I learned a LOT in my first Jam !




Having enjoyed working in an Agile environment I decided to use my skills by joining like-minded people in looking for solutions to social issues by taking part in the Leeds  Service Jam. These three days proved to be one of the best learning experiences of my career so far and have utterly transformed the way I approach work in my Government policy role.

Leeds Service Jam is part of a Global Service Jam community which is held in over 80 cities around the world. Its human centred design aims to put Users right at the very heart of the services we look to create within the Service Jam. Our task was to work
together as a group to tackle the complex issue of homelessness within Leeds and beyond.

Homelessness and rough sleeping is an increasing area of concern and I wanted to bring everything I could to support quick and pragmatic potential solutions. After undertaking User Research within Leeds City Centre the solution the team I was part of came up with was to create an Web App that was able to notify relevant charities, social enterprises and local authorities that a homeless person in their area needed support. Going out to undertake research with the public was nerve wracking but was essential to gather first hand insights which informed our designs by for example highlighting social anxieties around the giving and receiving of help.

To make our app we used paper, card and free apps on a mobile. Our final  version was a Video showing our service. Thanks to @olaojo15 for putting the video together. Video helped to explain the customer journey better from the service users eyes, what the service would look or feel like. We all use and interact with services every day and jams are a great way to get a diverse group of people together with different skillsets and perspectives.



Making prototypes (above) was a great way to test scenarios and use early feedback and learning to see whether something was going to work or not. Sketch noting is a brilliant technique, when you have to take in a lot of connecting information.

Twin jamming with Singapore Service Jam on skype, and watching the demo of their service was intuitive, especially from a cultural perspective the different of societal challenges, the different countries face. It’s a modern and interactive way of collaborating and sharing.

Collaborating with Service Jam Singapore by Skype

Jams are a hands on approach to learn the end to end service design principles and methods from a blank canvas. Jams are inclusive, even the animals joined us, with volunteer mentors on hand for coaching and advice. I would encourage everyone, whatever job you do, to take part . Nothing in the Jam, is off limits, we are encouraged to be bold and take risks.

Leeds Gov Jammers – thanks to@mariecheungsays for the ace group photo



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