Snook are going to Scotweb2

On Friday Snook are going to the Third Annual ScotWeb2 event in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. The event is aimed at people of all ages to come and share their experience of collaboration on the internet...that means YOU!

This event is aimed at the following folks:

  • Central government, local government, NHS and other public sector employees
  • School children and their teachers ; students ; those in their middle age and the older generation
  • ICT people ; teachers ; life-long learners ; communications ; marketing ; PR
  • ICT Developers. programmers ; social media ; digital enablers
  • Campaigners from NGO and third sector
  • Public, private and third sector employees
  • Business and social enterprises
  • Academics ; students ; FE and HE

The event showcases enterprising, innovative and entrepreneurial behaviours in the web 2 world:

  • Stewart Kirkpatrick talk about Scotland's first on-line newspaper The Caledonian Mercury,
  • Mike McTernan on mobile devices and the web
  • The City of Edinburgh Council web team on their work with new CMS and Jadu,
  • Nokia on mobile trends
  • Iain Henderson on Vendor Relationship Management and Personal Data Stores from Mydex,
  • Peter Ashe on the NHS user-centred long term conditions project ALISS ( tip top -can't wait for this one ;)

"This time we focus on individuals, organisations, communities, social enterprise, businesses, local and central government, and other public sector agencies working with web 2.0 to grow a sustainable economy and deliver public services and public value to the people of Scotland.In the afternoon we will have more of an Un-conference feel with suggestions and discussions primed by participants"

If all these types of people turn up it is going to be a good one. We will be having conversations about:

  • Social media and how it is used
  • How to set up social media options and advocate for change
  • Engaging with different generations
  • Is social media helping people make connections and feel happier ?

The organiser, Alex Stobart, is keen to involve students and graduates in the event - please get in touch with him and come along. He is brilliant and the event will be too. It makes sense.

Rip and Mix at Glasgow Caledonian University

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. This month I spent an afternoon running  a workshop on Rip and Mix with design students at Glasgow Caledonian University. In the past I 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?" - 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 have been working on semiotics and affordance so for this workshop I 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 )

This worked really well as it had a good balance of product / interactive / 3D elements - hence catering for all the disciplines who were there:

"For example, a drawing of a three-dimensional button on a computer screen leverages our knowledge of the physical characteristics of the buttons and, therefore, appears to afford pressing. The popular 'desktop' metaphor used by computer operating systems is based on this idea - images of common items like trash cans and folders leverage our knowledge of how those items function in the real world and thus, suggest their function in a software environment. Mimic familiar objects and environments in abstract contexts to imply the way in which new systems can be used."

You can see photos of the workshops here.

One workshop was held in an bright, open plan  room whereas in the other we were confined to room filled with computers. This had a huge impact on the energy of the group.  I got asked questions about 'stakeholders' and what that really means. I also got asked to explain the meaning of 'sensual and emotional form' ... this is something that I always use real life examples to explain.

This workshop was about quantity rather than quality and teaching the students how to 'let go' and not be so precious about their ideas. I will be uploading the main ideas generated soon so you will be able to see what elements the students ripped and mixed to come up with new solutions.

Here is some feedback from Dave Wood, a lecturer in Digital Design at Glasgow Caledonia University.

"Lauren's (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."

If you would like Snook to come and talk to your students or class mates about Rip and Mix then please do get in touch!

Studio Unbound VI

This week Studio Unbound traveled  to Dundee to kick of our sixth session. The show got off to a late start, but we were genuinely excited to be presenting to such a multitude of design disciplines. Sarah talked about networking, mindset and name a few. I joined in via skype and focused on the difference between under grad and masters level and what my dissertation taught me.

We got a great reception, I was talking to the students on twitter and have captured their feedback and insights here. Sarah naturally focused on Service Design and Systems Thinking, we got a strong sense from the audience that these messages were suitable for all disciplines.

Sarah, being the lovely lass she is, went for coffee with some of the students afterwards and had great conversations about  Service Design as a discipline and a process. It has become an attractive and adaptable process at The University of Dundee , the students recognise it helps their own disciplines move into Social Design and designing co-creatively with people. We left Dundee more determined than ever to make Making Service Sense a reality...the students want it and need it!

We have been totally humbled by the response from the students and it makes us happy to hear them describe Sarah's blog and Redjotter as very accessible and their main source of learning about Service Design.

Many of the audience didn't know where to start to start with twitter, but we think we convinced them showing real examples of how twitter has changed our life! There was a good proportion of students already part of twitter although they admitted they don't use it or know what to say. The ones who did use it said it had made them feel more confident !

We have had some amazing feedback from designer Lorri Smyth about the effect  Studio Unbound has had in the Textiles studio .

  • There have been lots of people joining Twitter who hadn't used it before. Those who are a bit scared are receiving encouragement from others who have joined or have their own blogs already.
  • The other day some girls in my class set up a studio blog to discuss fundraising...we are working on other ways to use the blog ; to promote and network our year.
  • Inspired by the idea of Mypolice I began to wonder how as class rep I could use social media to facilitate better communications between staff and students. I am thinking of lots of ways to engage the class through the blog by writing articles and voting on polls etc to produce some positive action out of all the moans I hear!
  • Meanwhile we are working on our self motivated brief while the tutors are busy busy with the degree show. I proposed a series of peer led skills swap shops to extract and share the skills we have gathered as a class. People seem really up for it. I see the blog playing a part in this too.

You can follow their adventures here.

You can also read some brill feedback from Laura about her perspective as a jeweller on the session.

If you would like us to come and talk to your class or your students do get in touch !

Small Fish

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Jase Cooper's project has big potential - keep up to date with the Small Fish blog!

Thanks to Adam for discovery.