Your charity needs to learn digital service design.

Published on
June 10, 2020
in
Perspectives
Joe Roberson
Anyone can learn the skills. Who will at your charity?

Digital delivery. Digital services. Online services. Getting services online. Every charity is doing it.

We’ve no choice. This isn’t a fad. The need for digital services was growing before the pandemic and it’ll continue growing afterwards too.

Your charity needs to learn digital service design.

You need at least one person with basic service design skills.

Anyone can learn them.

And they can learn them while taking your charity's services online at the same time.

How? By using Design Hops.

Enter the Hop...

Hops teach you service design skills. Rapidly.

They aren’t a training course. They are an experiential learning programme that doubles-up as early-stage project support too. 

They are one of the best ways to get started with getting a new or existing service online. They are also good if you:

  • Have a service problem you want to solve, or
  • Don’t know where to start with digital, or
  • Want a design process to follow, or
  • Want to gain confidence to get your team on board with digital.

For two months we've been piloting and testing Online Hops. Now we’re scaling up and making it so anyone can use them. Sign up here.

11 reasons to take a Design Hop

403 charity workers have taken a Hop since November 2018. And 66 more have taken an Online Hop since April 2020. These people now have basic service design skills and are applying them to their charities’ challenges.

In case you needed more of a reason, here’s what they have said about Hops, along with some reasons to sign-up.

1. Hops work for any service delivery challenge

“A well-fashioned, how-to guide. You can do it without feeling pressure to complete.”

Designing a new service. Redesigning old services. Improving existing services. All are fair game for bringing to a Hop.

2. Problem focused

“It was really helpful to pick a problem that meant something to me and work through it at my own pace.”

Hops don’t try and tell you what decisions to make. They are a framework for understanding the problem, and a compass towards finding the right solution.

3. Course content is graspable and memorable

“I like the short sections. Each is short enough to grasp and remember. It’s nice to not be bombarded with 15-min text, 15-min video and then a test…!”

We used the Hop design process to design the Hops themselves. Each lesson needed to be easy to understand and remember.

4. You can go at your own pace

“You could do it as you go along. It's online, I do it at my own pace,its  broken into modules, this is perfect for what I'm needing now.”

There’s no rush. Your progress is always saved. 

It also fits into your workflow. And it gives you time to talk to colleagues as you learn. 

“I'm dipping in and out I'm finding it's more connected with my work. Having it online has been really good.”

5. Ideal for project managers

“This is very relevant to my work as a project manager. I’m interested to know the background, the steps, the context, the processes of moving services online.”

Project managers will benefit. But they don’t have to be the only ones. In fact your process works even better if you have another person to chat over the challenges and learnings with. 

6. Helps with funding bids

“This approach applies to all the new projects we’re interested in doing. Funding bids always ask us ‘what is the need?’”

“I thought it was a fantastic opportunity. It's free, a proven way to approaching digital design and development. And I put in a funding bid.”

By the end of your Hop you’ll be able to present a clear, plausible rationale for funding a new digital service.

7. It’s reassuring and calming to do

“I liked the calming and lovely nature of how she (Hop presenter, Ab Brightman) presents and talks about the processes. It’s so great when you've got loads of ideas but no idea where to start.”

“The way the info is presented makes it really pleasurable - not a chore!”

Hops help you sort out what needs doing and in what order, then guide you through the process in a non-stressful way. 

8. Simple and accurately timed

“It was broken down simply, with time allocated to different segments. It's truthful…you got the comms right about how long it will take!”

Each lesson or segment of the course tells you how long it will take. So you can know in advance and plan ahead. 

9. Includes one-to-one support

“It’s nice that it offers the calls. I’ve never had that in a virtual course before”.

Your Hop has two parts. After each you can book a call with a Hops tutor. The tutor is also on hand to help any other time you need it. They’ll even review your Knowledge Board and Problem Statement for you.

10. Helps you create a service that will be used

“I’ve started developing something that has the best chance of being used. As opposed to 'we think it's a good idea based on a bit of information’. It’s good to have followed a well thought out process.”

“It's given me a route map to look into user behaviour. Before this, I didn't know how to do it.”

“It takes you closer to a service user, helps you understand their motivations and how they do things.“

Ideas often seem good at first but then fail to live up to our hopes and expectations. Hops help you avoid that happening. 

11. Saves money

“It safeguards you against using expensive technology. It gives you a better chance to invest in cheaper tech and test, and have more value to the end user.”

Hops are designed to help you focus on uncovering, through testing, the simplest and most cost effective way of solving the problem, while delivering value to your service users.

Sign up

Get started. Sign up.

Email Hop Tutor, Ab Brightman (ab@thecatalyst.org.uk) with your questions.

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