The Cardiff Market Project and Building Bridges: PDR User-Factor Pilots
The Cardiff Market Project
PDR (https://www.pdr-online.com/), via the User Factor project, has brought design thinking and creative policy to small and medium sized business throughout Wales. The Cardiff Market project aimed to support organisational bodies or individual traders within Cardiff City Centre. The support consisted of local outreach and the provision of workshops whereby PDR identified grievances and challenges that users faced whilst providing an educational experience to participants. Outcomes produced from the facilitation of workshops were presented to market organisers upon the completion of the project
Building Bridges – Business by Design
Taking a different approach to the Cardiff Market Pilot, PDR took a direct approach to supporting SME’s and chose to offer individual support to organisations, allotting between 4 – 8 days design support on a project of their choosing. Projects undertaken included user research, UX design, service design, the development of design capacity among others. The aim was to take the client through a full project lifecycle from a design standpoint, leaving them with a functional product or service at the end of the support. This way, a business can see the direct impact design can see on a product or service development and be able to reproduce the steps in future initiatives.
PDR provided over 55 – 80 days bespoke design support to 11 businesses, and participants stated they considered the project as a success and that their understanding of design had radically changed since the onset of the project. They were all firmly happy with the support they had received and intended to use the user centred design process for future development
The support consisted of workshops, research and ideation with the aim of developing new or renovated offerings small businesses can offer consumers. Whilst doing this, PDR aimed to demonstrate the value of integrating the design process with day-to-day operations and the development of new products.
The timeline of support was as follows;
A goal setting workshop – where the needs of the business were discovered and design thinking concepts including research, analysis and ideation were introduced
Active Support – This section of support was made up of between 5 – 8 days bespoke support for the business, in the form of user research, ideation or workshops.
Final stages – This last part involved the writing of an in depth design report which will function as an instructional or guide on how to perform the process themselves in future projects.
PDR hopes that through this practical ‘first hand’ support, businesses will not only develop new offerings but spread design thinking and the design process as a principle and ethos across sectors, providing lasting and immediate value.