Weeknote w/c 3rd May 2021

Rose Anderson

What we did

  • We held a Steering Group meeting with our partners to update them on the progress of the app. They were impressed with the work we’ve been doing so far and how much the app has progressed since the last Steering Group meeting, especially the quiz and the safeguarding feature.
  • We ran a Young Person Steering Group where we asked for ideas for a name for the app, among other things.
  • We’re planning for an upcoming Demo Day with four other organisations developing similar digital products for young people—LVN, Mee Too, Youth Card, and MBL (NPC’s programme)—to explore ways to learn and collaborate.
  • We published a write-up of the insights from a recent event we ran with approximately 40 charities, in collaboration with Integrate CIC.

What we’re thinking about

As the final beta sprint progresses, we need to come up with a name for the app! We hope the young people we’ve been working with will have some great ideas.

We’re updating the entries on the app with relevant pictures. Where we can’t find a photo on the service’s website, we use a stock image instead. Young people have told us they don’t like to see the same stock image on multiple services, so we’re checking to make sure we’re including a unique image on each service we upload.

Challenges

We’re finalising the features we want to see in the app, including the quiz. During the Steering Group, we had an interesting discussion about the quiz’s gender question. So far, this question asks if young people are interested in services that are for ‘men’, ‘women’, ‘non-binary’, ‘transgender’, ‘intersex’, ‘gender non-conforming’, ‘genderqueer’ or ‘agender’. However, this may not be the most useful way of asking the question, in terms of helping young people find the right services. While some services describe themselves as being for boys, for girls or for transgender people, almost none of them mention the more ‘niche’ terms such as ‘agender’. Furthermore, a service that says it’s for ‘females only’ may not offer any additional context as to whether this means that transgender girls are allowed.

We’re thinking of how we can rephrase the gender question in a way that’s more helpful. In particular, we want to recognise that there’s a difference between ‘inclusive’ services and ‘specialist’ services. For example, a DJ course that welcomes both boys and girls is inclusive of girls, whereas a counselling service offering support for female victims of sexual assault is specialist for girls. Perhaps some young people require services that are tailored to their protected characteristics.

Alongside these discussions, we had considered adding a Search bar at the top of the front page of the app, so that young people could look for services using a key term (such as ‘football’). We know that some young people from Lambeth’s Youth Council suggested adding this feature alongside the filter and quiz. However, we wonder whether young people would actually choose to use it, since we’ve also heard feedback that they would rather just scroll through the app, at least initially, to see what there is on offer. If we can, we’ll add a Search bar, but we’ll see if we have enough time to do so.

We’ve started asking charities about updating their entries on the app, but it’s becoming increasingly clear to us that this could be quite a burden on them—one person told us they’d have to get back to us in about two weeks. We’re looking at ways of making this process easier for organisations, such as by having conversations over the phone rather than through an email chain. It might be that we have to make a compromise between volume and accuracy, and prioritise volume at this stage while we test the app’s functions.

Wins from this week

  • A member of our Steering Group could be helping us get connected to the Violence Reduction Unit.
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