I sabotaged the plan, and it was one of the best things I’ve done

We had all the experts in the workshop – lead policy officer, police expert, survivors’ charity, community reps.

Our job: design a £200k/year clinic in the middle of the borough, helping the most serious of subjects – domestic abuse.

The big breakthrough was when we realised, with all those experts in the room, we didn’t know.

There were clinics in the north and south – the new money was because some communities were underserved. We knew that – or had a reasonable assumption.

But we didn’t know who would use the new service, or what their needs would be.

We realised a ‘concierge solution’ was needed – test and learn in the real world.

We would print A4 fliers and post them in community centres.

We’d open for an hour a week, with the lead policy officer on duty – massively overqualified and overpaid for frontline work. She could literally take individuals by the hand, to every service they needed. A luxurious solution able to fit to every specific need.

Once we’d seen 100 people, we would have an idea of the *real* needs – and design for them.

What’s an example of something you’ve built based on real world learning and feedback?


The Dragon Rocket 2 in hover testing, with the slogan 'Test in the real world is a Jedi move...'

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