I was took part in the Leeds Service Jam as part of the organising team on the weekend of 29-31 March 2019. Leeds Service Jam is part of the Global Service Jam. A Jam is a not-for-profit ‘learning by doing’ event connecting people around the world. Jams are about innovation, experimentation, collaboration and problem-solving around a global theme after the secret video theme reveal. Over 48 hours Jammers learn about service design by doing it to change the world!
Jammers research problems and prototype solutions inspired by the global theme by exploring design tools and methods through ‘doing not talking’. Prototypes get tested on real people, using feedback to improve which is shared and published online across the globe on the final day of the Jam.
I led a session on twin jamming.
What is twin jamming ?
Twinning is pairing with another jam; having a conversation with them over the weekend by working in the open and sharing insights. Through giving and receiving feedback and asking for help, jammers can improve the service they are designing. Leeds twinned with Ghent and Dundee Service Jam.
There are various ways one can select a twin either through the discussion forums by posting a message on Basecamp or through twitter requests.
The jam with Ghent was planned and designed in advance as part of the agenda. The twin jam with Dundee was an impromptu jam where we received and accepted a request via a private Twitter message on Sunday.
The technology used to connect with Ghent service jam was through a video conferencing app called appear-in via a MacBook and a TV screen. To connect with Dundee service jam, the videoconferencing app Zoom was used to connect via an iPad to the TV screen.
We also created a Twitter wave using an iPhone on the Friday evening to connect with Ghent.
Sharing early insights
All the cities taking part in the jam, globally see the same secret theme video. On Saturday Ghent jammers connected with Leeds jammers via appear.in.
It was a great opportunity to share early insights from their user research findings and interpretations of the secret theme video and to get vital feedback to shape their projects. Leeds jammers also asked for help from Ghent to shape their jam project!
Ghent challenged us to a double diamond dance off, and we embraced the challenge with our ‘show don’t tell dance’!
Leeds jammers sharing feedback following Ghent twin Jam!
Twinning with Dundee Service Jam was impromptu and jammers shared insights and prototypes
And similarities between Leeds and Dundee jammers prototypes!
Why Twin Jam?
- Leeds Jammers were able to see, talk, interact and listen to jammers in Ghent and Dundee without leaving the room!
- Through video conferencing jammers can see and interact with the products/service putting the Human Centred Design at the heart of the jam sharing insights through different lens.
- Learning from each other’s experiences and knowledge sharing as different regions and cultures interpret things differently. We need to make sure we create inclusive service design based on real life experiences
- Build up a network by reaching out to other communities globally to ask for help and learn from
- Showing not telling — by showing videos, photos and sketches of what you have made so that jammers can see, feel and interact with the product to improve the service being designed so its inclusive.
- Use Twitter polls to do research and get feedback on ideas in real time and at low cost wherever you are based in the world across different time zones
- Challenge each other e.g. dance off’s, creating the most prototypes etc
- Great way to work in the open sharing with the world, what you have made, as one can see photos and video content, iterating the product based on feedback from users either over video conferencing or Twitter
Top tips for twin jamming
- You don’t need any high tech or expensive equipment to twin jam.
- Ensure you have a strong WIFI connection
- Decide which video conferencing app you will use to connect with your twin taking account of device compatibility, user capability and sound issues
- Have a backup video conferencing tool to use if there are connection problems
- Use speakers to improve the volume
- Connect to a TV screen so that Jammers can see everyone
- Use the chat option to ask questions or give feedback
- Interact with each other over Twitter sharing prototypes, asking for feedback or help either via video, photos, twitter polls or instant messaging
- Find out the time difference and schedule the twin jam to either share/receive early feedback on user research, prototypes or watch show not tells to add value
- Scheduling before lunch is great, as if technical issues then can trouble shoot over a working lunch
- Have an IT savvy friend on standby to help trouble shoot technical issues
I’d recommend twin jamming with another city in a different region or across the globe. It’s a great way to create many opportunities to get people involved to connect, consult, share and work openly to create better products and services based on user needs by learning from each other.
I didn’t learn anything new but this recent Jam has given me a new found appreciation for jams in general, especially when you raise the level and make it into a twin jam – Twin jamming is epic!
If your highly curious look out for a upcoming jam in a city near you! #DoingNotTalking #ServiceDesign #ThisIsWhyWeJam#GSJam