Designing user-centred approaches for public engagement

A Notwestminster 2017 workshop from Elli Panagopoulos

Notwestminster workshops ident

Over the last few years, government has begun to embed user-centred design in the development of its services, spaces and policies. However, there are still several challenges that local authorities and other organisations face when trying to engage effectively with citizens, decision makers, professionals and others.

In this hands-on session, participants will work together to create a user-centred public engagement approach that addresses challenges such as reaching representative groups at scale, working with limited resources and involving people in convenient and creative ways.

We will begin by talking about user-centred design and research – what it is, how it’s been applied in the public sector and what the key challenges are to engaging with different groups and individuals. We’ll share case studies and best practice examples, some from local government and others from larger public bodies, including some of our own work in the area.

Participants will then work in groups to develop public engagement approaches for a specific brief. We’ll provide each group with a set of user-centred research cards to use as inspiration. These cards will show and explain digital tools that could be used to reduce costs, user-centred approaches like co-design and ethnography, as well as blank cards for participants to add their own ideas. We’ll help you to think about places where you might find people to engage with in the community, and what digital tools could you use to develop ideas together.

By the end of the workshop, participants will have explored practical ways to engage people in local decision-making. We will also identify how you can apply these approaches to your own work as part of a #notwestminster democracy experiment.

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ElliElli Panagopoulos

Eclipse Experience

Elli is a design researcher at Eclipse Experience –  a user-centred research agency. Her focus is giving citizens a voice in the design of the services, spaces, and policies that affect them. She draws on her background in iterative, contextual design research, and knowledge of digital democracy tools to help government, public bodies, and other organisations better reach and understand the public, including seldom heard groups and individuals.


Kirklees Democracy Commission
Kirklees Democracy Commission

All our Notwestminster 2017 workshops are based on themes that have been inspired by discussions with citizens, as part of the Kirklees Democracy Commission.

This workshop is inspired by…

Connecting citizens and decision makers

Notwestminster 2017 workshops list