As a service designer you, funnily enough, design! You make sure there’s an intent, you understand the needs of your sponsor, stakeholders, users, you confirm your parameters and constraints and you use prototyping, iteration and testing to make your very best guess at what will work. You document it all in a compelling evidence-based story called a Design Specification and you hope you’ve done something to instill a design mindset in the multi-disciplinary team you collaborated with. And then usually (however increasingly not for us but more on that later), you leave the business to it to do the work of implementing the solutions.
For our DesignInSchools project with Macquarie Primary School – taking a group of 10 and 11 year-olds through a formal design process on a real problem – we didn’t really just leave the business to it because implementation and then evaluation are critical subsequent steps to design actually making the difference you intended.
Principal Wendy Cave, as sponsor, champion, point-of-pain-sufferer and driver (literally and metaphorically) would keep us in the loop of all the conversations and negotiations she was having with Police, Road representatives, Education Directorates, all the while being driven herself by the team of students in the IMM (Implementation Managers Macquarie).
And this week we were so proud to rejoin our colleagues, team-mates and friends at Macquarie Primary School to launch the implemented design that our team of Year 10-11 students and their teacher Faith Bentley developed.
All of the elements of the design have been implemented, and in a couple of cases, beneficially extended:
- Solution 1: Representation and Reality – A map showing functional zones, layout and peak/off-peak usage guidance has been developed and made available electronically to all users.
- Solution 2: Sign Zones – Road markings have been updated, zones clarified, and layout adjusted to aid functionality of all users (i.e parents/carers, students, staff, walkers, drop-off/pick-up users, visitors). Accompanying signs are mix of instructional messages and friendly-toned guidance.
- Solution 3: VIPs (Very Important Presence) – the physical presence of people in the car park at peak times on a volunteer basis is now fully rostered. The School calls them ‘Vesties’ and “they are invested in creating a positive car park user experience”.
- Solution 4: Speedbreaker – a concrete speedhump has been installed at the entrance to focus the drivers attention as early as possible on the mixed use environment they are moving into.
- Solution 5: The Great Divide – a designated ‘safety zone’ that is enacted by use of cones and Vesties at the peak 15 mins in the morning and afternoon. The divide effectively splits the road in half and ‘forces’ drop-off/pick-up behaviour (not park and stay in a drop-off zone). The impact on the flow in peak times is remarkable.
With anecdotal reports of “a completely different experience for all now” in the carpark this project – this experience – has been outstanding.
- Big Reflections from Little Designers
- Good Design Awards 2016
- Below: A couple of pretty chuffed designers given the honour of cutting the ribbon.