My Best Life


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UX design thinking for co-design

Kathryn Dingle

Last week I attended an introduction to UX Design workshop by General Assembly. This got me thinking about to apply UX design, not only to our digital product, but how this relates to the process of co-design we will be taking. Most talk about user involvement in designing services, and only think of UX/UI design when thinking about producing digital products. However, UX design can be applied to any interaction a user has with a service or product. There are many ways to define UX design, but they all centre around the idea of designing systems that meet the objectives… Read more “UX design thinking for co-design”
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Should we build an app?

Charlotte Lamb

Today, I’ve been at ‘Ignites’, NPC’s annual conference. Our Digital Lead, Alex Green ran a session called ‘Should you build an app?’. He said that there are over four million apps out there – which sounds like a lot to me! He also made the point that apps don’t just cost money to develop, but they cost a lot of money to run, promote, and upgrade. So building an app isn’t always the answer! And there might be another digital solution to a problem. Alex took us through several tools used in the UX world to think about tackling user… Read more “Should we build an app?”

Budgeting an agile, collaborative project

Charlotte Lamb

So far, this phase of My Best Life has been funded by a generous grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. As this is a collaborative project, we expect a significant proportion of our budget for this project to go to partners delivering the work with us. However, it is difficult to allocate funding to partners when the scope of the work is still being defined. At the same time – we don’t expect partners to work on this without adequate resources to do so! So, we are breaking various parts of the project down into stages. We have started by… Read more “Budgeting an agile, collaborative project”

Evaluating user involvement

Kathryn Dingle

Today I have been drafting potential outcomes and data sources for the ensuring we understand the impact of involving young people on; the lives of the young people involved in the project the lives of the staff involved in the project the outcomes of the project the effectiveness of the decision-making throughout the project the effectiveness of the digital solution(s) we create There is a great summary of suggested outcomes on page 22 of the ‘Make it Count’ report.… Read more “Evaluating user involvement”
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Defining and choosing a user group – who do we mean by ‘young people’?

Charlotte Lamb

So far on this project, we have been talking about ‘young people’. But this is a broad definition. For a start, there are millions of young people! ‘young people’ does not specify an age group. A child is anyone under the age of 18. The United Nations considers anyone between the ages of 15 – 24 a ‘youth’. But charities working with young people in the UK help young people in much more varied age ranges. Then we have been asking ourselves – do we mean all young people? Or are we seeking to work with those who have specific… Read more “Defining and choosing a user group – who do we mean by ‘young people’?”

How are we doing user involvement?

Kathryn Dingle

Since launch, we have been squirrelled away writing a research proposal for the project. We have been trying to involve partners but it is hard to engage people when they don’t know what they are engaging with. We are now putting together a research proposal to help answer some of the questions we have been struggling to grapple with. Today, I have been using some great NPC reports to explore our approach to user involvement (Watch this space!) Here are the reports I have been using: Make it count: Why impact matters in user involvementĀ  Implementing and evaluating co-design: A… Read more “How are we doing user involvement?”

Talking to funders about failure

Charlotte Lamb

It is hard to talk about failure: what hasn’t worked, what didn’t go so well, and when you had regroup and change tactic. For many grantees, it can feel particularly hard to talk to their funders about this. I think sometimes there is a feeling that you want to impress, you want to assure that things are going well, and you don’t want to scare them away. That’s why its so valuable when a funder accepts that this is part of the process, sees it as valuable learning, and encourages grantees to share this. We are grateful to the Paul… Read more “Talking to funders about failure”

What’s the point of working in the open?

Charlotte Lamb

The MBL team are trying to follow CAST’s Digital Design Principles. One of them is ‘be open’. We started NPC Labs to do just that. Through it we want to share our learning, so others can build on it and learn from our mistakes. It’s also about being transparent, so others can feedback on our work, and improve it. But being open is also about listening. We are keen to hear from you – what are you working on? what have you learnt? what do you think of our work?… Read more “What’s the point of working in the open?”

You don’t need a formal partnership to collaborate

Charlotte Lamb

Collaboration was always going to be key for the second phase of My Best Life. My experience of collaboration has often been through a formal partnership between certain organisations. When we set out, I had this in mind – and it is still a possibility. But when we started to go down that route, we realised it was too early to form a partnership. We didn’t have a clear enough objective. At the same time, we wanted to define our objective collectively. It seemed like a catch 22! But then we thought – you don’t need a formal partnership to… Read more “You don’t need a formal partnership to collaborate”