Discover stage

The Discover stage will help you to understand what people need and want. To do this, you can use the following methods:

User Diary, Day in the Life, User Shadowing, Video Ethnography and Bodymapping to gather a lot of information about service users,

Extra resource

Design Council, The design Process, assess at http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/aetoolkit/why-design/the-design-process/

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You could focus on the specific sections of the service (eg. staff, environment), which could be done by visiting a service and using it. That way you will be able to understand how the service works and what the experience is like. When carrying out a Service Safari you should think about: What different stages […]

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In some cases, users will tell you exactly what their needs are. In others you might identify a need through observing their behaviour. Before attempting a needs map, you will need lots of information about your user. The more research and visual material you have, the better. Follow these two steps to create a needs […]

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The map should cover all the different stages of a service, from when a user first hears about it, through to signing up and eventually finishing with the service. It should show all the different touchpoints involved (e.g. people/ information/products/places). Touchpoints could include the people the user spoke to, information seen, products used and the […]

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The user diary should be made up of three main sections: 1. Background information This helps to compile a short description of the person completing the diary. It could include their name, age, occupation, their likes or dislikes and hobbies that they may have. 2. A diary of service use A diary of service use […]

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For many designers the interview may take an empathetic turn where the exchange of questions and answers is not seen as scientifically neutral or objective – instead it is a process of collaboration. An empathetic interview takes an ethical stance in favour of the individual or group being interviewed so that the designer becomes an […]

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Before collecting stories make sure that your equipment is working (e.g. check that the dictaphone is sensitive enough to pick up voices and that your batteries are charged or you have spares). Try to start with an easy introductory question to ease the storyteller into the interview, for example ‘Have you travelled far?’ Ask the […]

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This group activity is usually conducted following Story sharing* with the people who shared their stories (service users and other stakeholders). Write all the important stages or touchpoints when someone uses a service across the top of a long sheet of paper. You may have this information if you have already created a System map […]

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In role playing, different stakeholders can be involved such us doctors, nurses and patients, to simulate the environment, activities and roles involved, for example, role playing an operating theatre scenario (see above). Each member of the team is allocated a specific role, behaving in the situation according to role assumed. In this way the team […]

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This workshop replicates and accelerates the front-end stages of a typical design development process. It can be tailored to the specific aims of its organisers through the framing of the brief and the selection of participants.  The workshop’s participants may be designers, medical workers, people from other disciplines, such as engineers and specialists in the […]

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This activity enables design teams to analyse tasks and gain deeper insights through repeated viewing. It involves observing and filming service users and/or people involved in the service. It allows you to view the video recorded material and reflexively discuss it.  

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This design activity provides a space for users to engage with the creative process and it could be used throughout the duration of a project. The activity does not require a trained moderator and can therefore be medical worker-led, extending the boundaries of the traditional focus group format. User forums can be used to explore […]

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A list of questions could be posted or emailed to people to capture their responses to a range of subjects or issues. This method can provide both qualitative and quantitative information to enable a comparison of responses. Questionnaires should be as visually clear and inviting as possible. Generally, there are three types of questions: open […]

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Steps are agreed with users and/or those familiar with the process and mapped out. There are many process analysis tools – Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) is particularly well suited to support design development – FMEA is a step-by-step approach for identifying all possible failures in a design, a manufacturing or assembly process, a […]

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This design activity may need to be repeated over several days in order to gather a balanced perspective. Mapping a ‘Day in the Life’ graphically illustrates how time is assigned to various activities. For example, people could be interviewed and observed going about their daily routines. They can be asked to respond to a series […]

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