Getting to Better

Welcome to Overlap's Getting to Better, our blog for stories, insights, and industry trends surrounding social innovation, capacity building, design thinking, and human-centred design.

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How A Journal Can be a Powerful Design Research Tool

November 07, 2017



Journaling is a great way to collect in-depth data on a participant’s experiences. This post will take you through some of the benefits and drawbacks of journaling, and some tips on how you might use journals in your own research.

As with any research tool, there are a few things to take into consideration before deploying it to ensure you’re collecting useful data.

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A List of Resources to Help Non-Tech Industries Learn Agile Methodology

October 30, 2017

We’ve compiled a list of resources for anyone just beginning to learn about Agile, or for anyone not from a software background.

With this reading list, your non-tech organization can learn Agile methodology, begin applying Agile, accelerate innovation across your teams, and much more.

Agile methodology refers to a way of working that is iterative and flexible.

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Shake Things Up With 6 Alternatives To Traditional Meetings

July 31, 2017

Meetings have developed a bad reputation over the years for being unproductive and distracting. Too often, the meetings we run can stifle creativity and leave attendees feeling bored or even aggrieved that their time was wasted.

Entrepreneur even suggests that Meetings Are One of the Worst Business Rituals. Ever.

While any meeting should be avoided if it's redundant, unnecessary, or undefined, there are still situations where a meeting is the best possible option.

We suggest trying these alternatives to traditional meetings to motivate your team and spark creativity across your organization.

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15 Free Or Nearly Free Design Thinking Tools

July 18, 2017

Design is an empathy-driven approach to interacting with the world around us. Design Thinking began as the study of how designers think, but it continues to evolve in many areas outside of traditional design.

There’s no one way to practice design thinking—it’s a mindset that puts people and creative thinking at the forefront of problem-solving.

Begin applying this approach to your problem-solving with the following free design thinking tools.

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Avoid Becoming the Next Blockbuster Video By Using Strategic Foresight

June 27, 2017

Get your organization on the path that’s the most likely to lead to success using strategic foresight.

A well thought out foresight plan will help your organization lead with a better sense of what the future might bring.

This post will introduce you to using strategic foresight, outline examples of past trends and drivers (Netflix and more), and get you started with some horizon exercises that you and your organization can begin today.

Change may be a constant, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Consider all of the technological, social, economic, and political changes that have occurred even in the past ten years.

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Putting Creativity in Practice Through Museums and Human-Centred Design

June 20, 2017

Too often, creativity and play are shunned from day-to-day work and life. Yet by incorporating inclusive opportunities to be creative, our perspectives can expand beyond measure. 

  • A space for discovery, play, and inspiration
  • A space to listen to diverse voices from the past and present
  • A space where everyone, of all learning styles and abilities, is welcome to be creative

As a museum professional now working in human-centred design, to me this describes museums as well as the spaces and places where we apply human-centred design every day.

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Using Ethnography in Design Research Can Unearth Problems You Never Knew Existed

May 31, 2017

Using Ethnography in design research can reveal rich human insights.

What if, instead of sending out a survey or bringing people into the lab, you went out and watched how they behave in the real world?

Ethnography is a human-centred research method where you immerse yourself in participant’s environment to gain a more in-depth and often profound perspective of their lives. With it, you can uncover problems and solutions you might never have known existed.

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Why Healthcare Needs More Makers

January 31, 2017

Young makers can teach us how the healthcare system might apply big dreams, risk-taking, and feedback to achieve better, more human-centred results.

In 2016, I had the honour of attending a maker camp with my 10-year-old stepdaughter. I volunteered my time as a mentor because I miss working with kids and it got me in one of the coolest camps ever.

Throughout the week I started noticing some things that I found interesting and I started to think about how these insights might apply to healthcare.

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6 Design Books for Your 2017 Reading List

January 23, 2017

Are you beginning 2017 resolved to learn a new skill, to work differently, to be more creative or to stand out as a leader in your field? Design thinking is a burgeoning practice based in empathy that is changing the way work is done in a wide variety of fields, yielding new insights into old problems—from creating more patient-friendly healthcare experiences to court reforms in the Yukon that are increasing access to family justice to building AirBnB's understanding of why hosts reject guests.

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What I've Learned About Designing Services and Why It Matters

June 07, 2016

Brooke Young is a System Coordinator based at CMHA WWD. Brooke’s been working with us for the past year on a big project to redesign adult mental health and addictions services in the region. As someone who has wholeheartedly embraced human centred design and design thinking in her work, she shares 10 compelling insights below about how we can use design to get to better.