Friday, 18 November 2011

JISC Service Design event with We Are Snook


The project team (Laura, James and Pete) have made it back to Glasgow after encountering the most crowded train ever. I think I could write an entire blog post about the journey, but I'll concentrate on talking about the Service Design event instead.

Firstly, thanks to JISC and Aston University for organising and hosting the event. We had been keen to meet with Snook to discuss our project, so when the opportunity arose to attend we were most keen.

I took two things away from the event that I believe will be most useful for our project.

1. I'm looking forward to using the 'personas' tool when planning and testing our programme content. The event placed an even greater importance on understanding that whilst we think (and our research is indicating) that we have engaged alumni and students, we should not lose sight that not all will fit into this category. It's never going to be possible for us to speak with every different type of person who may or may not be involved in our project, so using personas can help us at least try to deliver a programme that can be all-inclusive.

2. The 'stakeholder map' will be a useful tool further into our project, so that we can take stock of how we started, what we've achieved and where we envisage we might develop. So I must remember to actually draw one out right now.

Additionally, the event was also a good opportunity to catch up with Leo and Loretta from our Cluster group and hear of the progress of their projects.

Thanks for reading!

Oh and if anyone wants to comment (and be the first from outside our Project Team to do so!), then please do!


  1. Glad to hear you got home eventually. Loretta and I were delayed whilst walking to the station because a helicopter wanted to land in the middle of the road. Made me wonder why police have to be so obscure in their statements. When we asked why we could not cross the road - prior to the helicopter appearing - all the police would tell us was 'This is now a sterile area'. Huh? Anyway I digress.
    Agree it was a useful and enjoyable day and I have started creating persona for the EAT-PDP project. Not confident I can put myself in the shoes of the average student though. It all seemed so easy when the charismatic and knowledgable Lauren explained it....Still it is a useful process even if just to highlight how difficult it can be to provide a service for such a varied group of users. From freshers to the 'more mature' alumni.

  2. Hi Leo, Thanks for being our first commenter ever , we will have to return the favour! We seen the helicopter landing too, on our way to the train station, very exciting.

    We are also going to run various personas of students through our process for mentoring, to see how certain students will react, i.e. the shy student, the over achiever. Hoping that this identifies where our service could possibly fail before we launch. We will update as to our outcome if you do the same.

  3. Hi Laura and Pete,
    Just wondering how you got on with creating your personas and stakeholder map? Did you find the process of any value and has it informed the project at all?

    I developed some personas after returning from the Snook event and found it useful in helping me to consider scenarios I had not thought about before - like what if an alumnus does not have access to their own computer? How can we encourage these people to engage with GradSpace? How can we effectively market the service to these individuals when we rely so heavily on alumni e-newsletters and email communication?

    Anyway, how are you guys? How is the project coming along? I can't believe we are already having to think about our final deliverables! It only seems like yesterday that we all met at the start up event!

  4. Hi Loretta

    I'm good thanks , yes time seems to have really flown by in this project. We have been busy developing our alumni website , interactive alumni portal "GU World" (which alumni will access to sign up for volunteering activities) and we have been working on expanding our mentoring programme to feature two tiers rather than one with employers only. So Pete has also been developing an on-line e directory tool to support e mentoring.

    We have also been designing an alumni profile template which will feature on our website and an interactive map which we hope we will be able to use to showcase some alumni profiles.

    So we have been very busy getting all our content and tools to support the project ready. Finally, last week, we reached the stage where we could start testing it all and looking at how all the different elements of our project link together using some Personas we devised and the Customer Journey Mapping tool. We have only just begun and already its identified some changes we need to make, so the tools really are helping us visualise the final product.

    So far we are finding it to be incredibly useful. I have attached a picture of our attempts at service design in my new blog post, but we will document the process in full and write a post about our findings shortly.

    Hope you are well and speak to you soon