Made in Lambeth hackday

We recently met Tom Shakhli who works with Made in Lambeth (MIL), a Lambeth Council backed initiative that brings together a network of local people to accelerate the development of a project in their borough.

We saw this as a really valuable opportunity to engage with some fresh faces, and gain some totally new perspectives, ideas and insights.

Together with the MIL team we designed three activities for the day, created a brief and invited their network (which includes designers, artists, project managers, software developers, community organisers, legal eagles and finance folk) to join us for a hack day. Our briefs were:

Develop a service that people want and like to use

Using these personas, a group discussed how ways different people with very unique needs may use the service.

A key discussion was around how to most appropriately safeguard our users; is it better to ask questions or to offer timely messages? Ultimately how can we encourage individuals to make the best decisions about their sexual health?

Design an easier, friendlier test experience  

We shared some kits that are currently used by other sexual health services - the initial reaction to them was almost unanimous; overwhelming, complicated (have lots of little parts), appear very scientific / clinical and overwhelmingly unfriendly and not personal.

The team immediately began to build cardboard packaging prototypes, drawing inspiration from Bento boxes and Graze packaging, the group split the kit up according to each testing element, urine, swab and blood. Lots of effort also went into simplifying the instructions.

Create a compelling brand

As the group grappled with ‘the big idea’ behind SH24, empowerment emerged as a key principle or quality SH24 offers. Inclusivity also featured high on the list; especially when discussing other sexual health websites of services - it felt many of them were targeting a specific audience (usually young people), it was noted that the SH24 brand must work hard not to do that.

The group also had the opportunity to discuss strong and weak points about other existing sites and build an idea of what they think SH24’s branding should be.

By the end of the day the branding team had a draft strapline and imagined what a user might see if SH24 was displayed as a Google listing.

Thanks very much to all who came and spent their Saturday with us, to the MIL team for taking our challenge on and arranging the day, and to Brixton HUB for hosting us.