 organisations in the UK) to experience open badges. The plugin opens access to the criteria and the evidence so that learners can showcase their skills and the quality of their work to prospective employers. It also allows Colleges to embed badges throughout Moodle to increase take up. It shows the progress with the number of badges increasing in the dashboard.

Sometimes innovation is the small stuff

Focusing on such a small change isn't an easy choice for designers who live and breathe UX and end-to-end user journeys. Free open source isn't an obvious choice for a small business focused on sustainability. In this case, it was all about impact and the hundreds of thousands of learners who don't have access to Open Badges because their institutions can't afford it. Sometimes innovation is the small stuff. employability_badges_edited

BadgeMaker launch

On 29th September 2016, we officially launched BadgeMaker with College representatives and people interested in the Open Badges arena. Dr. Doug Belshaw, our keynote speaker, presented the past, present and future landscape for OpenBadges. Robert Stewart from Scottish Social Services Council told his story of developing Open Badges and lessons learned. Anne and Marie shared our BadgeMaker journey and a demo video. The launch ended with a workshop led by Marie for participants to experience the open badges process by reflecting on skills they used during a transitional points in their life using our Skills Story Tool. A detailed blogpost is coming soon to recap the launch. badgemaker-launch1 Watch our BadgeMaker demonstration video:

Plans for the future

Our long-term goal is to embed open badges throughout the College experience inside and outside the Curriculum. Open badges really fulfil their potentials when we can build a complete picture of our learning journey throughout our lives. [post_title] => BadgeMaker is ready to launch [post_excerpt] => Discover the Badgemaker free and open source solution to improve the Open Badge user journey in Moodle in partnership with Borders College [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => badgemaker-update [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=13416 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [55] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 12856 [post_author] => 16 [post_date] => 2016-09-05 12:51:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-09-05 12:51:58 [post_content] => At Snook, we always make sure that the projects we do with young people are engaging, and endeavour to use co-design in a way that is truly meaningful for everyone involved. Since 2010, we’ve ran a number of projects with young people, and we want to share what we’ve learned along the way. Alongside Young Scot, we created The Matter – a project where young people create their own newspaper and gain employability skills. For Aye Mind, a collaboration with Mental Health Foundation, Young Scot, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, we worked with young people to create digital tools for mental wellbeing. We’re currently developing Badgemaker where young people will be able to gain badges for their skills. Here are our tips and methods.

1. A more meaningful icebreaker

During a workshop, you only have a short time with the participants. So why waste their time on an icebreaker? It is important to make everyone in the room feel comfortable from the beginning, no matter what age they are. But it’s a good idea to use an icebreaker that will feed into the subject that you’re investigating. We ran workshops with young people to find out what they wanted to see in mental wellbeing provision online. We kicked off the workshops with making playlists of feel-good tunes. This activity meant we had music to listen to during the workshop and a collection of songs young people liked. The research we had carried out in an earlier phase of the project showed that music was a really positive mood-lifter, so we took the songs gathered in the playlists and shared them online through Aye Mind’s social media.

2. Don’t reinvent the wheel

When we worked with young people to promote alcohol awareness, we used the game Never Have I Ever. The game is usually a drinking game, but we used it to get young people talking about the tricky topic of alcohol awareness. Rather than creating a completely new activity, it’s a good idea to tap into things that are already understood. During the game everyone stands in a circle, we let everyone know what the subject we’ll be talking about is. The first person stands in the middle and says ‘Never Have I Ever… Tried a Beer’. Everyone in the circle who has had a beer swaps places until someone is left in the middle of the circle - then it’s their turn to ask the next question. Using simple, familiar games create an atmosphere where young people can share as little or as much as they want about the subject you are designing for.

3. Make a plan, then throw it away!

Any workshop is unpredictable, it’s hard to judge what people will respond to. We put a big focus on doing not talking and some of the most interesting ideas will come out of making and doing rather than simply asking questions and talking. We always go into workshops with an agenda that plans out every minute, back-end and front-end. The back-end of the agenda highlights what we, the facilitators, will be doing at any given time. The front-end of the agenda is the part that people will experience, the activities they will be doing. We’ll go into a workshop armed with our own service design tools tailored to the occasion, post-its, big paper and whatever tech toys are appropriate. We might use all of it or none of it. We’re more than happy to throw the agenda out the window if we see it isn’t working. It’s a great idea to have simple activities up your sleeve if something isn’t working. For example; How to Squeeze a Lemon is a technique you can use for quick idea generation. Everyone gathers around a wall with post-its and sharpies in hand. They have 1 minute to write down as many ways to squeeze a lemon as they possibly can. It gets ideas flowing. Plus, it’s fun. It’s about quantity of ideas and not quality.

4. If an activity works for 16 – 25 year olds, it’ll work for everyone

We designed a mental wellbeing GIF and meme-making workshop for young people as part of our Aye Mind project. The first time we did the workshop was with a group of young people at the Riverside Museum where we played games and made mini-personas to talk about mental wellbeing. Young people had the chance to get their hands on cameras, tripods, coloured paper, play-doh, lego and toys to set up their own images with positive mental wellbeing messages. Since then, we’ve ran a shorter version of the workshop at conferences for adults working in the mental wellbeing sector across Scotland. Over that time, we’ve produced about 400+ Memes and shared them online, we even had #AyeMind trending during the Aye Mind launch.

5. What would work for you?

Take a minute to remember what it was like when you were that age and remember what worked for you. There’s a tendency when working with young people to feel like everything should be ‘cool’, use slang or have graffiti-style graphics. In reality, a well-thought out, hands-on, and active workshop will work for young people just as much as it’ll work for adults.

6. Safety first

Safety and fun are the most important part of any kind of user engagement. They come before any aims of any workshop or interview. Our Snook staff are PVG checked, most are first aiders and mental health first aiders. We always meet young people with their own support worker whether that’s a teacher or youth worker. Make sure people you’re working with are fed, watered, happy and healthy as well as feeling safe and having breaks when they need to. This is much more important than running through all the exercises you have planned. Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 12.59.51

7. Don’t preach to the choir

When we ran Whose Round, (a project for NHS GCC working with Young Scot) an alcohol awareness campaign for and by young people, we didn’t just talk to people when they were sober. On a Friday night, the streets of Glasgow are full of people having wild nights out, so we took to the streets with Whose Round branded cones, cards and merchandise. At freshers fairs we gave out hangover grab bags and we even went out on Halloween dressed as pumpkins to spread the Whose Round message. We like to tackle the problem head one.

8. Get out

Meaningful, interesting work doesn’t usually happen in your own studio. When we’ve worked on projects for and by young people, we go to the places they feel comfortable. When working with Includem, a charity that supports young people transitioning away from services, Keira found McDonalds was a great place to meet. The young people she was speaking to didn’t want to have a meeting about their experiences in an institution, they were more comfortable chatting while having some fries. We hope these tips are useful to you. You can always come chat to us about user engagement and co-design with young people. Just email curious@wearesnook.com [post_title] => 7 Tips for Co-Design with Young People [post_excerpt] => How to ensure that the projects we do with young people are engaging and that we use co-design in a meaningful and beneficial way. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => co-design-young-people [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=12182 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [56] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 12855 [post_author] => 19 [post_date] => 2016-09-02 17:03:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-09-02 17:03:12 [post_content] => Are you passionate or just interested in the topic of Open Badges? Because we are. And we're organising a launch event for our Badgemaker project - come along and hear about the result of this work and other ways organisations are approaching open badges. Snook and Borders College have been working together with the support of UFI's VocLearnTech Fund to support Colleges who wish to explore Open Badges. Save the date for the launch event where we'll share the result of our work, hear about other ways organisations are approaching open badges and experience badges for yourself. We look forward to seeing you there. Please note that unfortunately, the venue doesn't have disabled access. RSVP here [post_title] => BadgeMaker launch - 29 September [post_excerpt] => We're organising a launch event for our Badgemaker project - learn more about Open Badges and hear about the results of this project. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => badgemaker-launch [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=12178 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [57] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 12853 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2016-09-01 13:35:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-09-01 13:35:59 [post_content] => Enrol Yourself is a platform set up by Roxana Bacian and Zahra Davidson aiming to harness the potential of peer groups, infinite content and a networked world for personalised, flexible and affordable lifelong learning. In this blog post, Roxana explains how the idea came about and how it works. From September, Enrol Yourself will be piloting a six month ‘learning marathon’ with thirteen participants, all professionals who want to push their creative development through setting learning goals they’ve been wanting to pursue, whether that’s acquiring a new skill, leading their own ventures or developing social innovation projects. The project’s early beginnings date back four years ago, when we met whilst working at Snook. We started having conversations about what work meant to us, how our personal values related to our working practice, why creative development and continuous learning mattered to us and most importantly how this fit with our day-to-day responsibilities. For myself, it started out of a need to explore different avenues for my work in design and beyond, into dance, writing and performance. I wanted to do this through short-term projects instead of long-term commitments such as a new job or degree. For Zahra, the idea for Enrol Yourself had grown out of several years’ work, research and thought, and whilst she had been thinking of applying for a master’s, she couldn’t find one that would truly tailor to her interest in design, sustainability and education, and the huge fee was a barrier too. Today, we have thirteen participants ready to kick-start their first ever learning marathon. We are encouraged to see others excited by the unbounded possibilities today’s world provides for learning. We are also looking forward to participating and understanding the needs of the learner at each stage of the journey, helping us build the tools that make personalised, lifelong and flexible learning possible for a wider group of people; from employees that need to meet the growing demands and responsibilities of their jobs to those for whom access to learning is a struggle. In order to get here, we've already started on a learning journey that has been made so much more positive through the support we've had from people within our networks and beyond. Starting with EdSpace who have offered us desk space and membership to their community: an extremely valuable chance to work alongside people transforming education; to Snook, who have offered us space to hold events and their ongoing feedback. We’re also thankful to UsTwo, Red Jotter, Forum for the Future and Coachbright for their ongoing support. There are many others we haven’t mentioned here, who’ve helped us in one way or another, whether through coverage, offering their expertise over lunch or the chance to share Enrol Yourself more widely. Between us we’ve met 40 people across several different countries to develop the idea through conversation. By going through this process we prototyped one element of a learning marathon: the value of networks for learning, which to us lies in building relationships, forming a collaborative web and framing our learning within collective thinking and practice.    Listen to 21st Century Design’s podcast to learn more about Enrol Yourself. Follow our progress on Twitter, Facebook or Medium. Applications reopen January 2017 for a second group to set out on their learning marathon. [post_title] => 13 learners setting out on a learning marathon [post_excerpt] => Enrol Yourself is a platform set up by Roxana Bacian and Zahra Davidson aiming to harness the potential of peer groups, infinite content and a networked world for personalised, flexible and affordable lifelong learning. In this blog post, Roxana explains what it is and how it works. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => learning-marathon [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=12166 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [58] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 12149 [post_author] => 30 [post_date] => 2016-08-27 16:57:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-08-27 16:57:59 [post_content] => It was unusual. Energising. Thought-proving. And more than a little bit inspiring. A group of Fife Council and NHS employees – young and older, apprentices and chief officers – came together with Snook and Microsoft to run Fife’s DigiHack. We wanted to explore one question: ‘Can we create a more digital, social workplace across Fife’s public and voluntary services to help improve the experience for the 366,000 Fifers we all serve?’ Ambitious? Yes. Madly optimistic? Probably. But we all agreed there was something in the idea that just might help transform public services for the future. The concept of a ‘hack’ was new. If forced us into some strange and uncomfortable places filled with free-forming groups, persona building and prototyping. Not quite the usual ‘workshop’ we were used to. And the results weren’t as immediate. It turns out ‘hacking’ can be a bit of a slow burner… less about task and decision and more about experience and opportunity. Great stuff! So, a few months on here’s seven things we’ve learned so far, and some thoughts on how they’re starting to influence our strategy going forward.

#1  Change the angle

Digihack fife 1 Turning questions around can deliver a bigger, faster impact on attitude and behaviour. For example, we thought about how we were promoting mobile and flexible working. What if we encouraged people to ask themselves; ‘Do I need to go into the office today’ rather than telling them to seek approval for home working? It seems basic and obvious but it’s not the usual approach. That slight shift in language gives people power and autonomy. It tells them ‘you’re trusted’ and, so far in our experience, it lands big productivity gains. It’s a win-win.

#2  Bring your ‘digital-self’ into work

Every morning, many of us get out the car and leave our ‘digital lives’ behind us. We expect less ‘inside work’ and tend to accept the often antiquated ways of working as ‘just the way we do things around here’. Wrong. We need to challenge ourselves and others more. We need to bring our digital, social networking mind-set and skills into the office and use them creatively to help change the old ways of doing things – and make the most of what technology and opportunity we do have available to us. Public services will never have the funding to be ahead of the technology curve, but the people who work there could, and we need to encourage that. After all, it’s not the technology that delivers transformation – it’s the way we use is the culture we create around it.

#3 Become great storytellers

If the success of technology hinges on engaging people – then engagement hinges on storytelling. It’s what people and communities thrive on. A great story will inspire, inform and involve you to the point you’re sucked in and feel you’ve invested somehow in the ending.  What’s that got to do with the Hack, and a digitally social workplace? Everything. Through the hack we learned how to layer up a picture about people, identifying their preferences, likely needs and the potential stumbling blocks they might come up against using our processes.  When you add that together with better information on actual customer experience you have a powerful formula for service redesign - and the potential to help nudge people towards better outcomes too.

#4  Quash the myths

Long standing misunderstandings can be well hidden. Apparently we have no Wifi and no conferencing facilities, it’s impossible to get smart-kit and all apps are blocked – or so some of our colleagues thought when we met at the Hack. Not true. Some of these facilities have been in place for years but no matter how well we think we’ve communicated it’s easy to forget some people get missed, or simply forget. Everyone is bombarded with information and messages these days. Keeping things simple, social and visual is the only way through…emm, now we just have to work out how that fits-in with our ‘public sector’ culture!

#5 Put staff firmly in the driving seat

Extend self-management to get the most out of technology – routing, planning appointments and scheduling work needs to be as automated and accessible as possible. We’re rolling this out in Building Services and Home Care so tasks and case work can be carried wherever staff go. They don’t have to shuttle to and from depots and offices anymore. It’s not just making life easier – it’s driving up performance and delivering bankable savings. Digihack fife 2

#6 Respect the pace

Not everyone gets technology or even wants to live with it every moment of the day. But love it or hate it, it’s the new norm and we need to support each other to deal with the overwhelming pace of change. Peer support, digital gurus, training and informal coaching and support mechanisms is part of our new Competency Centre approach going forward. It’s changing the way IT services have been designed and managed – and in time we hope it will help transform the business.

#7 Measure success differently

Digihack fife 3 The DigiHack gave us the chance to step back and think, explore opportunities and identify common issues. Using small-scale examples, we were able to identify strategic issues without getting bogged down in theory. As ever, many of us went into the event thinking we’d get designed products agreed by 5pm.  Perhaps we could have - but the result would have been short-sighted. We’re used to measuring success often by the speed of our action and this just isn’t the place for that. Sustainable innovation take time, and the slow-burn value that has come from the Hack and the process behind it is just the kind of event we need more of to spark new thinking. That said, our experience through this work has already contributed indirectly and positively to some critical plans – the council’s refreshed vision for 2020, the organisational development programme to support that and the IT strategy for the next three years.  Perhaps not that bad for a days work after all.

Want to know more? 

Contact Val Millar, Communication and Customer Insight Manager, Fife Council @millar_val [post_title] => Hacking a digitally social workplace [post_excerpt] => Can we create a more digital, social workplace across Fife’s public and voluntary services to help improve the experience for the 366,000 Fifers we all serve? Digihack Fife was run by Snook with the support of Microsoft. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => digihack-fife [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=12149 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [59] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 12854 [post_author] => 21 [post_date] => 2016-08-12 15:24:17 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-08-12 15:24:17 [post_content] => Help to seamlessly guide people through the social investment labyrinth, educate them along the way and direct them down the right path. This is an objective we have been working towards, alongside Allen at NDP, for the past 6 months now. It’s been quite a journey but I’m excited to see our collective hard work - and that includes all our great helpers along the way - is coming together to crystallise the next iteration of Good Finance. Rewinding 6 months, Snook were brought on board by The Cabinet Office to leverage pre-existing research in the space and ensure existing insight was utilised. We all know research projects don’t always end up with something being created but here was our chance, alongside Big Society Capital, Access and others, to put the thinking into practice and develop something truly user-centred for the sector. We began by undertaking an extensive period of research to understand people’s attitudes and behaviour towards social investment. In doing so we could begin to understand their challenges and consequently their needs for a service of this nature. We spoke to a wide range of people up and down the country from charities and social enterprises that fitted the bill of our identified user groups and gradually began to build a set of personas to represent our findings. This research allowed us to identify common themes and opportunities for the service we were creating. It was the first time a project of this nature had been undertaken involving both sides of the conversation, investors and social enterprises/charities. Taking this approach allowed us to build the full picture of the landscape from both sides and ultimately helped shape the areas of focus for us to begin to define our offering. The key areas of opportunity being language, connection and knowledge. Our biggest finding was people’s confusion and lack of clarity around the language and terminology used within the social investment landscape. Acronyms and jargon are highly prevalent and in an already complex arena, this just adds to the noise. Connection was an area fast emerging as a key opportunity for Good Finance. This is a face-to-face world and we need to see Good Finance as a facilitator of connections, not a replacement for human interaction (a theme we encounter regularly in our work at Snook). Social enterprises and charities are looking for investors with a similar value set, the relationship will always come first for them. In terms of knowledge we knew going into this project that a core objective of the Good Finance service was to educate. This research has allowed us to drill into the detail around what users really need/want to know to ensure we are building a service that people will use. These themes were the springboard for developing the shape of our second round of research. At Snook we take a very hands on, iterative approach to user research and product development and at this point it was time to get stuck in. We held a number of paper prototyping workshops with charities and social enterprises around the country and worked side-by-side with these organisations to start co-designing parts of the platform that would address our key opportunity areas. We’ve explored diagnostic tools, matching services, connection widgets and much more. We are now in the process of developing, testing and iterating our digital prototype as we move towards the final phase of the project. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those that have been involved in the Good Finance research. Every design project relies heavily on the participation of users and without all your valuable input we wouldn’t be where we are today - about to begin the development of a truly user-centered digital product to educate charities and social enterprises about social investment and help them navigate the market in a way that is meaningful for them.   We will be sharing the research report for this project publicly in due course. If you are interested in reading about our journey in more detail, and want to be kept updated on the project, please sign up to the Good Finance email updates here. [post_title] => Making social investment user-centred [post_excerpt] => Help to seamlessly guide people through the social investment labyrinth, educate them along the way and direct them down the right path. This is an objective we have been working towards, alongside Allen at NDP, for the past 6 months now. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => social-investment [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=12170 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [60] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 12848 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2016-06-24 14:34:14 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-06-24 14:34:14 [post_content] => Our collaborative research project with Chayn and SafeLives, commissioned by Comic Relief, is well underway! Do you have few minutes to participate in an online survey? techvsabuse_practitioners Share your thoughts as a practitioner working with and supporting victims and survivors of domestic abuse and their families. We're exploring your views on the role of technology and any potential problems with it being used increasingly in the sector. Click on the image or click here to fill in the survey. It takes no longer than 10mins. techvsabuse_women-girls As technology becomes a bigger part of our lives, it's ever important to see how victims and survivors of domestic abuse are using it. Share your thoughts on how technology is currently used, and could be developed to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse, as well as those who support them. We're exploring views on what you feel would be useful and what you would be concerned about. This survey should between 15-30mins to complete and is open to anyone who identifies as a woman and is over 18 years old. It's all anonymous and all questions are optional. Click on the image or click here to start. techvsabuse_snook_research We’re exploring how organisations delivering support to women and girls experiencing domestic violence and abuse see the challenges and potential to use technology to enhance their service. Snook researchers will be spending few hours with staff members in shadowing sessions. If you’d like to take part or are interested in knowing more, get in touch with me via email eve@wearesnook.com or phone our Glasgow HQ at 0141 258 7644 to chat more. The intent behind this research is to inform the best use of digital technology to create social change, with people affected by the issue at the heart of the solutions created.  If you have any questions or would like to know more, email the team: techvsabuse@gmail.com   [post_title] => techVSabuse: participate in our research [post_excerpt] => Our collaborative research project with Chayn and SafeLives, commissioned by Comic Relief, is well underway! Do you have few minutes to participate in an online survey or interested to arrange an interview? Here's more details. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => techvsabuse2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=11938 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [61] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11829 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2016-06-07 14:32:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-06-07 14:32:12 [post_content] => We're working together with Democratic Society on a project commissioned by the Government Digital Service exploring how the experience of online consultations, as run by Whitehall, can be improved.

What are we doing?

We've undertaken desk research to explore a range of questions related to consultation processes. Starting from trying to build a greater understanding of ‘what is a typical consultation process inside central government?’, we're identifying specific groups of people involved in the consultation process – civil servants and Ministers as well as wide a range of individuals and organisations who may or not respond to consultations. Alongside this, we'll be carrying out user research to understand the motivations and behaviours attached to the process, while working to identify what would make a good consultation experience for these groups. While offline consultation practices are not specifically explored as part of this work, we are aware that any online and offline consultation practices will need to support each other.

Join our research!

We’re keen to speak to a very wide range of people and organisations who are (or potentially could be) involved in consultations. This includes:   We're looking for people to participate in 1 hour interview within the UK. Are you interested?
  Fill out the form below and register interest to participate:
  *If you can't see the form, click here to open it in a new window.

What do we mean by ‘online consultations’?

The term ‘consultation’ doesn’t have a fixed definition in the UK. With a wide range of interactions between central government, citizens and organisations, it can be difficult to pin down exactly what this word means. However, for this project, we will be considering instances when central government is asking ‘the public’ questions to inform their decision-making process and/or as part of a statutory requirement. This definition of consultation doesn’t include process for gathering feedback from users or complaints services. It also doesn’t include responses to challenges initiated by Government such as the Red Tape Challenge or spontaneous interactions when a citizen or organisation may directly contact a department or Minister. However, we won’t be limiting our work just to the traditional idea of consultations – such as when a department may release a short questionnaire and invite responses. We'll also be looking at some of the more innovative methods that departments may use, including the use of deliberative online forums. For more information, head over to Democratic Society's blog page where posts will be published over the course of the project. [post_title] => How can online consultations be improved? [post_excerpt] => We're working together with Democratic Society on a project commissioned by the Government Digital Service exploring how the experience of online consultations, as run by Whitehall, can be improved. Join our research! [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => improve-online-consultations [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=11829 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [62] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11787 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2016-05-27 12:28:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-05-27 12:28:21 [post_content] => Third day here in Madrid with Democracy Lab looking at initiatives for democracy. The unconference-styled day invited everyone to pitch a lightning talk or a suggestion for a workshop. Topics included privacy awareness, open source democracy tools and bottom-up, citizen-led involvement.  Participants ranged from developers, researchers, activists, journalists, academics and designers who came together to showcase their work, demo products, debate and plan. Here are a few highlights of the day.   Data-driven, participatory fact mapping, Pattrn Open source and free, Pattrn maps for human rights, conflict monitoring, investigative journalism and research and analysis. Recently mapped out the Gaza conflict for Amnesty International and political violence in Africa. Pattrn builds on existing free software libraries and infrastructure and is self-hosted. Grab it, store it, use it.   Re-imagine the city with Hackity Want to improve your neighbourhood? Create, support and be involved in solutions? Hackity allows you to put out proposals for local improvement - be it a fault on the street or unused public space. Over 500 people currently use it in Madrid - both online through the platform and offline at Hackity dinners and co-design sessions to solve unresolved issues. Democratic Cities Lab Madrid 2 Photo: MediaLab-Prado   Online deliberation for massive groups through Baoqu Mapping conversations, no trolls and open source - are the key points for Baoqu, who haven't launched yet, but if you're interested in signing up to be part of their testing group, head to their website. If you are a Spanish speaker they have put up their presentation here.  

Irina Bolychevsky , Redecentralizing

Decentralisation is not just technical thing but also sits on a social level - it needs cooperation to function. It requires standards and many nodes working for the same goals. It’s democratic. There are some issues including lack of innovation - dominance of freemium, monopolies, no real choice and lack of alternatives. 

Quietly, some geeks are decentralizing the net. Again. Who are they? Why are they doing it? What new technologies are they using? How will this change the world?

Redecentralize interviews them and builds a community around this. Watch Irina talk about redecentralisation on this video.

The book webmarking tool, Worldbrain

It's a bookmarking tool but for the web. Fact-check web articles, PDFs and videos with custom annotations. You highlight a bit of text to organise, share and discuss your personal web research to build the foundation for verifying the internet with science.

Follow the next few days on Twitter: #DemocraticCities

[post_title] => DcentMadrid Democracy Lab Day 3: Unconference [post_excerpt] => Third day here in Madrid with Democracy Lab looking at initiatives for democracy. Unconference-styled day invited everyone to pitch a lightning talk or a suggestion for a workshop. Here are a few highlights of the day. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => dcent-madrid16-day3 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=11787 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [63] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11739 [post_author] => 18 [post_date] => 2016-05-25 15:45:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-05-25 15:45:40 [post_content] => “Everyone talks about the smart city” but the reality still feels like a distant mirage. The size of the opportunities is only matched by the scale and complexity of the changes. What if you could prototype a smart city? Research, design and evaluate how to implement new services and technologies. What if you could use a University, the place of research by excellence, to test smart city approaches on itself? This is exactly what the University of Glasgow is setting out to do with its new Smart Campus, prompted by the return of the Western Infirmary site to the University. When Future Cities Catapult commissioned Snook to help the University organise a business event around the Smart Campus, we set out to design the event as a service to the University and to the participants. We engaged with over 30 people through a series of interviews; an online survey and a workshop; gathering insights and working together to shape the event and maximise the value it might bring. A Smart Campus, in a smart city and smarter world The idea that emerged from Snook’s engagement was to gather and connect people interested in the wider context of smart city to exchange ideas and projects, identifying new ways to collaborate and support each other. "Once nurtured over time, would these connections help make the smart city a reality?" This was the aim of the Smart Campus Awareness and Networking Event which took place on 19 May 2016 at Cottiers in Glasgow, created by Snook with the support of Future Cities Catapult. In the beautiful setting of Cottiers, a stone’s throw  away from the University, Snook gathered 80 participants from a wide range of backgrounds (University, supporting organisations, corporates and SMEs). Using the giant name badges and a sticker game, Snook challenged participants to make as many new and relevant connections as possible. [caption id="attachment_11762" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Image: Snook Image: Snook[/caption] Participants were asked to explore and map possible futures together, and contributing their insights into a giant future tech and behaviours timeline, designed especially for the event. This activity prompted them to consider what technological, social, economical and environmental changes might happen over the next 30 years, how these might affect our lives and the cities we live in. [caption id="attachment_11765" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Image: Snook Image: Snook[/caption] Nicola Cameron (Assistant Director of Estates Strategy) presented the vision and the plans for the Smart Campus. With over 30,000 staff and students on site every day, the University is the size of a small city, with the added benefit of controlling most of the supporting services - the very ones the smart city approach aims to transform. She explains the University’s focus on smart infrastructure, integrating new and historic estate, physical and digital infrastructure, improved energy optimisation and sensors. Paul Georgie (Project abstract) captivated the audience with the images taken by “Aimee”, a fixed-wing drone flying above the University to capture near-real-time geographic information with a resolution of just 3cm. The data it captures creates a new wave of datasets, from hyper-local flood modelling, potential solar PV system locations, or the state of the moss on the Kelvin Grove roof! [caption id="attachment_11758" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Image: Snook Image: Snook[/caption] Paul Younger (Rankine Chair of Engineering talked about District Heating)  (video) Paul introduced the recently completed £21m district heating system developed by the University of Glasgow. A unique opportunity to optimise energy consumption and reduce carbon footprint, pioneering new ways of storing heat generated by buildings (for example data centres) to achieve a smarter energy management system in the future Smart Campus and wider context of smart cities. William Nixon - Digital Library Development Manager (video) William presented the development of the new Learning and Teaching Hub and how data analytics, experimentation and ethnographic research play a key role in improving the students experience while fostering innovation within the Smart Campus context. Matthew Chalmers - Professor of Human-Computer Interaction (presentation) The focus should not just be on the place of the new campus but also about people and purpose. It is an opportunity to design new forms of education, work and community. However, we need evidence-based approaches to implement this strategy. This is the role of the new Quantified Campus, constantly generating the data to uncover new findings adapt the campus in an informed and iterative way. Matthew Higgs - Chief Data Officer at Dynamically Loaded (presentation) How can organisations and innovators work together to solve problems and retrofit innovation in existing buildings. How do you help students and visitors navigate around the campus, discover local opportunities, facilitate meetings, or geo-reference mobile sensor data? It all starts with a large-scale indoor-positioning system, as the University has just implemented. Keith Dingwall - Senior Business Manager at The Urban Big Data Centre (presentation) The UBDC helps build capacity inside organisations, promoting innovative ways in which data can be used to address current and future behavioural and environmental challenges faced by cities. Closing remarks: Simon Earp - Head of Knowledge Exchange at The University of Glasgow From visions to actions: Simon encouraged participants to take actions, build a knowledge network and work together to make the Smart Campus a reality. These talks triggered a busy session of discussions and networking. Participants quickly identified people they could talk to or facilitate connections with each other - supported by their action cards, designed to help turn intentions into actions.

“Come there’s somebody I need to introduce you to”

[caption id="attachment_11774" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Image: Snook Image: Snook[/caption]   We are in the process of analysing the material from what was a very busy event. Stay tuned and subscribe to the newsletter to hear all about it. 89% of attendees said they were very or extremely likely to attend similar events in the future, confirming the original research findings. So stay tuned, we’re working hard to make it happen in September 2016. [post_title] => Smart Campus: Glasgow University [post_excerpt] => Smart Campus Awareness and Networking Event, created by Snook with the support of Future Cities Catapult, gathered over 80 participants from a wide range of backgrounds (University, supporting organisations, corporates and SMEs). [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => smart-campus [to_ping] => [pinged] => https://vimeo.com/167001286 [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=11739 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [64] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11720 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2016-05-23 12:35:22 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-05-23 12:35:22 [post_content] => I'm currently in Madrid for the D-CENT Democratic Cities Lab which kicks off today. It showcases the results of the D-CENT project (Decentralised Citizens Engagement Technologies) that has been working to transform democracy - helping movements, cities and political parties to build technologies, methods and tools that can make the democratic system work for 21st century aspirations. The Democracy Lab brings together a fantastic range of speakers - from Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Founder and Paul Mason, The Guardian Journalist to Maro Horta, Human Rights Lawyer and Manuela Carmena, Mayor of Madrid. You can view the full speakers list here. I'm here with the Civic Bureau: a department for designing civic life. Our aim is to make public-interest technologies easier to use and civic information more visible and easier to understand. We design for participation and co-production so that citizens’ imagination is at the heart of shaping the cities the live in. Civic Bureau Are you in Madrid or interested in finding out more? Let's connect! Email:  civicbureau@gmail.com Twitter: Eve, Snook & Civic Bureau Sam, Tech For Good #DCENTMadrid [post_title] => DCentMadrid: Technologies for 21st century democracy [post_excerpt] => Eve is in Madrid for the Democratic cities: commons technology and the right to a democratic city week-long lab with the Civic Bureau. Find out more, follow updates and get in touch! [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => dcent-madrid16 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=11720 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [65] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11372 [post_author] => 16 [post_date] => 2016-04-28 17:45:53 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-04-28 17:45:53 [post_content] => We have a tradition going on here: since 2009, industrial design students from Auburn University come over for a visit and a Service Design training workshop. Charlotte and Eve facilitated these intense two days of researching, prototyping, testing and iterating. And, of course, there was a rubber chicken. Here’s an overview of what happened.

The Brief

We challenged the #AuburnSnooks to re-imagine mental wellbeing for students. Based on the Aye Mind project, we asked how to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people by making better use of the Internet, social media and mobile technologies. This gave the students an insight into a real industry brief and encouraged them to tackle a difficult problem that might affect them and their fellow students.

Let’s Discover

We kicked off with a presentation of design methods and teaching the students the Double Diamond design process. Most of the students were unfamiliar with it but pretty eager to learn more!


100 ways to destroy an Iphone

The first challenge was to come up with 100 ways to destroy an Iphone in under a minute. This was a brilliant way to get everyone’s brain thinking about generating ideas quickly and easily.

The Discovery

We moved onto researching the problem. Research methods included interviews, group discussions and surveys to gain a deeper understanding of students’ mental wellbeing. The important element here was research planning, understanding of what’s out there and exploring/thinking about how younger people behave online. It was also key to talk to strangers, or each other about how mental wellbeing effected them, the challenge was to go deeper into the problem, and find out from real people how this issue effected them. Gaining this understanding would be key to designing solutions that really worked later on. Teams had an opportunity to think about what questions they wanted to ask and which methods would be best suited for this. The questions ranged from ‘What does mental wellbeing mean to you?’ to ‘What makes you smile?’ As both Charlotte and Eve work on the Ayemind project, it was interesting to hear the discussions #AuburnSnooks were having - for example, a common theme was the difference between ‘mental wellbeing’ and ‘mental illness’ and the stigma attached to language surrounding these.


Get Defining

From speaking to their peers face-to-face, online and talking to people on the street about the topic, groups gathered many insights. At this stage, it was important to get ALL of these insights out on post-its notes while chatting within groups. We chose a few insights and generated ideas around them using the Lotus Flower Idea Generation technique. Teams were encouraged to go around and comment on each other’s post-its. We then encouraged students to really quickly Freeze Frame four ideas, and prototype one. The Freeze Frame involved taking an idea, and showing a still of how it would work with your body as a group. That way, they could bring their ideas to life. The emphasis was on having fun and being speedy (plus silly) - an important part of workshops and hack events.


Now Develop

Rapid idea generating and prototyping allowed the teams to hone in on one idea. They used Opportunity Cards to outline the idea, explore the problem it addresses and how it looks like. The User Journey Map allowed students to think about all the touchpoints/interactions of their service and how the user would experience it. After developing a rough prototype of the idea, the rubber chicken walked everyone out of the door and thus, encouraged further testing and iteration of the prototype and idea. For some of the groups, this meant going out onto the street to see what people thought of their idea, for others it meant observing how people interact and react to the idea. Getting early feedback allowed the students to come back for more iteration. They experienced the process of iterating an idea/product/service with the user in mind.


Aaaand Deliver!

The close of our two-day workshop was called ‘Show & Not Tell’ - show us your idea, don’t tell us what it is, let us feel it, smell it, interact with it. The #AuburnSnooks presented their prototypes back to each other, their tutor and three designers from Snook. They received feedback on what they had developed. And a big round of applause for working so hard over the two days. Here are the five ideas teams developed: IMG_5766
Friendr App
An app that allows you to connect with people when you arrive at a new place, like a new University. This group encouraged the use of technology in terms of ‘making social media social again’. Insights gathered during research and testing showed that we are all human beings and we love interactions. When we’re trying to find our feet at a new location, we like talking to friends and meeting people with similar interests.
Happy Coffee Cups
Positive messages on coffee cups and cup warmers to help us feel positive about our day. What makes you smile? This was one of the questions the group explored during research. It’s all about the little things in life and making your day. Even though the team struggled to test these at the coffee shops in Glasgow, we definitely have been enjoying seeing them on our Snook mugs! Smiles all the way.
Sports App
An app that helps young people find other people to play their favourite sports with, based on location. The group found that sport could have a positive effect on mental wellbeing. They found that playing team sports on campus was difficult to organise, especially when students first arrived. They developed a prototype of their app and tested it at Sports Direct, and found people who were willing to use it. IMG_5686
Solitude Campaign
A campaign encouraging students to enjoy spending time alone. Self-awareness and reflection can do wonders. It’s important to stop every now and again and not being afraid to be alone for a bit. During research here, it was raised that social media/technology doesn’t sleep so we might feel overwhelmed by it all at different points of our lives. But it’s me time now!
A journal where students can write their diary entry, and highlight the positive parts. During research the group learned that the process of writing in a journal allowed for reflection, which is positive for mental wellbeing. When you look back at your diary entries only the highlighted part will appear. Reflect can be an app, a physical diary, or this group even tested out using a google form. We’ll be excitedly following what happens with the ideas now and whether teams will be implementing them back home. It was fantastic to have this bunch of #AuburnSnooks! We wish them all the best and we look forward seeing you again soon. If we got you interested in Service Design training workshops for students, why not get in touch with the Snook Training team? Drop us an email: training@wearesnook.com [post_title] => Service Design Training: 20 industrial designers explore the role of digital in students’ mental wellbeing [post_excerpt] => Service Design Training: 20 industrial designers explore the role of digital in students’ mental wellbeing. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => service-design-auburn2016 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=11372 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [66] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11271 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2016-04-18 13:03:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-04-18 13:03:47 [post_content] => Jean Mutton is a pioneer when it comes to the application of service design principles in improving the student experience. Before setting up her consultancy company ‘Go Process Design Ltd’, Jean spent over 30 years working in management in the Higher Education sector. Jean is working with us to bring service design training and consultancy services to colleges and universities.  Here's a reblog from the Efficiency Exchange where Jean explains how service design can help organisations and staff better understand the student journey. 

Human-centred design and the HE sector

In recent times, we have heard a lot of universities say that they are putting the ‘student at the heart of what we do’ and the ‘student experience’ has become a Key Performance Indicator for some. At the same time, many organisations are looking to be more effective whilst reducing costs. Too much to ask? No, not really, but it depends on how you go about it. A key approach which is rapidly gaining ground in the HE sector is to use human-centred design to make services more useful, usable and efficient. There is already plenty of evidence of how this approach has impacted on public service delivery – for one example see the SPIDER project.

The student journey

A good place to start is to map out the student journey to better understand what the ‘student experience’ looks like from the student point of view. Using the tools and techniques of service design such as storyboarding and service blueprinting can help you capture the holistic service experience – both top level personal interactions and also the back office processes which support them. persona In order to put together a student journey map it is helpful to build up a set of a dozen or so personas, which should reflect the constituent characteristics of your student body – ethnicity, modes of study, gender, undergraduate and postgraduate etc. Personas also give everyone involved a deeper understanding of what is driving students and also what de-motivates them, providing the often missing emotional connection. A set of personas can be drawn up quite easily, starting out with just some blank paper and pens, ideally in a workshop setting, by key staff who work closely with students and by the students themselves. For the next step, it should be decided what aspect of the student journey is being mapped – is it at a service interaction at a micro level, or is it the macro ‘end-to-end’ student journey? If the former, there will need to be a lot of detail captured about the ‘felt experience’ and who is providing both the front office and back office support should be clarified. One benefit is that in drawing up the map, staff working in various departments will gain a better understanding of how ‘their bit’ fits into the grand scheme of things, by making them step outside of their silo and see the service journey through the eyes of the student, the end-user of the service. CJM and persona CJM3 For example, a key aspect of the student journey is communications – by mapping comms across the institution you will get an insight into just how confusing uni life can be.  A personal anecdote here demonstrates this – when my son was accepted at one of the large Yorkshire unis he received a letter on a Wednesday from his department, wanting to be the first to welcome him.  Great you may think – so did he.  The next day, he got a letter from the Students’ Union, also welcoming him, and wanting to be the first to do so.  Okay….., he thought.  By the time he got the letter on the Friday from the Accommodation Department, also wanting to be the first to welcome him, he was getting just a little sceptical.  And that was before he had even started! In my 30 years working in the HE sector, I have used lots of different approaches to improve systems and procedures and I am a fan of Lean, Systems Thinking and Design Thinking, but for me, the best one that can really evidence impact and get to the heart of making sustainable change is Service Design. This is why I have teamed up with the award-winning service design company Snook to deliver a series of training workshops specifically for the sector.

Got you interested? 

The next event is in Lancaster on Thursday, 5th May. For more details and to book your tickets, click on the image below. Snook training_Lancaster [post_title] => Using service design techniques to map the student journey [post_excerpt] => Jean Mutton is a pioneer when it comes to the application of service design principles in improving the student experience. Here she explains how service design can help organisations and staff better understand the student journey. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => mapping-student-journey [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=11271 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [67] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11172 [post_author] => 16 [post_date] => 2016-04-07 16:41:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-04-07 16:41:37 [post_content] => The Aye Mind team recently hosted speedy message and image mental wellbeing workshops at the NUS (National Union of Students) Mental Health Summit. IMG_5036 copy

Why is this conference important?

For many, the time you spend at University is filled with ups and downs. The pressure that students are under can be debilitating to their learning. The conference had a great turn out, which highlighted how many of the professionals in higher education see the importance in addressing mental wellbeing in their institutions.

What can we share with you?

We participated in the Mindfulness workshop led by Sandy MacLean, an advisor for the College Development Network and a current Masters student. Sandy took us through some simple mindfulness exercises to support our mental wellbeing. She talked about how the practice of mindfulness can benefit us in our everyday lives, rather than being mainly used as a treatment at the crisis points of mental health. Sandy recommended these links for people wanting to learn more about mindfulness: Headspace.com Flowygame.com Stopbreathethink.org

What did we bring to the conference?

We hosted two Aye Mind workshops to inform professionals who work with young people about: IMG_5030 copy After a quick overview of Aye Mind, the attendees got involved in creating their own Aye Mind mental wellbeing messages and images. A series of hands-on activities encouraged youth workers to use digital to support mental wellbeing.
‘I want to but I can’t find the motivation today’ Pete ‘Will I always be alone?’ Amy ‘I can’t think about the exams’ Claire ‘I need some space in my life, but I’m scared of missing all the fun’ Jack
We started by asking everyone to make mini personas. A persona is a snapshot of a person and allows idea generation that keeps that person in mind. Everyone simply wrote down a name of a young person with a quote on post-it notes. All the people present at the workshop had experience of working with young people, so they generated quick personas that were fictional or based on people they had come into contact with. This quickly gave a valuable, rich bank of mini personas, with their own small story to base ideas on. IMG_5077 copy From this, everyone formed a small groups. They grabbed some of the personas they had generated and created positive mental wellbeing messages to share. For instance, a mini persona was ‘I need some space in my life, but I’m scared of missing all the fun’ Jack. So for Jack, the creative message was ‘Space is good!’. Each group then took a few of their favourite messages and create images to go with the message. They got their hands on play doh, little figurines, coloured paper and pens to set up the scene and create the story behind their messages.

 Many thanks to NUS for hosting the conference and everyone who attended our workshops.

 Would you like to host a gif workshop or mental well being on a topic of your choice?

Get in touch charlotte@wearesnook.com

 Here's the social media story:

[post_title] => 45-minute Aye Mind workshop at the NUS Annual Student Mental Health Summit [post_excerpt] => The Aye Mind team recently hosted speedy message and image mental wellbeing workshops at the NUS (National Union of Students) Mental Health Summit. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => aye-mind-nus-studentmh [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=11172 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [68] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11050 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2016-03-14 13:34:34 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-03-14 13:34:34 [post_content] => When I was 20 years old, I was given the opportunity as a designer to enter the public sector. I went inside the machine and was confused about why we weren't designing services the same way we made chairs: people first, understanding our materials, testing iteratively before the final production. Quite the opposite in fact, we were doing to people not for. Top down, prescriptive policy and delivering services as process charts; expecting people to use what we'd created. During this period, I became fascinated by how Government and public services work (and don't work) and where design principles (and designers) could add value. Working as a public servant, developing digital public services back from 2007-10, I undertook a Masters focusing on mapping design across the public sector and how policy moves from the strategy unit to the services we see. This period pre-dated initiatives such as Government Digital Service and many of the innovation labs that were being set up by public sector/government. It was an exciting time and a very new concept that had been brewing for many years before I came to it. I was lucky to become one of a new cohort of designers entering the public sector to redesign services. I built on practice like Sophia Parker’s innovation labs in Kent County Council, leaders in the field like Futuregov and Engine who were launching 'The journey to the interface' and the innovation bodies like Nesta who were discussing Co-production, user led innovation and innovation for public services.

Service Design in Government

In 2014, I gave the Keynote at Service Design in Government. My brief from the organisers was to talk simply through the tools of Service Design, methods and some practical case studies. Having been in the field for a fair bit of time already, we wanted to see service design progressing to hit the mainstream, but we weren't quite there yet. I knew this was a ‘basics’ presentation, getting people behind the mindset of creating people-centred services that work end-to-end across public and government services. Fast forward 3 years and I’m standing alongside our client Camilla Buchanan from the Cabinet Office with Cassie Robinson of The Point People who were our collaborators on the Designing Social Investment project and report.
Designing Social Investment - Cabinet Office UK, Snook & The Point People We're talking openly about researching the needs of users in the social investment field, what we're discovering, how we're creating guiding principles for the sector to be led by the Cabinet Office and how we're prototyping new products and services for the social investment marketplace. We're talking side by side, honestly and openly exploring the challenges of where design is supporting development of better informed policy. In fact, other agencies like Live|Work are talking alongside Department for Health and Us Creates with NHS England. This is an exciting time. A really really exciting time with huge potential to get this right. But we need to keep pushing! I can feel it again. It has been a really hard slog talking the same process and ideas for years but you know what? We are getting somewhere. SDinGov 2016 was a great testament to this. It's conferences like this that are like a mirror, they play back to you the progress that's been made. It's easy to get beaten down, or feel like the same message has been playing for years. Believe me it has, and long before I was in the industry or even studying; but it's exciting to see it being put into action. I think there were more people from across government and public sector bodies presenting than practice-based designers.

Here are my key takeaways

There are exceptional standards of practice and structures being developed at the highest level Government Digital Service is gaining huge traction and their approach is spreading to other bodies. Their exceptional service manual outlines savings produced, an approach to user needs first, end-to-end service design, service standards, service pattern talk and fantastic work from Alistair Duggin on accessibility. Whilst it’s got a digital focus, they're now embedding the foundations and platforms to scale this across all of Government. And other bodies are embedding design too (UKTI, Ministry of Justice, Home Office). It is fantastic to finally see such a united approach to getting service basics right. Service redesign and meeting needs is about designing the organisation I've shared widely Ben Holliday's post on fixing broken windows. Ben is right – successful companies put design at the centre of everything they do. Everything in your organisation should be designed to work for people: on the inside and outside from onboarding process to communication systems and data sets making the service work. Service is everyone's and everything's business What was great to hear Louise Downe, Head of Design at GDS, pointing out is that we're approaching all of this through a service design lenses. She explained that they're not just redesigning forms, or a digital interface, they're looking at everything that makes for a better service: from CSS codes and making sure text is readable by assistive technology, to the loading time on screen, the way we name services and the data sets they're cleaning up.
There is an emergent common language There was a common language being used. This is great. If we have the foundations in place about putting people first and end-to-end journeys, we can begin to build the platforms and structures we need in place to make this a reality. We are all figuring this out - and in the open It felt like everyone was honest, and sharing both their successes and failures, live on stage. This is a principle of a design-led approach, critical debate on the right thing to do and why certain decisions are made. Governments were using hackpads, open Google Docs and Wikis to document learnings and ideas. Agencies and clients were listing how they could better work together now they'd partnered. This might seem simple, but having gone to quite a few industry events where there's often a focus on show pieces, this is really refreshing. We need traction across local government, third sector and commissioning scenarios The above points aren't always true across all of the named fields. There are some fantastic examples out there and guys like Bexley Council are doing some good work but it would be good to hear more from other Local Authorities about what they're doing and see them take part. I know from our work, that sometimes it is a struggle to communicate the value of service design to Local Authorities, particularly when there seems to be a disconnect in terms of a common language or mindset. The barriers to making this happen are often political and complex. Conflicting drivers impact on commissioners, such as moves towards provider market places and citizens being considered as more demanding consumers of services (i.e to get your passport, you can apply to one place and one place only). There is a huge job to do here and a large systems piece... The larger systems piece to consider around design  The public office, and others, picked up on Systems thinking which is taking a role in this, particularly around the local authority service design discussion. In the complex environment of multi-stakeholder delivery, we really need to take a systems approach to consider how we commission services in this arena. This will involve up-skilling Councils to think differently about service delivery and information provision, and move away from the big 'I.T transformation programmes'. We need more of a conversation around the ethics and practice of codesign and research  I can't enthuse enough about the brilliant work of Katherine Garzonis on desinging with mental health service users and Liana Dragoman / Yasmin Fodal on the complexities of designing with and for vulnerable populations. Both brought nuances in how we should approach research, retelling the journeys of people and how we characterise their stories. We've got much work to do here in creating some accessible ethics and training across education on this. We are at another exciting period of development but the job is bigger than we expected There's lot to do, and I think we've got a serious skills gap. It seems nearly every public body and government department is advertising for people to come and work on this. We really need to scale up our training and experience in doing this kind of work. For me – I'm committed to an 'outsider' role after being on the inside of public services. I believe I have more impact from this position, supporting organisations to think differently about what they're doing and building their capacity to do it themselves. And this is something we have done and continue to do. We're talking more and more about supporting organisations to build design capacity rather than doing the design work ourselves; and this has always been the ethos of our agency. However, there's a role for everyone here: from outsiders to insiders in government and public services. We need to keep working together and sharing our insights and stories. Thanks Service Design in Government! I genuinely left this year feeling powered up and positive. We've got a long way to go but we're certainly heading in the right direction.
[post_title] => Service Design in Government | Designing Social Investment [post_excerpt] => Thanks Service Design in Government! I genuinely left this year feeling powered up and positive. We've got a long way to go but we're certainly heading in the right direction. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => sdingov-2016 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=11050 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [69] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 10719 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2016-03-04 10:26:55 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-03-04 10:26:55 [post_content] => Oh, we've got a guest blogger! Introducing: Year Here.

Year Here is not for everyone, it's gritty and demanding, but also hugely rewarding. It’s a big commitment to make – and we don’t expect anyone to take the decision to apply lightly.

From serving on the frontline in homeless shelters, care homes and community centres to building new social ventures and delivering a grassroots community engagement project, you’ll have multiple opportunities to come up with clever ideas and see them through.

It’s an opportunity to join an ambitious movement of activists and entrepreneurs.

Our mission


We live in a society facing tough social problems – from the isolation of older people to stubbornly persistent social inequalities. These challenges are often highly complex and the solutions seem elusive.

We believe that the answer starts with people.

We connect Year Here fellows with opportunities that help them build an understanding of just how social problems hit the people they hit hardest. Our faculty and partners inspire courageous approaches to change – but crucially, relationships built on the frontline help fellows design solutions that actually work for the people who need them.

As well as driving long-term change through better leadership, we aim for serious impact in the here and now. Year Here brings manpower and innovation to critical public and social services, directly affecting the lives of some of the most marginalised people in London.

Join the cast of characters

year here Rich

Rich Grahame, 2014 Fellow

Rich graduated from Nottingham in 2013 before working in the finance team at Movember. After joining Year Here Rich was based at a Centrepoint hostel in Camden. He is now running Settle, a service helping vulnerable young people move into their first home.


year here 3 Sneh

Sneh Jani, 2016 Fellow

Sneh is a former management consultant and has worked with the UN. She graduated from Bristol in 2013. She is now based in the Origin community housing team in Kings Cross where she is designing an innovative scheme to help isolated elderly people with their repairs.

          Karisma Desai, 2015 Fellowyear here 4 Karisma

Karisma graduated from the University of Oxford in 2015. During the Year Here programme she was supporting vulnerable young people at London YMCA South West. She now works at the award-winning social enterprise Future Frontiers, developing mentoring and coaching programmes for disadvantaged young people across the UK.


Key details

Year Here is a platform for graduates and young professionals. We are open to offers from applicants without degrees. The course is full-time, lasts 9 months and is based in London.

There are no course fees. Unlike a traditional Master’s degree or postgraduate course, we cover your tuition fee. We also offer packages of accommodation and bursaries. Find out more or apply here.

  [post_title] => A year to test and build solutions to some of society's toughest problems [post_excerpt] => Year Here is not for everyone, it's gritty and demanding, but also hugely rewarding. It’s a big commitment to make – and we don’t expect anyone to take the decision to apply lightly. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => year-here16 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=10719 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [70] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 10682 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2016-02-26 09:27:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-02-26 09:27:52 [post_content] => Type: Contract freelance or company Location: Glasgow, Galashiels or remote working from any UK-based location Contact: jobs@wearesnook.com Together with Borders College, we're looking for a talented Moodle developer to create a user-friendly solution for creating, issuing and displaying Open Badges in Moodle. ‘Badgemaker’ is funded by a grant from UFI Charitable Trust. The project will create a ‘one-stop-shop’ plugin, which could be offered to other Colleges and Universities. This is an exciting opportunity to solve an outstanding issue in Moodle, which has previously limited the potential of open badges across the platform.

The Role

The plugin will: Snook & Borders College will support the design, user requirements and testing. Time is of the essence! The plugin needs to be operational by end of May 2016. Ideally you would be available to start in March and will take full responsibility for the development and reporting of progress to the Project Lead.

Skills and abilities


Application details

Is this a challenge you can take on and make a difference in the lives of students? We want to hear from you. Email us at jobs@wearesnook.com with the subject title “Badgemaker Developer” with a CV or portfolio of development. [post_title] => Moodle plugin developer wanted [post_excerpt] => We’re looking for a talented Moodle developer to create a user-friendly Open Badge Moodle plugin. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => developer-wanted [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=10682 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [71] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 10645 [post_author] => 18 [post_date] => 2016-02-24 14:04:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-02-24 14:04:39 [post_content] => We have a keen interest in applying service design to further education and, in particular, student journeys. Up and down the country, we have met educators committed to seeing their students succeed and support them in any way they can. We have met students striving to reach their goals and others struggling to see the point of it all.


Three challenges have come back over and over again:  

Living in the moment

Unfortunately, there is no magic wand. Just hard work and step-by-step improvements to help students see where their experience fits in the bigger picture: where they’re coming from and where they’re heading. Once we have achieved something, it can be hard to remember how we felt beforehand, but there’s an added complexity for young people who struggle to project themselves into the future. Not all are able to see how doing well at College will help them get an interesting job.

My learning journey

Open Badges capture and visualise this learning journey, including the invisible learning that goes on inside and outside the classroom. Open Badges are a Mozilla universal standard: Open Badges bring together learners, employers, organisations and decision-makers in the education field.

Badgemaker 2016

At the end of 2015, Snook started a new phase of the Badgemaker project. It is funded by a grant from UFI Charitable Trust and includes Borders College and Dynamically Loaded as project partners. Although the project ends in August 2016, the need for a 3-year plan is emerging. The longer horizon will help us embed change in the College landscape and give us the time necessary to gather impact data. Does helping students visualise their progress throughout their College journey motivate them to stay in education and obtain their qualification? Does helping students and employers work together to identify the skills they need actually have an impact on employability?

Project approach

Continuous research is uncovering insights into what drives or hinders those who use the service and those who provide the service. Only by considering these two points of view at the same time can we design an innovative service that truly delivers value. This leads to co-design, the second core principle. From the onset, sustainability was a priority. We wanted a project that would have a significant and lasting impact. We would try to go beyond a prototype that would require further funding to live on.


Badgemaker is providing new or renewed insights into the potential and difficulties of implementing Open Badges approaches in the Further Education landscape. Here are a couple to begin with and we’ll continue to share as we go along: With Badgemaker II, Snook and Borders College are exploring the idea that designing for the organisation’s journey is key to unlocking the potential of Open Badges. We continue to test our ideas in the real world and see how far we can go. If you would like to contribute to the conversation, we would love to hear from you. Do get in touch: curious@wearesnook.com, read the project blog and join us for the next Open Badge Networking Group on March 17th, 2016. [post_title] => Could we 'badge' the College experience? [post_excerpt] => We have a keen interest in applying service design to further education and, in particular, student journeys. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => badge-college-experience [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=10645 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [72] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9314 [post_author] => 22 [post_date] => 2016-01-23 14:58:45 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-01-23 14:58:45 [post_content] => In 2013, Snook started a project for Open Glasgow and Future City Demonstrator programme. This week, we attended ‘People Make Glasgow Smart’: an event showcasing the progress of the demonstrator and future strategy for the city. Snook’s challenge was to engage citizens in designing a future city together; advocating a culture shift towards a people-centred approach to service redesign and innovation. Today, Open Glasgow is using data to connect the city and redesign services around its citizens: ensuring a better future and quality of life. Here is how:
  1. Think data by default
Public sector mentality needs to change and adapt to a new way of thinking. Glasgow City Council is embracing digital and technology as a natural way of working. Service providers are learning how to approach issues using available datasets, uncover pain points and find opportunities for innovation. “We are data rich and management poor.” Despite the endless availability of rich data sets, the challenge is to develop mindset, skills and technologies to make sense of it all.   
  1. Make data open and accessible
Information is open by default and Glasgow is at the forefront of Open Data movement in the UK. There is an army of people answering freedom of information requests. Glasgow is looking at ways to streamline the process. For example, using digital to automate it, increase efficiency, reduce costs and optimise resources. The challenge is finding the best way to engage with citizens and guide people towards the discovery of the power of data.
  1. Empower citizens with engaging data
“Data and knowledge can be the foundation of the future”. Here is how Open Glasgow is communicating data to citizens with different levels of digital literacy: Dashboard-iPad open glasgow_interactive map  
  1. Combine shared datasets to predict the behaviour of the city
How to enter the system and encourage organisations to share datasets for the greater good? Open Glasgow played the role of a 'Data Dealer': approaching private and public sector organisations to show them mutual benefits of combined datasets and encouraging exchange. Data can generate powerful market insights. Connect stakeholders so they can deliver targeted and proactive services for citizens. For example, combining real time footfall data, road traffic and high street shops traffic allows to predict the 'busyness of the city' and adapt services accordingly. Another example is tracking safe and dangerous parts of the city and analysing related datasets. This can help understand the conditions that lead to the rise of unsafe areas. By doing so, it’s possible to predict where the next dangerous hot-spot will be and act ahead of time to prevent its development. Cross-sector connections and real time analytics can help predict the behaviour of the city and its citizens. This will guide the design of people-focused, future services.
  1. Stimulate innovation with Data
Open Glasgow is on a mission to harness local talent. To think of alternative methods to engage with individuals and organisations. Make of Glasgow a leader in innovation on a global scale. Hackathons for example, have proven to be a great way to foster entrepreneurship. A successful method to push new business development and generate innovative ideas fast. Open Glasgow also focuses on green energy, education and technology. As well as services that can solve citizens issues (employment, housing, commuting etc.) before they arise. Today’s civic engagement strategy brings together public sector, data and academia. Expertise from each sector combined, are the key to research and innovate around cities. An example is Strathclyde University Technology & Innovation Centre: connecting academics and industry to solve challenges in energy, health, manufacturing and other areas. Glasgow will soon be home of a new business accelerator centre, inspired by Google. This will help young, high-growth startups and connect educational institutions across the city. Creating a powerful network of entrepreneurs, business advisors and top facilities. This network, data and citizens will drive innovation for the city. [post_title] => Open Glasgow | 5 ways data can ensure a brighter future for the city [post_excerpt] => In 2013, Snook started a project for Open Glasgow and Future City Demonstrator programme. This week, we attended ‘People Make Glasgow Smart’: an event showcasing the progress of the demonstrator and future strategy for the city. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => data-and-brighter-future [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=9314 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [73] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 19061 [post_author] => 90 [post_date] => 2016-01-21 10:05:49 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-01-21 10:05:49 [post_content] => In the UK, there are no fixed legal requirements about what this consultation process must look like and many of the processes live in people’s heads, with a wide variation of approaches across departments. In June 2016, in partnership with The Democratic Society, we were asked to undertake a six week Discovery sprint to explore how the process of online consultations, as run by central government, could be improved. With a view of providing Government Digital Service (GDS) a recommendation about what to build (or not) and build a solid foundation of research for internal service designers to build on, we set about a series of interviews. Speaking to 60+ people, DemSoc undertook desk research and expert interviews to build up a global picture of best practice. In parallel Snook facilitated two-week long user research sprints with government departments, non-departmental public bodies, expert respondents and the general public.

Mapping the end-to-end experience

Despite the lack of a required format or process for consultation, there is a clear, common model for undertaking online consultations in the UK. What we call the ‘Q&A format’ is primarily based around respondents answering a series of questions in a survey format. Working alongside our research participants, we mapped the end-to-end process. This involved understanding the original motivation for consultation, how the questions were decided and written, right through to the respondents’ interaction and receipt of an output after the consultation has closed.

Capturing the detail

We captured detailed insights into the reality of what was happening at each stage. For example, understanding that some consultations need a lot of sign-offs and looking into the respondent’s desire to understand the reasons behind the requirement to submit particular personal data. Capturing the detail, reality and variety of each stage built a picture of the current process of online consultation.
“Four sign offs on the draft policy, three sign offs on the launch date, including putting it through Number 10...”
At Snook, we are big believers in ‘working live’. Documenting use cases live during the research process allowed us to quickly document the future needs of the users across the process as we began to identify opportunities for improvement on both respondent and creator sides. We found that creators need to split big consultations into sections so that they can direct respondents to sections relevant to them. Respondents also need to be able to see all the questions at once so that they can print them out and share them with their organisation.

The future of consultation

Q&A, while the dominant model in the UK, is just one approach to consultation. With a growing civic tech market, we're seeing examples around the world of alternative models of engagement, from broad ‘ideation’ models in Iceland to more detailed ‘commenting’ approaches in the USA. Adding to this, the prominent finding from the research is that culture plays as much, if not more, of a part than technology. What quickly emerged can be described in the words of Caroline Lucas:
“Digital democracy is not a silver bullet”
The recommendations to GDS, based on our user research, followed a tiered format. What could they do tomorrow but also, what could the future model shape up to be. With DemSoc, we provided a suite of short-term recommendations centered around small changes to the GOV.UK platform. For example, segregating open and closed consultations and listing the full name of a department rather than the abbreviation. Language is as much a part of service design as the process is. Looking at the future, DemSoc’s research into the global landscape revealed a multitude of emerging products and platforms within the civic tech space. Equally, the user research revealed a wide range and differentiation of user needs. The key recommendation that followed was to create an open and extensible core infrastructure into which consultation tools, from in-house or external developers, can be inputted - consequently stimulating the market in this space. This infrastructure should focus on functions common to all consultations such as continuity of communication with respondents, creating and growing an audience for engagement. It should be designed as such that tools for interaction - be that a survey or a space for deliberative discussion - can be embedded easily, allowing for a smoother and more consistent consultation experience. Building on this recommendation, the user research identified that the most common need for civil servants at present is a simple survey module with built-in backend support for government bodies and non-departmental public bodies. With Q&A being the dominant model, and creators currently using a variety of external providers, linking a survey tool into the core consultation infrastructure would answer the needs of a large segment of users while streamlining the experience for respondents and providing guidance for creators. Creating an approach that supports innovation in this sector would enable new and emerging consultation tools to be incorporated quickly into government practice, allowing development of new consultation methodologies - helping us to move towards a more iterative, collaborative and flexible democracy.

Find out more

See the report A PDF version is available here [post_title] => Consulting on consultations for GDS [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => gds-consultations [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-01-21 10:06:01 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-01-21 10:06:01 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wearesnook.com/?p=19061 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [74] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9181 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2016-01-11 15:07:24 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-01-11 15:07:24 [post_content] => We've just got over the indulgence of our festive cheer to take a look back at the year of 2015. This was a particular year of growth for us, with our team spreading out across the country: working up north in Aberdeen, across the East Midlands and in Central London. We opened a new office in London, grew its central HQ in Glasgow to a beautiful new space and notched up some fantastic new collaborations with local authorities, Government Departments and some great private sector service companies. Let's take a run down of our year: quarter by quarter. January – March April – June July – September October – December

January – March


Our project in collaboration with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, funded by the EU Chest gets started. Throughout 2015, we co-delivered our AyeMind service (previously Project99) with 23 partners across Greater Glasgow, Young Scot and the Mental Health Foundation, continuing on into 2016. Our particular favourite moments are the workshops with young people building animated gifs to create content for the service and hearing about our service being used by professionals in the field to find digital tools to use in the mental health field. Dearest Scotland dearest scotland Dearest Scotland, our self-initiated project crowdsourcing letters to the future of Scotland hits the target of £10,000 on Kickstarter with the support of you. We get our first book design underway and partnership with publishers RingWood Publishing. You can purchase the final book here. Creating digital tools for mental health and employment support We continue our research with the Department of Health and Department for Work and Pensions on how digital can support the journey in, out and during employment in relation to positive mental health and wellbeing. In partnership with The Point People, we are re-commissioned to produce follow-up solutions on how the research could be taken forward into products and services by the system. You can read the report below: Culture Shift Athens In partnership with the British Council, we run our 4th Culture Shift, this time in Athens. Alex and Sarah spend three days in the Greek capital running a hack focused on surfacing more grassroots cultural activity in the city. The event is supported by Google and the winners take a trip to Youtube in London. Carr Gomm We complete our 9 month relationship with the fantastic Carr Gomm. We worked inside the agency to actively embed design thinking to improve their innovation capacity and service design. The results created Carr Gomm futures, an in-house research and development unit, which is now actively staffed, and a series of projects where cross sections of the staff came together to research and design new interventions to improve their care delivery. Department for Education In March, we kicked off our 12 month project with the Department for Education, Codesigning Care. Based out of London, we have been working with Affective State, Kent University and the University of Portsmouth. The project explores how technology can support young people in care to stay safe; recognise and manage their emotions and behaviour; and communicate more effectively with practitioners. Glasgow Service Jam Our long time friends, The Global Service Jam, come around again and we run the annual Glasgow leg of the Service Jam. We love running this event where anyone with or without 'design experience' can come together and learn a bit about prototyping, design and have some fun on the side too. Glasgow service jam Innovation Labs Led by Valerie Carr, in partnership with SeeMe, we brought together a great group of people from all over Scotland to work on ideas and projects that help tackle mental health stigma and discrimination. Culture Shift Dubai We run our second Culture Shift of 2015, this time in Dubai at the JamJar. Our wonderful friends at Flux Video produce an amazing video of the weekend.

April – June

Cabinet Office | Designing Social Investment Commissioned by the Cabinet Office and in collaboration with The Point People, we continue our research into the Social Investment sector. Our report captured findings from our design-led research and prototyping project that aimed to find ways to improve the process of seeking and applying for social investment for social ventures. The final report can be found here. Open London office We confirm our London office and get to work on taking over a space in collaboration with Origin Housing Association. In collaboration with The Point People, we open The Interchange: London. Hello London! Snook visits Austria We are kindly invited by the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) to keynote on Social Innovation and how design is considering the total experience of tourism. We talk about the Glasgow Smiles better campaign, and how involving the local community in service delivery can drive results and volunteering in cities. Apps for Good We continue to work with Apps for Good to research their fellows programme. We spend time with young people who have been on their programme, reviewing their experience and looking at the process of the competition. We spend a fantastic evening in Reuters, London, witnessing 11-16 year olds pitch and present their apps for social good. Systems Changers Systems Changers has been a particularly special programme for us in 2015. Working with The Point People and Lankelly Chase, we support the branding and running of this initiative. systems changers Systems Changers is an investment in frontline workers who support people facing severe and multiple disadvantage. The projects enables them to develop their voice, their collective knowledge and their influence on a wider system. We worked with 10 frontline workers up to December this year embedding skills from systems thinking to service design to surface insights on how the system needs to, and can be changed from the perspective of frontline workers. Includem: Now Including Design Keira finishes her 12 month programme with Includem whose one-to-one support model helps young people in creating and sustaining positive changes so that they lead happy and healthy lives. The Transitional Support Service takes young people through the transition from Child Services to adult life and the charity asked Snook to help develop the future of this service. Read more about Keira's experience here. Know How What a year we spent with Broadway Cinema! In collaboration, we ran a £1 million 12 month programme Know How that supported arts, cultural and heritage organisations across the East Midlands to develop design and digital thinking capabilities inside their organisation. We had a brilliant time working with Broadway and the story doesn't end here. know how BFI Cinema Know How kicks off Continuing our work with Broadway, we create Cinema Know How. It aims to deliver a bespoke, forward thinking and open source programme designed around the cinema experience with impact for venues, their audience and culture change. From June onwards, we worked with Broadway to test the programme and then open up the programme to six new cinemas. CycleHack 25 cities We support the running of the second Global Annual CycleHack. CycleHack is a global hack focused on reducing barriers to cycling. This year, it takes place in 25 cities and our friends Maklab and Trakke dive in to support the initiative from our home town in Glasgow. SmartSTEMs Our friends at Seric launch SmartSTEMs: encouraging, involving and inspiring more young people into science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Their first mission in 2015 is to inspire young girls, aged 11-18, to become the great thinkers and creators of tomorrow. Snook's Sarah gave a talk on co-designing a better world in a room full of inspiring young girls in June and even managed to fit in a brilliant Mexican wave! Core 77 Award So, we only go and bag the top award from Core 77 in the Social Impact category for CycleHack. We're honoured, given the other awards went to some of the biggest design agencies, including IDEO.

July – September

Glasgow City Council Website We continue our work with Glasgow City Council to engage citizens in the re-design of their new website. A first for the Council, we directly bring the public into the process, researching their needs from services and relaying this back iteratively week on week to the Council to modify both their user experience and content for their forthcoming new site. Make Things Last (Zero Waste Scotland) We support Zero Waste Scotland and their Make Things Last campaign to run a quick fire hack in our studio to develop new service models for the shared economy. Ideas span from recycling and reusing birthday cards to rent a suitcase models for travelling. TedxPortobello We take part in Tribe Porty's first TedxPortobello: an amazing event we feel lucky to be part of. Our Sarah manages to squeeze her design journey into less than 15 minutes. Sexual Health and Wellbeing report Working with Young Scot and LGBT Youth Scotland last year, we explored young people’s views on sexual health and relationships in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area for the NHS GGC. Young Scot hosted an online survey and all partners were involved in a series of workshops with young people. We worked closely with a core group of young people who acted as peer researchers through The Matter process, producing a newspaper outlining their findings. The results were published and our original report here. Design for health | Sheffield Valerie is invited by Sheffield Hallam University to take the lead of a team at their 24 hour Design Challenge at the 2015 Design4Health conference, organised by Matt Dexter and led by Julia Cassim of Kyoto Design Lab. Revolution Talk at Creative Edinburgh Mornings Sarah gives a new talk entitled 'Revolution' and building movements for our friend Alex Humphrey Baker at Edinburgh's Creative Mornings. Vista Over a four-month period, our Andy and Alex facilitated 5 workshops with Vista: a leading provider of services for blind and partially sighted people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. The initial brief aimed to deliver and support the upskilling and capacity building of staff at Vista by introducing members of the team to design thinking and service design processes. vista New Office and Interchange opens We move! Our team rolls their sleeves up to move us from our humble beginnings on Bath Street to our mammoth new space on Miller Street. We open our co-working and events space which still has space and is open for events at half day and full day rental. the interchange: glasgow Stirling Futures Lab We run a hack focused on Stirling City Centre and the forth coming Culture Plan. On behalf of Forth Valley College, we invite students to build prototypes of what they'd like to see the city centre used for. Society by Design Pecha Kucha In collaboration with Taktal, we run a Pecha Kucha at the Whisky Bond entitled Society by Design. We ask what design means to different sectors of society and how we apply the process to engage citizens in the design of the future. Our very own Valerie and Keira take to the stage.  Better World by Design Sarah is flown out to Providence in the States to join a panel with the Director of Frog and curator at the Moma in NYC under the fine roof of Brown University. We have an amazing time and kudos to the brilliant organising panel who like to dabble in Karaoke too. Dearest Scotland Book Launch at Scotgov What a year for Dearest Scotland. We close the core of the project with an invited exhibition inside Scottish Parliament and book launch in Edinburgh. We're particularly happy when Nicola Sturgeon shows up to grab her copy of the book dressed in the brand colours. And that's it –  Snook's first published book. dearest scotland in parliament Culture Aberdeen We begin an exicitng new project with Aberdeen City Council to support them in engaging citizens and the cultural sector to co-produce a Culture Plan for the city. We launch a Citizens Circle and Culture Circle to support the development of wider public events. We're continuing to run and update Culture Aberdeen here into 2016. Walk Hack walk hack Building on our CycleHack work, we support Sustrans to develop a model to bring interested citizens together to encourage walking in the city. Run by Keira and Sam, they bring together a variety of groups to undertake fast paced research and create design interventions and prototypes for the city. Inspiring City Awards We don't win but at least we're shortlisted for a finalist in the Inspiring City Awards for young business person of the year. The whole team join the evening and our Eve wins selfie of the evening (she does do communications after all!) Whose Round Freshers Weeks Our work from 2014 continues on in 2015 as we deliver our Alcohol Awareness work for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. During September, our busiest period kicks off, spending time at Fresher Festivals collecting Dear Alcohol stories from new students. We will be publishing these in 2016. dear alcohol Innovative Learning Week | Edinburgh University We work with our friends at Edinburgh University to co-design a hack pack and model for rethinking events at the annual Innovative Learning Week. Aye Mind Gif Workshops Lets chat about mental health AyeMind continues to grow over 2015 and we run a host of workshops with young people to create animated GIFs for the Aye Mind site. London Design Festival Launch We take part in London Design Festival and Emma opens up our London base to talk about Snook and Service Design. We co-host with Jon Foster of Origin Housing Association, Settle and The Point People.

October – December

Unusual Suspect festival Social Innovation Exchange (SIX) from the Young Foundation bring their conference up North and Snook support in designing the host tools, opening up our new studio as Café during the festival. Over 600 people engaged with the Festival across the city. #UnusualGlasgow was supported by the Big Lottery Fund Scotland, Nesta, and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Rebase Dublin Our friends at Rebase, Dublin kindly invite Sarah over for a flying visit to talk about social innovation and design. BadgeMaker We're awarded a Vocational Learning and Technology fund by the UFI charitable trust to continue the work on BadgeMaker we began in 2013. BadgeMaker will allow young people to display a range of skills that build upon traditional qualifications. As educators and businesses devise their own badges, we're expanding the ways in which young people can personalise their learning. Badges act as a digital form of validation that can be shared with educators and future employers. We're excited to be working in partnership with Borders College and Dynamically Loaded to bring this to life in 2016.  Promoting Change Network We work with Lankelly Chase again to run a two-day Promoting Change Network event in Birmingham with 150 people. We come together to discuss actions we can take to create a supportive, trusting and relationship-based approach to end severe and multiple disadvantage. The groups create 14 projects for taking forward in the New Year to drive a movement around equality and people facing severe and multiple disadvantage. promoting change network National Galleries of Scotland We run a project with National Galleries of Scotland and pupils from James Gillespie High School in Edinburgh to design interactive media concepts to promote the gallery to their peers. Students took part in workshops, designed in collaboration with us, thinking about what they might want to gain from looking at modern art in a gallery setting. The aim of the project was for the students to come up with ideas for a digital resource, using the exhibition as inspiration, and to learn about digital career possibilities within the creative industries. Read more about the project here and the outputs here. Fife Council We run a hack focusing on the future of the digital work force with Fife Council. This is a first step into this practice for the Council. Hosted in collaboration with Microsoft, we work for a day with staff from different departments to design new initiatives around what the future workforce needs to meet the needs of service users in the future. Domino Letting We work with our friends at Domino Letting to document their end to end processes. We love working with local business and supporting them to become more efficient and customer-centric in what they do. We create a new service manual for the letting agency and a digital Wiki to continuously update and find work processes for all new and existing staff. Home Care We continue to work on a new online Home Care service. We undertake research with UK citizens and their families to research the feasibility of buying home care online and design a service model for integrating care providers, council direct payments and service users all into one journey. The final alpha product is being built now for testing in 2016 which we'll be supporting. Service Design for Uni Training Working with our long time collaborator, Jean Mutton of Go Process Design, we deliver our final training sessions in Service Design for Universities. This year, we've worked with SROC and self-hosted the training in our own Interchange. Expect more of this in 2016. Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park win award Our friends over at Loch Lomond only go and bag themselves an award from Scottish Government for Our Live Park, an initiative that Snook supported back in 2014 to improve the engagement with the local community in the Main Issues Report. Congratulations team! Andy in Poland Our Andy heads over to Krakow to present at #WDKRK on design innovation. He gets over 150 people playing with play-doh and delivers a stellar talk. New Brand Over 2015, with a growing a team and getting our studio move underway, we slowly developed a new brand. You'll see from some of our open blog postings, it's really tough to make the time to service design yourself. We're going for the soft launch approach, you may have seen elements of it appearing across our platforms but we're awfully proud of our new logo and brand. snook logo Keep your eyes peeled for our new website in 2016.

What can you expect in 2016?

There are some big new projects in the pipeline that we can't quite announce yet but will be coming to your inbox shortly in 2016. We're continuing to support CycleHack in 2016 and will be helping them get over the line of 70 cities this year. We're going to be running our own training on service design and sector specific training: from health to cultural sector. With over 7 years experience designing services and 150 projects under our belt, we don't just bring the textbooks and methods but case studies and stories of how it works in the real world. So, cheers and here's to a brilliant 2016! [post_title] => 2015 | A year in review [post_excerpt] => We opened a new office in London, grew its central HQ in Glasgow to a beautiful new space and notched up some fantastic new collaborations. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => snook-2015 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=9181 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [75] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9179 [post_author] => 16 [post_date] => 2015-12-18 14:47:26 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-12-18 14:47:26 [post_content] => Snook has teamed up with James Gillespie’s High School and National Galleries of Scotland to co-create digital outputs to engage young people in the 20th Century Masterpieces of Scottish and European Art. Snook took 60 James Gillespie students to the National Galleries of Scotland, for a taste of the digital sessions to come. The team 9 of these students founded a creative team which they named Urban Jungle. Supported by Snook, they have been generating ideas around the exhibition creating videos, gifs and prototypes. The students have been rapidly picking up digital skills along the way. Here are the 2 of the videos showing the ideas produced by Urban Jungle. Two more Urban Jungle videos will be available online soon. Connecteen Art Connecteen Art from Urban Jungle on Vimeo. ‘An app that helps young people understand art; by using other young people’s reviews.’ Making Art Different Making Art Different from Urban Jungle on Vimeo. ‘People have a digital screen that has the art displayed on it. If they think that the art can be improved they can choose to change the art style that they think is more suitable.’ My Life laurie_lambrecht_01 ‘A video about the life of an artist. This will be conveyed visually and will have voiceovers. Accessible through social media and YouTube. ‘ Be Roki 23643734951_159782cffe_o ‘Be Roki is a digital guestbook where people can leave comments, feelings and thoughts about a particular piece. Other people will be able to see these comments and this will mean they can think about the piece in a way they might not have before.’   Urban Jungle presented these ideas to National Galleries of Scotland. The students, the gallery staff, and Snook all voted for BeRoki, the interactive comments board, to be taken forward. Here’s what the students had to say about BeRoki:
BeRoki is a fun and interactive programme designed for and by young people. We believe it offers a new, exciting way to engage with art and provides a different perspective and a fresh way of looking and thinking about art works within National Galleries of Scotland. Using digital technologies, we’ve created a programme which allows active participation in art.
This quote is from the students about the wider project:
We think this has been a fun experience for us. We have learned a lot.
Urban Jungle are now working towards making BeRoki available on the National Galleries of Scotland website for young people to be inspired by. Watch this space.   [post_title] => Youth creating digital ways to experience National Galleries of Scotland [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => national-galleries-scotland [to_ping] => [pinged] => https://vimeo.com/149320459 [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=9179 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [76] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9448 [post_author] => 18 [post_date] => 2015-11-26 10:37:14 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-11-26 10:37:14 [post_content] => Following a first prototype in 2013/14, Snook has received a grant from the UFI Charitable Trust to continue the development of BadgeMaker. The project aims to develop the marketplace for Open Badges, which has not been achieved yet amongst educational stakeholders. Our objectives: To deliver this project, Snook has partnered with Borders College and Dynamically Loaded. Borders College are early adopters of Open Badges for their staff’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD). They are keen to explore how badges can benefit learners in terms of motivation, retention and employability through learning and banking their new skills. Dynamically Loaded brings to the project their experience on business model innovation and scaling technology platforms, designing and developing data platforms and educating on creativity. Snook are experts in co-design and creative methods that bring the design process to life to undertake research in user needs for digital builds. Before the digital build we will work through ideal user journeys with learners and also educators and employers to understand how the technology can fit into their lives. To reach all stakeholders with an interest in Open Badges, BadgeMaker has launched a Quaterly Open Badge Networking Group. If you are interested in Open Badges, don’t hesitate to get in touch: curious@wearesnook.com [post_title] => BadgeMaker 2015 Launch [post_excerpt] => Following a first prototype in 2013/14, Snook has received a grant from the UFI Charitable Trust to continue the development of BadgeMaker. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => open-badges-2015 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=9448 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [77] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9154 [post_author] => 13 [post_date] => 2015-11-09 12:24:22 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-11-09 12:24:22 [post_content] => As part of Architecture & Design Scotland's DECADE – a series of talks on architecture and design celebrating their 10th year – Keira, alongside Dr James White, lecturer in Urban Design at Glasgow University and Cathy McCulloch of Children's Parliament, presented and delivered a workshop for their "Participate" event. The following copy appears in the publication which will serve as the final output of the DECADE series. “Participation” carried out with honest intentions and appropriate resource, can generate a far more impactful and long lasting legacy than mere consultation. Co-production, co-design, collaboration – or any other “co” term you might wish to mention – used effectively and transparently, allows the end user to play a significant role in the design of their environment. Thus, solutions answer the needs of their intended audience. Additionally, the process builds trust and understanding between decision makers and the public. Ultimately this will ensure the long term success and viability of any project. Great in principle – but there are some pitfalls to avoid and barriers to be overcome. Here are four points to consider: 1) Who? Consider the stakeholders – intended users, the wider community, professional staff,  decision makers etc. Engaging a broad range of individuals from these groups can prove tricky; frustrating even. Participation is a process which asks an investment of personal time and energy. We designers need to reduce barriers to a minimum. Take the work to potential participants. Offer the chance to engage at a variety of levels. Day long workshops, one off encounters, multiple times, digitally, face to face, by post, in public and private spaces, remotely etc. We must seek involvement from the unusual suspects – not just the loudest voices. We must be confident that the insights and opportunities we are identifying do more than scratch the surface. Go beyond listening to voices – support users and providers to show you how issues might be overcome. Use this opportunity to build a supportive community around your project for the long-term. 2) Why? Why are you engaging people? What is their role? How can this impact on outcomes? Give a clear purpose for involvement. Establish this in participants minds before engagement and reiterate throughout. We should aim to be transparent about goals and processes. Participants must see that they are a vital and active piece of the puzzle. In addition – are there skills they will develop through working with you? How can you highlight and support this? 3) How? Design is an evolutionary process. Co-production can not be achieved through a solitary workshop or event. Exercises which ask communities to approve decisions already taken are manipulative. It is not enough to engage communities only as research. Instead, lead participants through the full design process allowing them to contribute to it. We must do more than placate users and clients alike. Look beyond providing a platform for complaints. Create an atmosphere which draws on assets, allowing ideas to be born and flourish. 4) And then? You engaged a wide range of participants. They were respected as experts in their own right and actively led through a design process. But what will happen next? When? What barriers stand in the way of a particular idea? Set clear expectations for your participants. They must see the bigger picture, see why certain decisions are taken or why their ideas might not appear as part of the final outcome. Without this follow-up you will create a disengaged, disenfranchised audience who wont be so quick or willing to participate again. Participative processes are labour intensive, time consuming, resource heavy and expensive. Why subject yourself, your colleagues, your clients to this? Carried out with respect for participants, honestly, with a clear strategy for outcomes and further actions – co-production delivers more than just a comprehensive solution which meets the needs of your users. Users will understand, respect and be invested in the process you undertook to develop your outcome together. The community of participants built around your project and the extended community surrounding them will also take ownership of and embrace the final outcome far into the future. In the long-term, nothing can be more cost-effective than that. [post_title] => Participatory design: who, why, how? [post_excerpt] => “Participation” carried out with honest intentions and appropriate resource, can generate a far more impactful and long lasting legacy than [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => start-participatory-design [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=9154 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [78] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9118 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2015-09-25 12:03:38 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-09-25 12:03:38 [post_content] => I’m off to Better World By Design this year, for the second time in Providence, Rhode Island. I have to say, after my visit two years ago it was one of the best conferences I've ever been to.  Not just because it is split between the splendour of Brown University’s Campus and Rhode Island School of Design’s building but the way it is run, the content and most importantly the people. In 2013 I had the pleasure of being welcome by Isobel Whitney and this year Cole Moore has been looking after me over Skype sessions. Put together by students, they go the extra mile to make you feel welcome and ensure as a speaker you are well prepared to fit the agenda they are pursuing.  I really appreciate this as a speaker when the effort is made to go through the theme, the focus and intended impact of the event. I’ve no idea what’s in store this year but last year I had the pleasure of meeting retired soldiers working with Whole Foods, take part in a Hip Hop Design class and explore new technologies for crafting 3D products. I’m also impressed with their efforts to make this as sustainable an effort as possible.  Everyone is provided with reusable cutlery, we bring our own water bottles and they encourage using bikes to get around. They are using People’s Power & Light (PP&L)’s New England Wind program to power the event, offering the opportunity to offset your carbon footprint and working with a local student initiative to compost on site. These details are tough to remember when organising a conference of this scale over three days with multiple venues.  I take my hat off to the organising committee of 2015. You guys rock. So this year we’re focusing on democracy and design and the theme of access.  I’ll be talking alongside Frog Design and MOMA (NYC) on citizen participation and how design can play a role in civic life. I want to talk about the importance of surfacing creativity in all of us and providing these opportunities in our communities and civic landscape. In 2013 I closed the conference talking about the ‘concept’ of Dearest Scotland and how we were seeking to pursue our wee project of citizen letters to the future.  This year I return with the draft copy of the book to share with friends from the event, it feels like a real achievement of Lauren, Cat and I to bring this into fruition and a reminder for me that it’s good to share ideas with others,there’s something quite beautifully nerve wracking saying in front of an audience that you’re going to do something.  It holds you to account and makes your thoughts real. I also get to catch up with Andy Cutler, our magical over seas friend who keeps us smiling with his support from across the pond for Snook and Dearest Scotland.  I can’t wait to meet you again and share a beer - check out Andy’s Smarter Cities Unite, I feel like Providence and Glasgow have a unique connection because of him. If you’re interested in this diverse conference keep up with it this weekend on twitter at #BWxD15 [post_title] => Better World By Design [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => better-world-by-design [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=9118 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [79] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9114 [post_author] => 21 [post_date] => 2015-09-24 12:00:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-09-24 12:00:56 [post_content] => The Interchange: London opened its doors to visitors this week with the industry launch in conjunction with London Design Festival (LDF) and more specifically, the newly emerging service design arm of LDF. We kept the evening an informal affair – perch chats rather than slide decks, with brief intros from some of the awesome people working at the office followed by a few drinks and a few chats. We kicked things off with a brief history lesson from Origin Housing's Jon, setting the bar high with tales from times gone by and introducing The Interchange: London. Now establishing a growing base in London, we then heard exciting news about Snook's recent work outside of their Scottish homeland followed by a closer look at one of their current London projects, Codesigning Care. Cassie of The Point People discussed networked working and her work on Systems Changers, closely followed by Katie from Settle. Fresh out of the Year Here programme, Settle was developed to build the skills of young people moving into independent living. We're excited to keep you updated as The Interchange: London begins to explore design within communities but in the meantime, thanks to everyone who made it along and special thanks to Katie for the amazing canapés. Spark and Mettle, we missed you!   [post_title] => The Interchange: London says hello [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-interchange-says-hello [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=9114 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [80] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9111 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2015-09-21 11:59:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-09-21 11:59:31 [post_content] => The Unusual Suspects Festival is a three-day festival of ideas, solutions and debates exploring what happens when social innovation meets collaboration and how together we can meet some of society's most pressing challenges.

The Unusual

With over 20 events and 35 different partners, the Festival will bring together the 'unusual suspects' from across the world. The aim is to connect people working within the field of social innovation, who wouldn't necessarily identify as 'innovators'.

The Festival

From Wednesday, 7th October – Friday, 9th October there will be a variety of sessions happening throughout Glasgow. We're helping in the design and content of the festival.

Snook Café

We'll be hosting Snook Café – open doors here at our new events space, The Interchange: Glasgow, on the Thursday and Friday of the festival. This will act as a central hub for the festival. Time: 10.00 – 19.00 Date: Thursday, 8th October – Friday, 9th October Location: 84 Miller Street, 4th Floor More information is coming soon! Wondering what the festival schedule is? Check it out here. Keep updated on Twitter #UnusualGlasgow.   [post_title] => The Unusual Suspects Festival [post_excerpt] => A three-day festival of ideas, solutions and debates exploring what happens when social innovation meets collaboration. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-unusual-suspects-festival [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=9111 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [81] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9078 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2015-08-27 14:48:11 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-08-27 14:48:11 [post_content] => This week, after five years of working on the top floor of 151 Bath Street, we're moving to 84 Miller Street, just a hop, skip and a jump from Glasgow's George Square. There have been many memories made in this wee hideaway above the Butterfly & the Pig pub and Tea Rooms – from projects started and delivered, to conversations and collaborations with brilliant people across all ages. We’ll miss our garden roof top and sitting working in the sunshine (occasionally that is as we’re all familiar with Glasgow weather) and having lunches together as a team. We'll return to visit our friends over at the Butterfly & the Pig – those teas and cakes we’ve had at The Tea Rooms and team gatherings over a drink at the pub came in very handy over the years. Much appreciation goes to all the staff at the Butterfly & the Pig for all their support over the years, putting on our Christmas parties, bringing champagne to celebrate birthdays, piling up our receipts when we forget to pay the coffee bills and so on... And huge thanks to all of you who came to visit us in our quirky wee studio. We all know the three flights of stairs to the penthouse studio became a long-running joke after a while.. But things change, all good things come to an end, so they say, and now it's time for us to move onwards and upwards. Since 2010, the year settled in Bath Street, we've doubled in staff numbers, and tripled and quadrupled in size as a company in terms of turnover. From a team of two to one of 13 Snooks, it’s now time to move into a new space that can house us all, with a bit more space on top. While moving day is upon us, keep your eyes peeled to our blog and social media channels for news of our launch and forthcoming events in the new space. You wouldn't want to miss our studio warming party, would you?

Come Say Hi

or send presents at.. 84 Miller Street 4th Floor Glasgow G1 1DT

Phone Number

Same as it ever was 0141 258 7644   [post_title] => Who said moving studios was stressful? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => were-moving [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=9078 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [82] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9075 [post_author] => 21 [post_date] => 2015-08-26 10:46:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-08-26 10:46:18 [post_content] =>
Snook is currently working from The Interchange on an innovation project project exploring how digital technology can help support young people in care. The Codesigning Care project, funded by the DfE is the first of it's kind in the UK and Snook are excited to be involved.
Snook are currently about a third of the way through the project and are now at the point of defining opportunity areas. During the next month we will be working side by side with young people to explore and develop concepts for their new digital service.
[post_title] => Codesigning Care [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => codesigning-care-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=9075 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [83] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9071 [post_author] => 21 [post_date] => 2015-08-26 10:44:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-08-26 10:44:33 [post_content] =>
The interchange would like to introduce Emma. Emma is a service designer working with Snook. Snook's London office is based out of The Interchange and Emma has been manning the ship since we were painting walls and laying floors.
Emma's background is in graphic design with stints in New Zealand and the UK as a packaging designer, brand designer and strategist. Since her move back to the homeland she has been snapped up by Snook to work full time on an exciting new innovation project to explore how digital technology can help support young people in care. You can read more about the project here.
[post_title] => Introducing Emma [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => introducing-emma-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=9071 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [84] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 8177 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2015-07-05 13:12:04 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-07-05 13:12:04 [post_content] => Working with Young Scot and LGBT Youth Scotland last year, we explored young people’s views on sexual health and relationships in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area for the NHSGGC. Young Scot hosted an online survey and all partners were involved in a series of workshops with young people. We worked closely with a core group of young people who acted as peer researchers through The Matter process, producing a newspaper outlining their findings. The Matter | Sexual Health NHSGGC have published a summary of our work alongside other research into young people’s sexual health – you can read it here. [post_title] => The Matter | Sexual Health and Wellbeing in Glasgow [post_excerpt] => NHSGGC have published a summary of our work alongside other research into young people’s sexual health – you can read it here. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-matter-sexual-health [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=8177 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [85] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 8113 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2015-07-02 12:43:25 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-07-02 12:43:25 [post_content] => Innovative Learning Week (ILW) is the University of Edinburgh’s festival of creative learning which takes place in mid-February each year. Currently in its fourth year, it is a week-long programme which gives staff and students an opportunity to learn in new ways. We're currently working with ILW in refreshing and rethinking their strategy and here's how our first meeting went in their own words.
I had a great first meeting with Snook to start rethinking ILW more as a programme of events throughout the year which support, inspire, and celebration innovation and learning. We began the day by doing a stakeholder analysis of the landscape around ILW. It’s an incredibly complex project with numerous different stakeholders and expectations. It was great to be able to discuss it with someone from outside of University community. From there we started a service blueprint which is ‘an operational tool that describes the nature and the characteristics of the service interaction in enough detail to verify, implement and maintain it.’ You can read more about it here.
ILW blueprint
It’s incredibly useful because it not only maps out the actions, touchpoints, resources, and opportunities (all different colour post-its, of course) – but it requires you to see each step from the ‘back end’ and the ‘front end’ and the relationship between the two. The service blueprint helped us understand how we could better communicate the process and support those different target audiences – including our very special event coordinators! Throughout the day we collected questions and opportunities around innovation and learning which I’m really looking forward to exploring further throughout July.
ILW blueprint
Snook’s process is underpinned by co-creating solutions and concepts with the people who will interact with or deliver the service. They lay a strong emphasis on ethnographic research to understand user behaviour and the context in which they are designing for. We want to be sure we are designing and delivering something that is relevant to our community and which works well for all involved, even those that aren’t directly involved in the events! Snook will be spending July interviewing stakeholders from the spectrum of involvement in ILW to date in addition to facilitating a design workshop at the end of the month. Snook’s Keira and Sam will be supporting ILW at this hands-on workshop in which we will explore the process surrounding ILW, any barriers to this and potential solutions to overcome these. We will also take a look at potential tools which might further support the design and execution of successful events across the programme. An innovative approach to the design of Innovative Learning Week.
Follow the process on their blog, Twitter and Facebook Post and imagery are courtesy of ILW.   [post_title] => Service Blueprint of Innovation Learning Week [post_excerpt] => We're currently working with ILW in refreshing and rethinking their strategy and here's how our first meeting went in their own words. Reblog from ILW. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => service-blueprint-of-ilw [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=8113 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [86] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 8040 [post_author] => 19 [post_date] => 2015-06-30 15:30:01 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-06-30 15:30:01 [post_content] => I never thought I would be setting foot on Scottish soil, let alone spend three incredible months as a Snook design intern. So what brought this budding Canadian designer all the way across the pond?

The short answer: My passion for Service Design and Snook.

The long answer? Watch my #marieforsnookster application video here.

At the beginning of February this year, I hopped on a plane from Vancouver to Glasgow and began my Snookster journey soon after. The moment I stepped into the studio, I was thrown in at the deep end of the waters. I was assigned to multiple projects and learnt how to swim right off the bat. From projects in Service Design and User Experience (UX) to Branding and Visual Design to Research and Workshop Facilitation, I am growing as a designer everyday. One of my favourite things about Snook is the diverse nature of projects I am involved with, which require various skills and challenge my thought process. My highlights during these three months include:   My biggest achievement at Snook has been my work on AyeMind, a platform for encouraging positive approaches to youth wellbeing, where I helped design the logo, branding guidelines, web mockups and the user experience. We developed the visual language and imagery centred around young people with a bright and fresh look and feel. I worked with developers to translate the mockups into a live working website. It was amazing to see Ayemind come together and I realised my own strengths, capabilities and what I could improve on through this project. Along with great projects, I work with great people at Snook. I feel at home with these amazing individuals whom I can also call my friends. I still remember the Scottish lunch everyone helped organise during my second week here. It was a feast of Scottish flavours from haggis bagels, tablet, macaroons, shortbread, haggis-flavoured crisps and the infamous Irn Bru. Just like my work as an intern, I was able to try a variety of new things all at once alongside my Snook family. The #marieforsnookster journey came to a close at the end of April. The first of June marked my full-time return to Snook where I have been working on Dearest Scotland’s book design and editing a recap video for CycleHack Glasgow. I look forward to contributing to the next phase of AyeMind and Whose Round, and for the many Snook adventures that lie ahead. Who knew that a Canuck would do just fine in the land of Scots after all. [post_title] => From Beavers to Unicorns, From Poutine to Haggis [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => from-beavers-to-unicorns-from-poutine-to-haggis [to_ping] => [pinged] => https://vimeo.com/121604119 [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=8040 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [87] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7970 [post_author] => 17 [post_date] => 2015-06-25 11:55:57 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-06-25 11:55:57 [post_content] => I’m Keir McCluskey, a product design engineer by day and an all round graphic designing, event organising, social media marketing and CycleHacking superhero the rest of the time. Yeah, OK, maybe I’m overselling myself a wee bit, but people might Google my name and find this blog post so… TAKING A SECOND LOOK Let me tell you about my Adopt an Intern journey. When I first saw the advert for this job, I was in a mid-exam-studying panic and after the briefest glance over it, and seeing the dreaded words “social media marketing”, I cast it aside. This phrase tends to conjure up dark images of an intern sitting on Twitter trying to meet posts-per-day quotas and engagement figures. But oh my, how wrong I was, in every way possible. I am so thankful that my need to constantly procrastinate during exam time made me take a second look over it. THE STARS HAD ALIGNED I had heard of CycleHack before but must confess I didn’t know much about Snook. After looking into them, it became immediately clear that these guys were about what I was about. They believed in driving forward positive change with the power of design and this aligns with all I hope to achieve in my future career. I also very conveniently happen to be a cycling, hacking and making enthusiast. It seemed like the stars had aligned on this one and brought me the perfect internship. At this stage I didn’t care what the job was, they could have employed me to make the tea for them and I would have accepted. I just wanted to be involved in this company and play my small part in helping CycleHack change the world. With only 24 hours until the deadline, I took one full day off studying to do the perfect application and then crossed my fingers. One week later I had a very pixelated Skype interview and the following week I’d found out I got the job. Coincidentally, this was the same day as my exams finished. Good fortune and buses alike. None for ages, then it all comes at once. GETTING STUCK INTO ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING When I got to the office on my first day and had a meeting with Sarah it became clear that my role would be in no way like the nightmare scenario I had initially pictured. In fact, it seemed like I would be getting stuck into absolutely everything which was really exciting. I mean yes, there was the daily running of the Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, but this almost acted as filler activity between other amazingly varied tasks. I devised and implemented a marketing plan to promote the Glasgow event, coordinated all information from Glasgow HQ with global organisers across 4 continents in 26 locations, sourced equipment, beer and prizes to ensure we delivered an amazing event and even got to use my graphic design abilities to produce signage, tickets, information packs and facilitation tools that would be used by people all over the world. Amazing. Keir and Charlotte SO MUCH TO LEARN In the short time that I was an intern here I learned a vast amount, both about professional working practices and also *CLICHE ALERT* about myself. On the surface, I learned the practical side of event organisation like putting together extensive planning documents and subsequently implementing them in a tight time frame. Even organising volunteers, local stakeholders and coordinating with 26 other global organisers. I had never been involved in organising anything of this scale before and to be handed this level of responsibility really challenged me to achieve more. This internship truly gave me confidence in my ability to deliver under pressure and to prioritise my workload successfully. I feel in myself a new found confidence in my own abilities and also a drive and passion to use my skills to change the world. A POST-IT NOTE CLAD MAC HAVEN, STRONG COFFEE, GREAT BANTER AND AMAZINGLY TALANTED PEOPLE I had an amazing time working on CycleHack within the Snook offices. The energy, vibrancy and skills of my fellow coworkers was truly inspiring on a daily basis. I’ve never really worked in this kind of professional design environment before but it pretty much lived up to every expectation: a post-it note clad mac haven, of strong coffee, great banter and amazingly talented people. I should give a special mention to Charlotte at Snook for co-organising CycleHack Glasgow with me. Her constant positive outlook and ability to complete any task I could in half the time to double the quality helped make my whole internship a great experience and CycleHack the funnest thing I’ve ever been involved with. A big thanks to everyone at Snook for squeezing me into your wee office, making me feel so welcome and for all giving up your weekend to make CycleHack Glasgow a massive success. Keir and Charlotte The highlight for me was seeing all that hard work finally coming together. When I saw everyone begin CycleHacking something just clicked and I would say that it was at that moment that I finally got “it”. It’s very difficult to explain, but to witness such diverse people collaborating in a dynamic and positive way still truly astounds me. When I then expand what we were achieving on a local level in Glasgow to 25 other locations in the world, it’s something pretty special and it’s amazing to have played my part in it. 'SNOOKIFY' ALL MY FUTURE PROJECTS So with CycleHack done and my internship drawing to a close it is time for me to find something else useful to do with my free time, design abilities and new skills. As I already said, it’s my ambition in life to bring about positive change in the world by applying my skills as a designer to a wide variety of scenarios. With that in mind, I will be returning to my other love apart from cycling which is the environment, in my role as Biodiversity Promoter at the University of Glasgow. Keep a look out for some exciting new developments in biodiverse gardening, community gardening and beekeeping happening around the university campus. I’ll use everything I’ve learned about time management, event organisation and collaborative working to bring a little bit of Snook to all my future projects in this area. In September, I’ll return to do my Masters year of Product Design Engineering at the Glasgow School of Art and I’m quite sure it will be the hardest year of my life. I’m sure that I will in someway “Snookify” my final year project and ensure I apply their immensely user driven design ethos to everything I do. Cyclehack Glasgow I’d also like to put a shout out to Sarah as she has been amazing and really supported me throughout my entire internship. To witness someone with such a clear vision for what they do that pursues it with such positive energy has been amazing. I would really like to run my own business one day and to work beside someone as ambitious, productive and friendly as Sarah, seeing the way she operates on a daily basis, has been truly inspiring. Well, that all turned into a bit of an emotional love in, so I guess I’ll just sign off by saying: I wish Snook all the best in the future. I have no worries about you though, you are a talented team with an amazing leader. Keep changing the world guys. [post_title] => A Story of a Cycling, Hacking and Making Enthusiast [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => keir-journey [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:09:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:09:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=7970 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [88] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7847 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2015-06-24 15:32:24 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-06-24 15:32:24 [post_content] => Having just wrapped up Know How, an ERDF and Arts Council England funded knowledge transfer programme building design thinking and digital capacity in the arts cultural and heritage sector across the East Midlands, Snook are delighted to be back working with Broadway again on a new project. Cinema Know How is a co-designed service design programme specifically for the film exhibition sector, a UK first. It aims to deliver a bespoke, forward thinking and open source programme designed around the cinema experience that delivers impact for venues, their audience and supports organisational culture change. We're currently piloting the programme with a staff team from Broadway through to September 2015, with the refined programme then being offered to a group of six hub members thereafter. Keep an eye on #CinemaKnowHow and our blog for updates on the project. [post_title] => Cinema Know How [post_excerpt] => Cinema Know How is a co-designed service design programme specifically for the film exhibition sector, a UK first. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => cinema-know-how [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=7847 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [89] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7716 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2015-05-29 08:48:16 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-05-29 08:48:16 [post_content] =>  
  1. Test your skills in the real world
  2. Brainstorm like never before
  3. Try researching against the clock
  4. Tackle a wicked problem
  5. Experiment with new technologies
  6. Build things
  7. Learn to use open data
  8. Experiment with service design
  9. Discover design tools
  10. Develop your business skills
  11. Learn to pitch ideas
  12. Give public speaking a go (if you want!)
  13. Speed light prototyping
  14. Test your idea with real people
  15. Brush off on your team skills
  16. Develop leadership skills
  17. Network with people with different or similar expertise
  18. Boost your Linkedin profile
  19. Meet your future employers
  20. Discover a new passion
  21. Got a great idea? Turn into a start-up
  22. Make friends
  23. Have fun
  24. Get inspired!
  25. And ... did we mention great prizes?
  Culture Shift             GSJGlasgow jam-jump   Want to add your reasons to join a hack? Tweet us #WhyHack   If you're itching to get involved in a Hack now, we have a few upcoming events: - CycleHack 2015, kindly sponsored by Sustrans - Stirling Futures Not convinced yet? We have a brilliant example of how powerful a small idea can be: Penny in Yo' Pants! This Hack was born during the Cyclehack 2014 event in Glasgow and has reached more than 3.4 million people around the globe so far! The idea is simple – a rubber band and a penny make skirts bikeable. After the Hack, the team started to further develop and prototype their idea, and are currently working to translate this into a business. Watch this brilliant TEDx talk to find out more about the lessons they've learnt. [post_title] => 25 Reasons to Join a Hack! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => 25-reasons-to-join-a-hack [to_ping] => [pinged] => https://vimeo.com/98808131 [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=7716 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [90] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7642 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2015-05-14 15:47:36 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-05-14 15:47:36 [post_content] =>
We are excited to introduce Emma Parnell who joined our team last month. We asked her to tell us more about herself over a *virtual* cup of coffee:
Thank you! It's super to be here. Ok, here goes: in the world of work, I trained as a graphic designer (a few years ago now) at Northumbria University. I then spent 3 years working as a packaging designer in London before deciding it was time for an adventure. That's when I packed my bags and moved to New Zealand! I spent 4 years over there and loved it! I travelled round almost all of the country including taking a convertible around the South Island and a camper van to the first place to see the sunrise in the world. I started writing for design magazines and I learnt to hula hoop!
At this point, we were exremely jealous so we changed the topic and asked Emma about work:
Work wise, I clocked up another 2 years as a packaging designer before deciding it was time to branch out. That's when I moved into a strategic role. It was during these 2 years that I discovered the wonderful world of design thinking and service design. I've always been really interested in psychology and getting inside people's heads so this way of working immediately made me happy!
After a 3 month jaunt around South America, I am now back in the UK and excited to have found the lovely people at Snook. Other things that make me happy include: travel, sunshine, hiking, The Design Museum (old one while it's still standing), jaffa cakes, swimming, watching Mad Men (only 2 left), making things, yellow VW camper vans, cosy cottages, cosy pubs and tea!
How's your time at Snook been so far? What have you enjoyed the most?
My time at Snook so far has been awesome, as the Kiwis would say! Although I had the opportunity to work on a couple of public sector projects in New Zealand, the bulk of my previous experience has been in the corporate world so the thing I have loved the most has been really 'using my skills for good'. It feels like a whole new world to me and I'm very excited to be a part of it.
Tell us more about the projects you've been involved in and the events you recently attended.
I was hired to work primarily on a DfE funded project, exploring how technology can support young people in care. This has been my focus over the last few weeks. The project is off to a great start and our first workshops with young people are due to kick off in the next few weeks. We'll be working with young people between the ages of 12 and 21 to understand how they currently use technology and what the opportunities are in this space to help keep them safe, help them manage their emotions and behaviour and aid their communication. It's a really exciting project that has great potential so I'm loving it.
I have also attended a couple of great events. My first day was spent at the Age of No Retirement event in Manchester and this week I popped along to the National Co-Production Conference in Scotland hosted by The Co-Production Network. Both events were very inspiring and what a great way to spend my first day at a new job!
Is there something in particular that you're looking forward to?
Ooh so much! I'm looking forward to the official beginning of Snook London, acquiring a desk and a pot to put my sharpies in! I'm looking forward to our first workshops for the DfE project and seeing the opportunities emerge. I'm also very excited to be working with Portsmouth University and Affective State on this project as I know their technical wizardly will be marvellous. Lastly, I'm looking forward to spending more time with the wonderful team at Snook and working together to help make people's lives more awesome!
We are looking forward to seeing more of Emma in the Glasgow office and having Glasgow//London lunch breaks over Skype!
And whilst we are very serious in our business about innovation in the public sector, we also like to show our funny side. So, here's a picture of Emma pretending to be a lemming (because why not?):
[post_title] => Introducing | Emma [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => introducing-emma [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=7642 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [91] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7333 [post_author] => 13 [post_date] => 2015-01-20 14:41:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-01-20 14:41:08 [post_content] => Recently, alongside a team from across Includem, I attended a one day hack event, hosted by IRISS (The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services). The Relationships Matter Jam brought together 5 organisations from across Scotland to explore ways in which young people can continue to be supported as they move away from child, support and care services. In attendance were representatives from Care Visions, Falkirk Council, Hot Chocolate Trust, Includem and Kibble. Includem focused on a barrier that had been identified during the initial phase of our project. When young people exit Includem’s service, they are always reassured that they can still use the Helpline – a service which is available to provide support to young people 24/7. However, experience shows that in practise, young people are reluctant to do this. Even those who have made good use of the Helpline whilst working with Includem fail to use this service after exit. We wanted to understand why this might be, and how Includem can best support young people beyond their initial service delivery, whilst not imposing on the independence (or interdependence) of the young people in question. RMJam1   We were able to bring together a great pool of Includem brain power on this issue: two young people who have been working with Includem in Fife; sister/brother team Alana and Gavin, their Transitional Support worker Kathleen, frontline Core worker in Glasgow Kim, Briege who has been undertaking PhD research with Transitional Support and myself, Keira, Includem’s embedded service designer from Snook. Alana and Gavin had helped me look at this issue during the first phase of our project, and took this opportunity to share and discuss their experience of the issue with the wider group. Fuelled by pastries, tea, coffee and Parma Violets, we delved deeper into what some of the underlying reasons might be that young people are reluctant to pick up the phone at the very moment they need help most. RMJam2 The Jam gave us the opportunity to reach a little deeper into the issue – we began investigating all of the hurdles or aspects of the current system which might be discouraging young people from calling the Helpline. We even spent some time analysing the word “Exit”, which is currently used to describe the disengagement process from Includem. Young people and workers indicated that this word seems very final; “You don’t go back in a door marked ‘Exit’” as one frontline worker put it. RMJam7 In the end, the solution we developed was the same one that had been identified during the first phase of the project; but now we were confident that it really was the most supportive and progressive way of preventing young people from slipping after regular support has stopped. There is a commitment now to offer some young people “Helpline only support” as they exit Includem, on a prototyping basis. As always, they will be able to call the Helpline if they need a little more support, or aren’t sure where else they might find support for a particular issue. Additionally, Includem will commit to a series of call-backs, as necessary to each young person - to check that they are still doing as well as when they exited Includem and to give them reassurance that they can always access the service again if they find that they are slipping back. With one of our team members, Gavin, currently studying acting at college, it was only right that we put our ideas across to the rest of the Jam with a short play, which will be available soon (check back here!) RMJam8 At the end of the day, IRISS also made a commitment to keeping the conversation going between all of the organisations in attendance. Most were concerned with supporting young people after they exit from care or other support services, and recognising the very real relationships young people build with the workers who care for them. A variety of ideas were generated, which lay within a wide range of feasibility and completion. We look forward to learning how these ideas have grown within each organisation over the coming months. RMJam5RMJam4RMJam3 Thanks again to all who attended the event, and to the organisers who kept us filled up with sweets and soup and made it such a success. RMJam9RMJam6 [post_title] => Relationships Matter [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => relationships-matter [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=7333 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [92] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7293 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2015-01-08 00:06:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-01-08 00:06:28 [post_content] => After getting through our inboxes as we started back on Monday and dusting off our post its and setting up our project sprints for a new year, we took a moment to look back on what was a pretty phenomenal 2014 for Snook. What a year we had.  There was some international travelling, a few awards and the launch of in-house ventures we've been sitting on for a few years as well as our continuing to design better services and experiences for people.  
  JANUARY persona_chinese_web Care Information Scotland Phase II We were again invited to work with NHS24 and Scottish Government to help implement the recommendations from our initial service redesign proposals, created in 2013 on Care Information Scotland. The first elements of the new service will go live at end of March 2015 as we've supported the phase by fleshing out a full service blueprint and developing further personas to develop digital use cases.  It's great to see our work being followed up and heading towards implementation on what will be a vital service as more of us take on a caring role both formally and informally in years to come.
  Team Training I lay a big emphasis on ensuring we train our staff well, and with many projects kicking off in 2014 centred on young people, around some particularly sensitive subjects we made sure to equip ourselves.  Thanks to our client Heather Sloan at NHS, as she managed to make us the first group involved in young people's mental health first aid training in Scotland.  
  Loch Lomond and Trossachs We presented our strategy work to Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park which led to the development of the Live Park Campaign across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and online.  What a fantastic, fun and 'roll the sleeves up' bunch the team were to work with, as were under pressure to release their Main Issue Report in the most dynamic and engaging way possible.  They even used lego to discuss planning, appeared on the TV, radio and did the best 'non-pro presenter' walk to camera we've ever seen. Thanks to Anna Maclean for being a star to work with and inviting us to work on the team's brand and strategy.  
  Macmillan Valerie continued our work with Social Value Lab evaluating the impact of the Macmillan Cancer for Glasgow Libraries services, engaging with service users throughout the city and producing feedback boxes for libraries, which Alex worked a fantastic job on.  
  Neilston Going Places 05aa6c8ea55711e389ad0edc7ffa5063_8 We began work with Tom Sneddon, Scottish Government and East Renfrewshire council on supporting ways to engage citizens in the consultation around local plans.  We set up an Open Design Studio in the Neilston Trust and ran a suite of events from lego workshops to community walks and interactive boards to gather opinion and humanise the planning process. We created a feedback platform for the Neilston community, to gather their opinion on the development of the town. One of our favourite moments was when one lady ended up becoming our biggest advocate, even baking us homemade macaroons and raspberry ruffles, delicious! You can find all our Instagram snaps here of our community engagement work.  
  Nigeria Hackathon  Our partnership with British Council continues abroad, this time programming and running our third Culture|Shift in Nigeria. After some dodgy Skypes, we had a plan and Andy travelled to Lagos to work with local innovators, designers and developers to create digital products to stimulate the local cultural economy.  
  Whose Round research completed 
Our Whose Round work with NHS GGC on co-designing an alcohol awareness campaign for young people in Greater Glasgow and Clyde came to an end, bringing together the board, project partners and the young people involved in the research.  We produced a Newspaper in partnership with The Matter of the results highlighting insights across a 'night out,' and what campaigns young people did and didn't like. We presented behaviour research both of offline and online habits to the NHS to inform the development of our campaign for the rest of 2014.        
  Dearest Scotland Launch dearestscotland_letterspread We finally launch Dearest Scotland, a plan in the making since 2011.  We hosted an opening at the Glad Cafe and fantastic photographer Peter McNally came along to document the evening.  The project is our response to hearing people all over the country talk about future ambitions though never having the platform to share those visions, dream, hopes and fears. Dearest Scotland over the year grew into a popular space which encouraged open democracy and inclusive citizen participation. We start collecting letter written to the future of Scotland, both in hand written and digital submission format, the catalogue of which can be read here at dearestscotland.com    
  Nightriders launch We launched Nightriders, the finishing point of a support programme for eight people.  The programme was instigated by Unltd and Santander who reached out to Spark and Mettle, Good for Nothing and ourselves to brainstorm ways to develop a peer-to-peer network to inspire social entrepreneurship.  We brought a group of fantastic Nightriders together who wanted to 'start something' and every Monday night ran through a series of modules on business, design and network-based thinking.  Our friends at Flux Video made a fantastic video of the process which brought the energy from the programme to life.        
  RITA (Responsive Interactive Advocate) Funded by Innovate UK, as part of the Long Term Care Revolution, we worked with the University of Kent, Centre for Child Protection, Portsmouth University and Affective State, a Winchester based SME, to develop a personalised support system with an avatar based interface, RITA. Our role focused on developing the service and how RITA could be used as a product in supporting Long Term Care.  Friends at Igloo film produced videos that stimulated discussions on how technology can be used to support the growing need of those in care.      
  Sexual Health and Well Being in Glasgow The Matter | Sexual Health Working with Young Scot and LGBT Youth Scotland, we explored young peoples views and experiences of relationships and sexual health in the Greater Glasgow & Clyde area for NHS GGC.  We produced this in partnership with The Matter and with a group of young people who ran their own consultation approach with their peers. The report is due to be released next year.        
  Future Cities Glasgow We came to the end of our work with Open Glasgow and Glasgow Future Cities.  We developed Service Blueprints of how My Glasgow would work for the city and how waste and road services could be improved to incorporate citizen action.  We worked with groups across Glasgow having interviewed citizens, produced future tech timelines and designed systems for how the council could both operate human-centered services whilst optimising their back end services with the goal to reduce spending in the provision of public services. Our work was produced into reports that brought the user need perspective to the development of new business processes inside Glasgow City Council and supported the building of narratives for how future cities might work in Glasgow focused on enabling people to live better lives.        
  Servdes We hung out at ServDes hosted by Lancaster University and Imagination presenting BadgeMaker tools for developing Open Badges, our project with Mozilla and TSB on open education accreditation.      
  Teach in Austria We taught in Austria at the Innsbruck Management School on behalf of our friend Marc Stickdorn, author of This is Service Design Thinking.        
  Broadway Kick Off Pic_3 We kick off our partnership with Broadway Cinema in Nottingham, running a large scale design and digital thinking training course, Know How, for arts organisations across the East Midlands area.  We hosted 16 organisations through the first part of the process, culminating in December 2014 and starting up again in early 2015.          
  D14 We presented at D14 on Innovation in Education thanks to Alistair Gunn.  We talk about open badges, user-centered thinking for education and the concept of digital and design fellowships in schools.        
  Service Design In Government
We keynoted at the first Service Design in Government Conference, talking about inside to outside innovation of public services and how design can make an impact on joined up services that consider empathy in how they are delivered.  At the conference we also launched our co-produced paper with Design Managers Australia on Design Principles for working in public services and government.  
  Badgemaker goes to trial We run a small scale pilot testing of BadgeMaker in a high school in Edinburgh, releasing Open Badging to teachers to create additional activities for inside and outside the classroom which students can earn.
  CycleHack 2014 We ran CycleHack, a hack event aimed at reducing barriers to cycling, taking place concurrently over the same weekend in Beirut, Melbourne and Glasgow.  We attracted international attention and within a month we had 25 cities signed up for 2015.  Boom.  
  Berlin Keynote and Barcelona We keynoted at Berlin's webinale on all things digital and web.  Except we focused away from digital explicitly and talked to people about engagement. Apparently, it went down a storm and we recieved a lot of great feedback.  We then, after a segway trip to Brussels because missed our flight, talked at We Question Your Project event on Social Innovation and public services in Barcelona.  
  Glasgow School of art degree show We proudly sponsor the Glasgow School of Art Product Design show where there was an array of interesting products and services showcased, many exploring the use of data in the 21st century and complex human relationships.  
  Penny in your pants goes viral Penny in Your Pants was the simplest of ideas to help ladies who bike in skirts made at our 2014 CycleHack.  A 60 second film was produced showcasing this cyclehack and ended up reaching 3.2 million view and has now been featured in publications all over the world, including the Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan magazine and Slate.com.  Snook and CycleHack are supporting the team which is developing a slicker product to raise money for the Afghan’s Women’s Cycling Team in 2015. Watch this space for more more Cyclehack activity in 2015...  
  Carr Gomm report and launch of CG Futures Screenshot 2014-11-10 23.45.53 We worked with Carr Gomm, a care organisation who have scaled up across Scotland supporting a variety of different people.  We set up Carr Gomm Futures, an internal research and development capacity running design led projects inside the organisation with cross diagonal slices of teams from frontline to business development.  The process will be finished in February this  year with us stepping away after training staff in how to research needs of the people they support, co-design with them and prototype and test new ideas. We've been prototyping new marketing, one page profiles for their Merchiston home and new forms of engagement across the organisation.
  Includem We began work with Includem and part of our embedding programme by placing Keira on long term lease with the charity. Throughout July we met with young people across Glasgow and Fife, who work with Includem's Transitional Support Service. We encouraged them to tell us more about the experience of working with Includem, to highlight the best bits and to identify parts of the service which could be made even better.  We turned this into a short film and a began to piece together what the core components of the transitional service are.  
  Know Sugar In August, we ran a pop-up shop called Know Sugar in partnership with Design in Action.  Know Sugar was a campaign and public space where people could come and learn more about their sugar intake. Over the two days, we gathered research on the publics' attitude to sugar, and had more than 700 people pledging to take our Know Sugar Challenges. A highlight was the surprise people had on realising how much sugar was hidden inside fizzy drinks.  
  Dearest Scotland in parliament video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player Bill Kidd MSP championed Dearest Scotland and hosted a Members' Business Debate on our campaign in the chamber of Scottish parliament.  We got a bit teary eyed when politicians from every side of the fence got behind it, including Scotland's Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop;
"I also commend the project’s inclusive nature, welcoming letters from those of any opinion or indeed none on the constitutional question and accepting letters that are in prose or verse or which are fact or fiction. People do not need to be ministers, parliamentarians or any kind of politician to add their own vision and weave their own thread into the tartan. Although everyone in those categories is welcome to contribute, so is everyone else. The only requirement is that the letter start “Dearest Scotland”, and I am sure that we can all unite in holding Scotland very dear indeed."
  Includem Research Paper on Transitional Services
In August, both young people and Includem's frontline staff worked together to develop a set of proposals to improve upon the Transitional Support Service. These were brought together in a newspaper, launched at Includem's annual staff conference in October. Alongside this, young people took the opportunity to tell their stories in a film, which aimed to help define the remit which Transitional Support Service works within.  

Whose Round hit freshers week
By September our Whose Round campaign was up and running at full steam.  In the same month, lots of students arrived in Glasgow for the new academic year. Whose Round team raised alcohol awareness at freshers fairs across the city's universities and colleges, using a Whose Round pub quiz packed with Glasgow facts, and hangover grab bags full of alcohol awareness delights.

Design Management Institute
Our paper on Project 99 from 2013 on Young people, Mental Health and Technology is presented by us at the DMI annual conference in London.  We focus on the need for change in procuring design-led research and the ethics on designing and building sustainable platforms for co-producing knowledge and information between public services, civil servants and citizens.  
  SDN Conference Screenshot 2014-10-16 23.53.50 We hung out at the Service Design Network Annual Conference and got an invite to the pioneers' dinner, which we were very thankful for, not least to get in these kind of Service Design Gold Selfies.  
  Oman Public Sector Innovation Conference Screenshot 2014-12-01 13.18.07 We are invited to Oman for a conference on Public Sector Innovation and talk about citizen engagement and running pilots and prototypes of public services.
  Blueprinting SQA
Between November and December, we worked in conjunction with SQA to develop a blueprint of their Business Development Directorate processes. The most complex and intricate blueprint that Snook have produced to date, it was great to witness the interaction of SQA employees with the blueprint and to deliver a piece that can continue to be amended and developed by the client over time.

Developing Glasgow Council on Alcohol's brand and digital presence
At the end of November, we attended the best kick-off meeting we've ever had. The Glasgow Council on Alcohol team had filled an entire room with visual props and information from all of their engagements over the last four years, which they walked us through in depth. It proved a great way to gain insight into your client and project – potential clients, please take note.  We look forward to sharing our work in the New Year with the GCA team.
  Broadway Hackevent Know How from Broadway on Vimeo. Our Broadway Know How programme comes to an end in a hack event of six organisations developing their ideas into working prototypes.  We have services from supporting people with Parkinson's Disease to dance using online tutorials to reduce shakes to artist skill sharing platforms.  
  Social Justice Award We win a final place in Government Knowledge's Social Justice Award and receive a nice glass trophy.  Thanks to Jonathan Baldwin who we found out nominated us!  
  British Council blurring the lines exhibition   We are featured in the British Council and Watershed's Blurring the Lines Exhibition with a focus on Dearest Scotland. Thanks to Tas Kyprianou for the photographs.
  Dearest Scotland NCTJ Award cat_award Dearest Scotland picks up the 2014 National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) award for best multimedia campaign in the UK.  
  Raft Building 10802398_809507525782626_1395174229_n With a few new team members at Snook, we all got to know each other when we headed off to Loch Lomond, spending the morning talking through a brief history of Snook and then off to build raft in teams.  No one got wet, which we celebrated with a pint while basking in our abilities to build wooden and plastic boats on the coldest of November days.  
  European Institute for Brand Management
Snook - Open Design, a history of our projects from Snook
We are asked by EURIB and Mike Press to talk about designing co-creative platforms with people to allow them to design products of the future.  We must have impressed, they've invited us back next year to Amsterdam.

Analogue Social
We sponsor and narrate Analogue Social's event, 11 Mitchell Lane, showcasing local products for the home from local designers and makers. We're proud to support local design networks and gave a leg up to the curation of future shows like this.  We also got to DJ at a pretend house party in the Lighthouse which is a special moment.

Project 99 to grow in 2015
We receive confirmation from Chest EU that Project 99 has been funded for 2015 and is the only UK winner of five successfully funded initiatives across Europe.  Dr Trevor Lakey talks to the Herald about our ambitions.  
   Whose Round and Best Bar None
In December, Whose Round alcohol awareness campaign teamed up with Best Bar None to raise money for Clyde Cash for Kids, a charity which supports children who are living in poverty in Glasgow. The festive campaign was featured here in the Daily Record.  We raise over £1000 for the charity with our #morethanaglass campaign.

On with 2015
We've probably missed heaps out, though the knowledge we take from a fantastic year is having grown as a team, a company and in our capability set. As we move into 2015, we'll be publishing updates of the work we've built in 2014 in further case studies. Here's to another great year of creative impact and a thanks from me to our team and all collaborators and supporters who have helped make it happen.
Happy New Year!
[post_title] => Hello 2015. A fond farewell to 2014. [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => hello-2015-a-fond-farewell-to-2014 [to_ping] => [pinged] => http://vimeo.com/113908610 [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=7293 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [93] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7190 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2014-12-04 15:10:20 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-04 15:10:20 [post_content] => I count myself lucky to have found about Adopt an Intern, and to have found Snook. For the last 2 months I have been an intern at Snook and it has literally changed my life for the better. Six months before graduating from Stirling University, and filled with anxiety about job prospects, I launched a job hunt setting Europe as a parameter. My eagerness in the first few months saw me apply for graduate positions within international humanitarian organisations and political institutions. An enthusiast for social change and social justice, the reality of the apparent lack of space for recent graduates within the field hit me hard – 16,500 graduates fight for 500 positions within some core institutions. Determined to find an opportunity which fitted my personal values and vision, my quest led me to discover Adopt an Intern and, subsequently, the Communications and Media position offered by Snook. After an eventful summer school in Sarajevo, I found myself on Skype with Sarah Drummond, the Managing Director of Snook, in the middle of nowhere, in Bulgaria and during a thunderstorm. Her courage, ambition and enthusiasm for social change instantly grabbed me. I admit that I initially did not have much knowledge of Snook or what they do, but after extensive research, I was fascinated by the company; one which believes in the power of people and everyone’s ability to transform their own realities. With their unshakable optimism, they believe anything is possible. BBN awards night I was touched that Snook believed in me – and so, my Snookster journey began. I am now involved in delivering the social-blended marketing campaign for Whose Round – an alcohol awareness campaign for young people in Greater Glasgow and Clyde – and I have been designing the campaign’s messages, delivering its online social media content and analysing the results from our work. To be honest, I was fearful throughout the beginning of my internship – a social scientist within a team of designers, entrepreneurs, idea makers and people genuinely good at anything – literally, anything!! But this made me thirsty for learning and knowledge. Since starting working with the team I have transformed immensely and learned a great deal – from creating social media strategies and marketing techniques, to innovative ways of engaging with people and systems; working not only in a fast paced environment but one that adopts the most creative approaches in testing and taking risks. Some additional key learning also includes how to run a Freshers stall and do a street intervention, how to build a raft and some extensive knowledge of sugar levels in different alcoholic drinks! My adventure as an adopted intern finished recently, but my journey as a Snooker continues. I am happy to announce that I am a full time employee within the team now. I am thrilled to continue to deepen my knowledge in service design and marketing techniques, to further my career working towards lasting impact and social change, and thriving within a company which allows me to work on my personal development. I am lucky to be part of Snook’s vision of designing the future. AAW14 [post_title] => Eve's Journey: From Professional to Personal Development [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => eves-journey-from-professional-to-personal-development [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=7190 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [94] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7028 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2014-10-21 21:20:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-10-21 21:20:39 [post_content] => I'm just back from Sweden after attending the annual Service Design network Conference, which was bigger than ever with over 600 participants in attendance. I've had a two year hiatus from the conference due to various projects so I was looking forward to finding out how the landscape for the discipline had changed.  In those two years ago since, there have been initial discussions moving from the rudiments of the practice and toolkits into designers entering the hearts of businesses and making change from within. There are a whole host of internalised learnings I've taken from the various presentations and conversations; too many to articulate without it turning into a lengthy thesis on the Service Design landscape. So below I've picked my memorable moments, favourite tweets and overall insights which deserve a good sharing. Experio Labs  

Experiencing having a tremor and filling in forms #sdgc14

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  Experio Labs are a national center for patient-centered service innovation. They focus on involving staff, patients and families to work together on health care services that create value in peoples' everyday lives. Their innovations come top of my list as they created an experience for conference attendees to try out various health conditions from tinitus to visual impairments in a hands-on workshop. This was then brought together particularly well by a Swedish nurse they had worked with who admitted to changing her practice after being treated as a patient for a day.  Her shock at the impact of using empathy tools to see the patient experience from their perspective was heart warming and fantastic, particularly since she hadn't been keen to take part in the first instance.  What I took from this was that by understanding other peoples' experiences, quite literally, even small changes can make a large impact.  The same nurse started spending a few more minutes with people when they arrived on her ward, touching people on the arm, creating a connection. Small changes to her service delivery made a longer term impact on a patient's stay. Oliver King | Analysing Organisation capacity for change Oliver King of Engine ran a talk which I would have liked to have seen more detail on, unfortunately his presentation was shorter than it deserved.  He presented frameworks that Engine use to analyse how ready organisations are for various Service Design interventions at a series of levels, from understanding the customer journey to scaled up business change processes. By taking a sample of staff perception on the service they offer to customer insight and posting this to their matrix, they can understand how well the organisation understands their customers - if they know what they need to change.  This helps the consultancy to work to support self assessment of the organisation and create well formed statements for change.  This ultimately makes both their work, and the organisation's relationship with Service Design processes more fruitful from the offset. Macmillan Cancer Care Marianne and Christina from Macmillan Cancer care talked about embedding new processes based on Service Design and utilising the double diamond model inside Macmillan Cancer Care. It's great to see work like this taking shape and becoming far more common in the industry.  They've began to set up more visual tools and practice inside the offices, supporting teams in co-design practice and thinking more holistically while initiating new design led projects inside their agency.  I'm looking forward to seeing how their work develops, as I have a particular interest in embedded design teams which support the development of strategy and services in large organisations.   Screenshot 2014-10-16 23.53.50 Service Design Pioneers We were invited to take part in a special lunch inside Stockholm City Hall, hosting the pioneers who have been working in the industry for over 10 years, with many of our peers and close friends.  This was a real chance to say thank you to the network for inviting us. We've dedicated the last five years of Snook to doing the best work we can and sharing our learnings as much as possible along the journey.   Low Chaew Hwei, Philips
‘The burden on professionals is too large to look after individual health care.  We will rely on technology to support ourselves’  - Low Chaew Hwei
Low Chaew Hwei from Philips Healthcare shared many lessons from the company's work on integrated health and care services.  Low's focus laid on how healthcare is moving from professional care to a focus on consumer healthcare, which is where we should be designing products, services and systems to reduce the burden on professionals.
‘In order to do good healthcare (#servicedesign) we need to understand emotion versus motivation’
  Lavrans Lovlie, Live|Work
@lavranslovlie ‘Sometimes I can be sceptical about design principles but they can be great as we can manage by them’ #SDGC14#servicedesign

Lavrans Lovlie, Service Design pioneer and founder of Live|Work delivered a beautiful presentation on signs and services in Nordic countries.  What struck with me was his description of their use of Design principles over the delivery of Service Blueprints, articulating how a new service design operates.  I have also been an admirer of the power of design principles that can be delivered with an organisation to support the mindset and thinking behind the service delivery over a long period of time.  They act as guiding principles not only for delivery but future developments of an organisation's delivery.  I now think of them as sustainable deliverables built within an organisation and their customers.

Index Award

What we need is the design of large scale coherent systems says @indexaward#SDGC14

Index Award, Design to improve life delivered a presentation on some of their innovation work in product and service design within the social design landscape.  What hit me was their emphasis on designing systems of things, and a need to focus our energy on designing the integrated platforms that will scale our designs for better quality of life.  I believe this was a message to move beyond simple 'solutionism' which I recently wrote about for Project 99 and the Design Management Institute.

Air Bnb

I can't imagine what it's like to stand up in front of an audience and have about 30-40% of them raise their hand and say the are using your service.  Mark Levy, head of employee experience at Air BnB shared the history of the company and some fascinating insights into how they support their staff to feel like an integral part of the business.  My favourite insight was on hearing that the meals served up at the HQ are inspired around an Airbnb listing, which brings their service delivery into the hands of their employees.  A great company operating a service that, funnily enough,  I used when staying in Stockholm.

All in all - this was good conference experience and bigger than ever before.  I would have liked some more in-depth insights and practice reflections from the Service Design pioneers but you can't have everything so they say.

Much thanks and props to Very Day and Doberman for hosting and I have found my new favourite facilitator, Lisa Lindstrom who can make any large conference feel like an intimate living room conversation.

Here's to next year.

[post_title] => Service Design Network Conference | Stockholm [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => service-design-network-conference-stockholm [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=7028 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [95] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7037 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2014-10-21 12:17:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-10-21 12:17:54 [post_content] => I'm excited to announce I'll be visting Oman next week for the Oman Competitiveness Forum. I've been invited to join a panel to discuss Trialing Public Policy’ as part of a larger discussion on public sector innovation, with the whole conference covering new skills needed for public and civil servants in 'the 21st civil servant', public service and citizen engagement and innovation as a whole in this sector.  You will be able to follow the event on #OCF14  via twitter. With alot of projects in this space, I'm hoping to bring a fresh perspective and learnings from our work. I'm delighted to join a fantastic panel, including our friends at Bethnal Green Ventures. o   Simon Ruda, The Behavioural Insights Team (London) o   Karsten Schmidt, iNudgeYou (Copenhagen) o   Sarah Drummond, Snook (Glasgow) o   Glen Mehn, Bethnal Green Ventures (London) I'll be focusing on: How to create Safe Spaces to test public policy - What it means to set up failure experiments How to use design thinking to open up public policy and create tangible outputs linked to policy How to humanise public policy and make it accessible How we can prototype public services and how design can support this Looking at mindset and the characteristics, multiple disciplines and skills needed to operate in a progressive, agile process for policy and service development
From my background I'll be pulling on the following experience:
Action research I undertook inside Skills Development Scotland to look at embedding design to deliver new public services in Scotland and digital channel shifts, and the link between policy and services on the ground
Prototyping the UK's first online police feedback platform, MyPolice
Creating R+D labs inside Charities in Scotland to prototype new care services which we are currently working on
Working with Scottish Government on re-designing the learner journey for young people
Prototyping young people's employability services with young people to create a youth led enterprise for publishing newspapers through The Matter
Developing eco-systems for how Open Glasgow and the City Council can enable citizens to co-produce services and be truely involved in delivery
CycleHack, a global movement I've set up with partners operating in 35 cities next year to reduce barriers to cycling through citizen engagement
Dearestscotland.com (recently featured in Scottish Parliament by opposing parties as a democratic method for developing crowdsourced policy)
And a reflection on the politics, actions and initiatives before, during and after the Scottish Referendum which will highlight some behavioural insights and use of social media to develop ideas and thinking and the consequential activism in commenting and participating in policy post indyref.
I'm looking forward to hearing the response of some of our thinking and work in Oman at the forum and seeing what we can learn to trial out in our backyard, Scotland.
[post_title] => Visiting Oman - Co-creating public policy [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => visiting-oman-co-creating-public-policy [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=7037 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [96] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7009 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2014-09-22 14:20:13 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-09-22 14:20:13 [post_content] => Nearly three years ago now, our friend Rohan Gunatillake wrote a blog post around how Service Design is the next big thing in cultural innovation.  It's a poignant and still very relevant article today given what we're working on now. Andy and Alex have been developing Know How, a programme designed to take organisations in the East Midland’s arts, cultural and heritage sector on a journey placing design and digital thinking at the heart of what they do. The programme is in partnership with Broadway, based in Nottingham and is part of their larger Near Now programme. I asked Alex to give us the low down on what they've been up to over the past 4 months. We have developed a supportive and structured process to be delivered over a six month period.  We aim to encourage organisations to conceive new ideas enabled by digital tech, assisting in bringing them to life and exploring their potential, before refining the ideas through prototyping. This project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2007 to 2013 and supported using public funding by Arts Council England, with additional support contributed by regional universities. 940x460_Solid There are six stages to Know How: Think, Develop, Play, Test, Build and Launch.  There will be two cohorts; the first programme began in June 2014 consisting of 16 organisations, and the second is due to begin in January 2015. Eight organisations will advance to the Build stage, where they will pitch their concept to the People’s Panel to access grants of up to £5000 to progress their project further. Over two days in June, the organisations came together to discuss and discover innovative ways to incorporate digital tech within their organisations. In order to do this, participants were asked to consider the challenges faced by the sector, their ambitions and also their target audience. We provided tools for idea generation, Gillian Easson gave a fantastic keynote presentation and the event culminated in a wide array of fascinating concepts to be developed further during July/August. With the next module Play on our doorstep, we have been busy arranging more tools and techniques to help our organisations to develop their concepts further and place them in a strong position to apply for the Build process. What’s more exciting is the variety of technology that will be available for them to get their hands on; from littleBits to a GoPano, from Makey Makey to Sugru… We’re hoping to have a range of tech experts on hand to give guidance, and there will be another inspirational keynote presentation, this time from Ben Templeton.  We're excited through playing with various elements of tech to see our cohort get their heads in the digital thinking space and transfer some of this informal learning into their own projects. Pic_3 We have been blown away by the enthusiasm and open-mindedness of the participants and are extremely excited for the PLAY/TEST event, let alone the potential future of a number of these projects and in-house developments. We’ll keep you posted, but one thing is for sure – over the next year, the East Midlands arts, cultural and heritage sector is one to watch. Keep your eyes on our project site where we'll be uploading content, talks and our organisation's progress over the next 3 months. [post_title] => Know How - Putting digital and design thinking at the heart of organisations [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => know-how-putting-digital-and-design-thinking-at-the-heart-of-organisations [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=7009 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [97] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 6992 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2014-09-15 11:25:45 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-09-15 11:25:45 [post_content] => Whose Round website screen shot   At Snook we’re currently shaping an alcohol awareness campaign for 16-26 year olds in Glasgow Whose Round. The project is in collaboration with Young Scot and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Our aim is not to demonise alcohol but to create an awareness campaign that truly speaks to young people, makes them understand why they should be safer and more responsible and helps  improving Glaswegian drinking culture.  We're focusing on making the campaign reach on and offline and are currently in the process of designing a marketing campaign that introduces services across the night out that helps keep people safe as well as build an awareness message around alcohol. I asked Robin from Snook to give the low down on what the team have been up to: To ensure that our message and online presence are relevant to young people we dedicated the first part of WhoseRound project to research, focus groups, workshops and activities focused on improving our understanding of young people’s relationship with alcohol, social media and various communication channels that might be integrated in the campaign. Working on the second part of WhoseRound project made us dive into social media, explore what an online community manager does, understand and research internet fads, trends and challenges trying to unlock what makes a message, image or meme go viral. The first thing we needed to create was a recognisable Brand. No one would have listened or shared our content unless they saw our link on a friend’s Facebook page, WhoseRound page had to have at least a few hundreds likes, people had to start talking about it. We had to show that others had interacted with our brand, we needed faces, photos and names. We invited young people from Glasgow to participate in focus groups and prototyping sessions where we presented our ideas for WhoseRound campaign and gathered their feedback as well as new ideas for the project. Connecting with young people, having them interacting with our Facebook page, sharing and linking our content is vital for WhoseRound project and their direct input on ideas on how to promote and develop the campaign is extremely valuable. To reward them for their ideas and talent, as part of WhoseRound project, we have set up a competition as that will be running until the end of October 2014. Participants are invited to submit ideas around the relationship between young people and alcohol in Greater Glasgow and Clyde for a chance to win £1000.     To engage with a wider range of young people in Glasgow, especially non student we have also launched another initiative, “Dear Alcohol stories”. Young people can submit their stories on our website (http://whoseroundglasgow.com/dear-alcohol-stories/) or via Young Scot Rewards. They can choose to say their name or remain anonymous. The material gathered from June 2014 until the end of the year will be featured in a small online/offline publication. Some of the stories might become scripts for short films, that will in eventually be made into films by young people. To keep the buzz going around the project we need an ongoing effort to make WhoseRound brand known by young in the city. For this reason we started the  Facebook mini competitions and since mid August we have been going out every other Friday night with golden cones and WhoseRound branded props, asking young Glaswegians on a night out to take photos, like our Facebook page, tag themselves and spread the message for a chance to win £50. Our next goal is bringing WhoseRound to a range of Glasgow Universities’ freshers events to engage with a wider number of people, promote the competition, collect “Dear Alcohol stories” and consolidate our social media presence. We have secured a space freshers fairs in Glasgow and organised idea generation workshop as well as a WhoseRound Pub Quiz, designed to test people’s knowledge of alcohol and spread awareness messages in a fun way. We have got flyers, posters and activities ready to go as well as a few surprises up our sleeves!   [post_title] => Whose Round: Developing a marketing campaign for alcohol awareness [post_excerpt] => Shaping an alcohol awareness campaign for 16-26 year olds in Glasgow. The project is in collaboration with Young Scot and NHS GGC [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => whose-round-developing-a-marketing-campaign-for-alcohol-awareness [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=6992 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [98] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 6988 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2014-09-08 15:14:53 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-09-08 15:14:53 [post_content] => At Snook a core strand of our work for the past several years has been within the health and social care sector.  Valerie Carr, our senior designer is currently hard at work on a variety of healthcare projects ranging from technological innovations to service evaluation in cancer support services. RITA_Logo_Colour_web_transparent-02 RITA (Responsive Interactive Advocate) is a project funded by Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board) where Snook are one of the partners in a consortium led by University of Kent. The other partners are University of Portsmouth, Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, and Affective State. Full details of the partners and the thinking behind the project can be found at www.rita.me.uk. Basically the project aim is to develop a comprehensive digital support system, complementing and supplementing other care systems, and fronted by an interactive avatar, making interactions much more intuitive and natural. This project was funded for nine months up to end September and we are currently looking to access further funding, from Innovate UK and other potential funders, to take it forward to the next stage. In nine months we have developed a proof of concept and a few scripted demos of what RITA might look and feel like in action.  Snook's work in this project has focused on the user engagement, the branding and website and the development of the scripts for the demos. Macmillan Service Evaluation. We have been working on an evaluation of the Macmillan at Glasgow Libraries Service for the past year and a half with Social Value Lab. Snook’s contribution has been mainly focused on understanding the service user experience, and we have had creative conversations with service users in many of the libraries across the city. Social Value Lab are currently preparing the final report for this evaluation to feed back to Macmillan. Coventry Early Action Neighbourhood Fund. We are currently working on a bid with Coventry Law Centre and Grapevine Coventry for the Early Action funders Alliance. Coventry are down to the last five in an open bidding process where three local authorities will be funded for five years (sums of up to £2 million) to redesign local services to provide early intervention and support to their communities. We are being funded to develop the proposal which is to be submitted early November, with decisions made by end November. Snook will be developing some branding for the proposal and will be working with CLC and Grapevine to develop a strong service redesign framework for the project proposal. If the proposal is successful we will be heavily involved in the user engagement and service design aspects of the project. To talk about how our design process can support innovation in health services and products contact valerie [at] wearesnook.com [post_title] => Design for health [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => design-for-health [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=6988 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [99] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 6953 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2014-09-05 11:07:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-09-05 11:07:35 [post_content] => Dear reader, It is with many mixed emotions that I write this letter. I want to let you know that I have decided to go and work with a new organisation in a new city. My last day was Friday 29th August 2014.  I wanted to write to let you know why I've made this decision. Snook has come a long way in the past six years. We started in a combination of coffee shops and bedrooms - I can't even remember now - but I do remember it was Sarah and I on our todd - just two girls with a big dream - and, in those first years, I could never have imagined doing anything else. But we did it. The two of us. We’ve flown all over the world, and delivered work I’m really proud of and shipped brilliant ideas but most importantly we’ve put Scotland on the map. I even made it onto one of those top list things!  And now we’re on track to have a brilliant year this year: we have the biggest contracts on our books we’ve ever had, an astoundingly talented team; more impactful, design-led projects are launching and we’re receiving global acclaim and support for the work that we are doing. We've barely had time to share our recent work but we've had the immense pleasure to work on the Future Cities project with Glasgow City Council, engaging with citizens in Glasgow on how the future of public services should be delivered. We're working in Nottingham with Broadway Cinema on a large programme called Know How for the cultural sector to put design and digital thinking at the heart of up to 40 organisations. We're supporting Carr Gomm, a fantastic charity expanding all over Scotland to support them to use design to innovate their services and put the people they support at the centre of what they do. As I write this, our team are on the streets getting photos of people on Glasgow's high street donning Gold Cones and talking about how alcohol affects their life.  This project is on alcohol awareness, Whose Round will take us into 2015 and I'm excited to see how it unfolds and we develop our capabilities as an agency that does marketing differently. This is exactly why it’s time for me to leave. Our phone rings by itself, contracts arrive on our doorstep and the work is coming to us. Don’t get me wrong there is a long way to go but we are in a really good place. Sarah and I have spent many late nights talking of our future plans to lead Snook for decades to come. I now know that the future isn’t as black and white as that and things change and people change. In January this year I went to MIT in Boston and I learned about the infrastructure required for success. I met start up after start up and I met people who saw the world in a totally different way to me. It made me look at Scotland through a whole new lens. I designed Nightriders and realised I something was missing. I started to imagine what Snook would be like without me and realised that actually, it would be just fine. It was an incredibly humbling, difficult yet exciting thing to realise.  It was an unleashing of possibility (where would I go next? what would I do?) I realised I wanted to have a boss, I wanted to be part of something much bigger than me. In short, I’m leaving because I am itching for a new challenge and although my love for Scotland will never leave, I’m aching for a new city. Scotland has brought me and Snook remarkable things and people that I can’t even begin to articulate but it’s also been really tough - it’s slow and small and can often be isolating and judgemental. Perhaps, the decision on the 18th will be a step towards changing some of the old ways and bringing in news ways. I certainly hope so. So, what’s next for Snook? Well Sarah will be Managing Director and I’ll remain co-founder. Snook is in a position to choose what projects we work on and who we work on them with. Exciting! This is not a decision I’ve made lightly. Snook has consumed me, for all the right reasons, since I left university. I've poured everything into building a design led business that inspires others and helps people believe in better. It’s all I’ve ever known but that in part is why I know it’s time to try something else. I keep coming back to: “It’s the things that scare you the most that you have to do”.  I’ve been scared to leave Snook - not because I thought the company wouldn’t survive without me, but because I didn’t want to let go. It’s my baby after all?! And now, over the past 6 months, it’s with true excitement that I have made this decision. What’s next for me? I am proud to say I will be Programme Manager for Hyper Island’s new MA in Digital Experience Design. I've been invited to teach at Hyper in Stockholm for three years in a row and I’ve hired six of their graduates. I know the place and the people - and it feels like a brilliant fit. Design education has always been my number one priority - it's the thing that gets me up in the morning and I can't wait to immerse myself in it full time. I’m so excited to be joining the island. I’ll live in Manchester and I’ll spend time collaborating and working with the Hyper Islands in Stockholm, London, NYC and at the rate they are growing who knows where else. What I do know is that Snook will always be a part of me. For now, my next chapter is dedicated to Hyper Island and supporting Sarah during this next phase. People often tell you running a business with someone is like a marriage and they are probably right. Sarah is like my best friend, my sister and my muse all rolled into one - together we’ve laughed, cried, argued and imagined. I am so grateful to her for supporting me through this transition and I know she will continue to take Snook on a brilliant path . Thank you to all of you for your belief, support, encouragement, and ongoing commitment to myself, the Snook team, and Snook as an organisation. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next chapter looks like - for Snook, for me, for Sarah and for each of you. Come and visit me in Manchester, Love Lauren xx Dear Reader, I should start this with, 'It gives me great sadness to announce..." but in fact I will start differently. I am immensely proud to congratulate Lauren on her position with Hyper Island as Programme Manager for the MA in Digital Experience Design. What is happening you might ask? Aren't you like a Lennon and Mc Cartney duo, is this the end? (I've lifted this from a joke one of our many mentors who have helped us over the years often tells, the ever fantastic Mike Press). Consider this Snook's White Album (without the drugs). When the Beatles released the White album in 1968, it was the first album to contain purely solo material but was still an umbrella of the band's iconic 4 piece.  They still worked together, they just explored other creative outputs and endeavours.  If you work on anything for a long time, repeating the norm you can lose inspiration and the ability to try new ideas and end up, just like the Beatles, playing the same 4 beats and sounds until you try something new. Don't think for one second we're bored by our work, or don't want to do similar work, we're far from it. Infact Snook is in the best place it’s ever been in.  Our contracts are larger allowing us more freedom to explore with our clients, our team is immensely talented and we have the creative freedom to implement ideas that we believe in. We all need creative holidays, time to reflect, to switch off from the task in hand and explore ourselves.  Lauren and I have always been intrigued by designers like Stefan Seigmesiter, take a look at his 'The Power of time off' TED talk where he takes a holiday every 7 years, closing the company to pursue experimentation which he states isn't always achievable during the working year. Experiments develop our thinking as people, and so, Lauren is on her essential time out to explore and also put her talents to brilliant use, back into education which we both fundamentally believe is a route we should be undertaking to share what we've learned as experienced designers and business owners.  As big admirers and contributors to Hyper Island we believe this is the best possible outcome where Lauren stretch herself and reconnect with what she has always been most passionate about and brilliant at - design education. So with pride, I congratulate Lauren and send her packing on her creative exploration to refresh, try something new and share her learnings with me in this new phase. Lauren remains co-founder and I am now the Managing Director of Snook. I’ll continue to strive to deliver the best work and push boundaries of how design can be applied into the development of products and services in the public domain. In the past, considering Lauren and I parting was almost inconceivable due to the immense time and pressure running a company like Snook entailed and the everyday just kept going as the everyday.  In the first 3 to 4 years we were running Snook there was barely a moment to pause in-between delivering our work and making sure the numbers added up to our business. We didn't have the time to discuss an alternative future from what we were doing to something else, these kind of discussions need reflection, small steps and time to ultimately breathe before decisions can be made.  We took our time to discuss what could be next. Since the summer of 2013 Lauren and I have been openly discussing the future. Exploring the possibility that one of us, or both of us may wish to go on and try new experiences.  Running a company without Lauren will be a new experience and I thank her for the trust and space she is giving me to develop the next chapter of social design projects from our home in Scotland. However, it gives me great pleasure, and as I said an immense pride to say we're in a position to allow one of us to go and explore and the other to steer the ship forward. Nothing is changing and everything is changing all at once. I said this is without sadness, but there is some sadness, even for this sabbatical. To share the experience of setting up a company together with someone so close to you, almost like a sister for over 6 years is a phenomenal experience.  If I'd done this alone, without Lauren's talents and tenacity Snook would not be what it is today. It's also safe to say if I had done this alone, there wouldn't be as much tears and laughter. I wouldn’t have had anyone to share the many emotional ups and downs with. Lauren and I have shared some real highs, and some pretty difficult lows together but come through stronger together.  Anyone who has set up a business or programme of any kind will understand this, and particularly the bond you develop in a partnership. On Friday we had a final lunch with the team who asked what our best moments of Snook together were to date.  It's pretty difficult to put it down to a few experiences but I am going to try: Keynoting at the Service Design Network Conference Berlin | 2010 At the Service Design Network conference in Berlin, we'd been running Snook for just over 10 months and were well into our MyPolice project setting up a platform for the public to talk to the police. To stand up, with at the time little experience but passion to drive us through 45 minutes of a closing presentation was daunting but we revelled in it.  Post conference we then attended the SDN dinner and met the people who had inspired us (from Engine to Live Work) to get into thinking about design applied to services.  They were complimentary, supportive and we'd always felt grateful they'd welcome two young women starting out in their careers into the industry. Scottish Parliament | 2010 to now When we started we set out to get design into Scottish Government. There was vision and mission and in several ways I think we've achieved this, and in other ways I think there is an incredible journey to undertake in creating people centered services that utilise design as a core component to innovation in public services. I recently met someone from government who told us we'd been a real inspiration to how they work and been a major part of the journey of SG understanding design thinking.  This alone makes me proud and even if we don't always directly deliver projects that are implemented, our sharing of what we do and how we do it I hope will always continue to be a source of inspiration to governments and people around the world. Secondly, our recent project Dearest Scotland was just debated, or rather accepted as a great exemplar of democracy in action by ALL sides of the political fence inside Scottish Parliament! Thirdly, I'll never forget me and Lauren being mic'd up in Alex Salmond's press room and going on to host a debate with over 200 young people in the debating chamber at the Scottish Parliament.  A real moment in our careers as directly putting design on the centre stage in government. Winning a Young Scot Award Louise McDonald, CEO of Young Scot has always been incredibly supportive of Lauren and I and our work in Scotland.  In 2012 we were awarded a Young Scot award for enterprise.  We had such a fantastic evening and a genuine shock at winning - this alone was a great night to celebrate with our team on the hard work we all do. What makes it even more memorable is that Lauren took up a rubber chicken on stage and said it was this key to innovation. Needless to say, if we ever need a pick up we watch our acceptance speech.  I think a few glasses of wine had been consumed by this point. The Projects 2009 - now As I said, we've had the joy of delivering work from rethinking the Learner Journey and having this published in the policy area of Scottish Government's website to seeing our ideas for embedded designers in the public sector and charities being realised with our current work with Includem.  From recent academic reviews of our Matter programme and the impact it is having in local areas in Scotland and giving young people skills to take action in their community to redesigning the way care information will be delivered across Scotland. This is not an end, as I said Snook is continuing forward.  With our country in a current state of flux and a monumental decision for our future in less than 3 weeks, wherever we go there is a job to be done in ensuring the design of our future vision is fitting for all of us.  I want to be part of that and believe at Snook we have a part to play in the future of how our world is shaped. Lauren and I set Snook up with optimism and audacity to try something we'd never done before.   I'm proud of everything we have achieved together in the past 6 years.  We will still strive to continue to collaborate, share knowledge and ideas about our work at Snook, education and design in a serious of letters to one another, just how we started so many years ago. So please raise a wee glass to my partner in crime, friend and long term collaborator Lauren as she embarks up on her next chapter. As always I'll end with one of my favourite writers and designers Buckminster Fuller in tribute to the fact we should never stand still and continue to develop our futures and pathways. "We are born to be architects of the future, not victims of our past" Love Sarah x [post_title] => A letter from Lauren and Sarah [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => a-letter-to-the-future-from-lauren-and-sarah [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 00:10:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 00:10:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wearesnook.com/?p=6953 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 100 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 16323 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2018-07-26 12:30:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-26 12:30:21 [post_content] => [post_title] => Working at Snook [post_excerpt] => Here’s why headspace and the cycle to work scheme are exciting new additions to the Snook team. 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