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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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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6 Reasons to Start Solo in Idea Generation

October 11, 2017

Reap the benefits of listening to many different ideas and combining the best together. Overlap’s first and most important rule is Start Solo in idea generation.

Imagine this: There are ten people sitting around a table, trying to solve a problem. Someone blurts out an idea. The group then spends the rest of their time together discussing and debating that one idea. They hear from the loudest and first to speak up. They never get to hear from the introvert, or possible expert in the room.

The rule of starting solo comes from our Chief, Creativity & Interdisciplinary Collaboration, Linda Carson, and she's made us all promise that if she's ever abducted by aliens, this is how we'll remember her. By always Starting Solo.

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3 Free Design Tools For Understanding Student Needs

August 31, 2017

The first step of engaging with students is listening to them. Whether the end goal is to help students feel comfortable on campus, succeed academically, transition into a career, or access the mental health services they need at school, working with students to create effective change is no small task.

Universities and colleges are recognizing that our education system will only be improved by engaging with the students they directly impact. Many school campuses are focused on having open and honest engagement between students, faculty, and staff.

In this post, you’ll find 3 design tools for understanding student needs that will give you the insights you need to make their experience better.

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3 Easy-to-Use Design Tools for Understanding Patient Needs

August 09, 2017

More and more, we recognize the need to engage patients in healthcare. "Improving patient engagement" is becoming a popular theme in hospital strategic plans, and governments are pushing for it to become a bigger priority too. 

So, we get that we have to engage patients more, but how do we do that? We don't want to just engage for the sake of engaging, right?

Here are 3 free and easy-to-use tools for engaging with patients that will give you the insights you need to make their experience better.

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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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How to Use an Empathy Map

July 06, 2017

An Empathy Map is one of those tools that we always keep in our back pocket because it often produces an "aha!" moment and it is incredibly versatile.

Originally developed by Scott Matthews, Empathy Maps provide a process for empathizing with your own customers, service or product users, or stakeholders. They help us dig into a person's experience of the context in which we interact with them.

Continue reading to learn how to use an empathy map as a research tool and scroll to the bottom for a free download to try it yourself!

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Using Design Sprints to Create an Early Literacy Movement

May 18, 2017

Learn about the human-centred insights and actionable feedback a five-day design sprint can provide through the lens of an Early Literacy Project.

The Early Literacy Alliance of Waterloo Region, (ELAWR) has dedicated six weeks of 2017’s Prescription for Literacy Project to participating in 6 separate design sprints: a series of “unique five-day process[es] for answering crucial questions through prototyping and testing ideas.”

The Prescription for Literacy Project, in collaboration with Overlap, is on a mission to create an early literacy movement that drives people to understand the critical importance of early literacy and its resulting impact on our children and society. The goal is to design, test, and implement new or re-imagined approaches to ignite a passion for early literacy.

This post will outline ELAWR’s Prescription for Literacy Project, explain what a design sprint is, walk you through a five-day design sprint, and share the invaluable insights the week provided.

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Everything You Should Know Before Attending Your Overlap Design Thinking Course

April 20, 2017

Design Thinking is not an exclusive skill, natural ability, fine art, or rocket science.

Design thinking is accessible to everyone.

In this post you'll find additional information and useful tips for attending your Overlap design thinking course.

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Harnessing the Power of Design Thinking in Addictions and Mental Health Care

April 11, 2017

Utilizing design thinking in addictions and mental health care puts a deliberate focus on the needs of the people you are trying to serve, helping to cut through any distractions that can stall innovation. When we deeply empathize with the people we are trying to support, real progress is possible.

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A Beginner’s Introduction to Design Thinking

March 23, 2017

Your introduction to design thinking will inspire creativity and better problem-solving in your personal life, your business and the world around you.

In this post you’ll find:

  1. What is Design Thinking?
  2. Defining Design Thinking
  3. Design Thinking For Daily, Business, and Global Problem Solving
  4. Design Thinking Resources, Tools, and Courses