Coming face to face with real life at the Service Design Academy user research bootcamp

Our research wall from the bootcamp

I’ve had a great time over the past two days on the Service Design Academy user research bootcamp. This is the second bootcamp of three, all part of the PDA in Service Design. I’m very lucky to have had my employer, the University of Edinburgh, send me on this course.

These bootcamps are truly intensive. They cram a lot in at breakneck pace. We have been working with a live brief in a serious problem space. The speed and scale of the work has left me feeling a little bit wiped out this evening. But I’m also in awe with what everyone in the group achieved in a short space of time.

I’ve done a fair amount of user research in my role at the University of Edinburgh. But in this bootcamp we have been researching groups of people who are facing all sorts of challenges in their home lives. It’s a very different experience knocking on the doors of complete strangers, and being faced with some hard-hitting realities — right in people’s living rooms. It got me thinking a lot.

But we’ve also had some fun chatting to college students in the canteen, plying them with sweets and stickers in exchange for a different perspective on our topic.

I also got roped into doing a vox pop about the bootcamp! 😬

More in-depth blog posts about my Service Design Academy experience will follow.

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