Its been 18 months since the end of the Labs Phase 1. Since then we’ve reflected on the innovation process we used and all learnt a lot. Some of it has been captured for us by our independent evaluator, Venetia Boon. Venetia has looked back and reviewed the process of getting designers, young people and mental health professionals together to ideate digital ideas for improving young people’s mental health.
Here’s some of the innovation process learning that her evaluation highlights.
Put Young People at the Heart
Innovation processes only work when you put the service user (in this case young people with mental health issues) at the heart and centre of the work. This includes giving young people the power to initiate ideas and runs through to enabling them to make financial and grant making decisions. This benefits everyone’s wellbeing: project, young people and professionals.
Balance Young People’s Views
Consider how you’re going to balance the views and ongoing involvement of your likely users and the product’s design needs. If balanced well then young people’s insights can aid the co-creation process and improve the end design. However, if done badly then it can lead to a tension between users’ views and the principles of good design. So rather than translating young people’s views into a literal feature set or proposition, it’s better to use the co-creation process to gain insight and build empathy between designers and young people.
Use Tech From the Start
Integrate technology from the beginning of the process. Ensure that professionals with digital and technical skills can contribute their knowledge and experience early on so ideas can be identified and explored within a context of their practicality, aswell as coolness. Prioritise young people’s ideas but develop them within a technical framework that explores their feasibility and allows space for further inspiration.
Workshop and Incubate
Lab-type workshops followed by incubation periods often result in good ideas and positive experiences. Online incubation or crowd-sourcing works better using platforms that are familiar to users. If you’re involving a mix of professionals and young people then its important to monitor their respective levels of interaction. That way you avoid potential bias or excessive influence by any one group.
That’s some of the highlights. To read the full innovation process external report click here.