One of Indigo’s key working principles is user-centred design, or co-creation. We use a variety of consultative and research methodologies to achieve this, but by far the most commonly deployed and most productive of these is the Creative Idea Generation (CIG) Workshop.
CIG is a methodology that aims to generate a flow of ideas and creativity around a central Big Question, with guided discussions that identify and seek to answer related questions.
Indigo has developed its unique framework process for CIG workshops over a number of years and deployed this creative consultation technique on a range of projects. Some recent examples include:
Middlesbrough Council – community engagement CIG workshops were delivered to a range of community groups in order to develop interpretation plans for the new Tees Transporter Bridge Visitor Experience. The CIG workshops provided rich narrative threads, bringing the exciting industrial history of ‘Ironopolis’ to life through the stories of the men and women who built the city. These stories and characters became embedded in the exhibition which includes a mobile heritage app and interactive touchscreen kiosks. One example of the creative spark that came from the CIG process is the Blue Dragonfly – a character representing the Tees Transporter Bridge based on a poem by Ian Horn cited by one of the CIG participants:
Below Cleveland’s hills
A giant blue dragonfly
Across the Tees
Reminds us every night
We built the world,
Blackburn with Darwen Council – Bee Yourself web application – CIG workshops with 62 children and young people were facilitated by Indigo in order to shape the development of an online resource for emotional health and wellbeing. The CIG workshops resulted in a host of innovative developmental plans for the online platform including a mood mapper, community network and user-generated tumble blogs. One of the key research methodologies we used on this project was heuristic play – where young participants were provided with digital environments/apps and asked to explore and use them without intervention. One of the clear outcomes of this process was the importance of touch navigation on mobile devices and how intuitively young people use even very complex interfaces. These findings have influenced our whole approach to developing mobile experiences which now include a whole range of intuitive touch navigation including 3D touch and animated gestural transitions that create a textural effect for users.
National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (Ireland) – Phyz App – co-creation workshops with 68 young people and 12 PE teachers were facilitated by Indigo, in order to develop a mobile app for the assessment of Senior Cycle Physical Education in schools across Ireland. The process informed every element of the UX and UI, and resulted in a focus on peer-to-peer motivational features and functions based on social platforms, particularly Snapchat.
Our experiences of co-creative projects have shown how powerfully energising the process can be. The legacy is not just a better product, which genuinely reflects the needs of its audiences; we find that co-creation also leads to improved internal working practices and the uptake of a more agile and customer-focused approach to product development.