Running concept feedback sessions without any concepts

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We recently carried out some concept feedback sessions as part of a project that didn’t have an existing service. This meant that when it came to creating the concepts themselves, we had to think outside the box a bit – we couldn’t create prototypes for an idea rather than a thing

This was a real challenge. How do you present a concept to a user in a meaningful way when you haven’t got anything to actually show them? We weren’t sure if simply describing a concept to users would give them enough information to be able to provide feedback.

One of these concepts was the idea of having digital champions within adult social care. They would be able to support those working in the sector to improve their digital skills, and signpost them to additional resources. Over the phone, we described this idea to users and asked them a series of questions to find out if they thought a digital champion would be helpful and when they might seek support.

This approach actually worked really well. It was really valuable to be able to test the idea of a concept rather than having to wait until there was something more tangible to show to users.

It provided us with an opportunity to see whether we had interpreted users’ needs correctly, and to see whether we were thinking along the right lines in terms of potential solutions to the issues that they had raised throughout our research. 

It also meant we found a way to include people who weren’t as comfortable with video calling. While chatting away on Whereby, Zoom or Teams is second nature to a lot of us now, some people aren’t comfortable with this and it’s really important that we find a way to include them in our research.

Overall, I think our non-concept concept feedback sessions were a success for this project. I’m keen to try this method again on future projects to see if it works well with different types of users and for different types of services.

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