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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Why Behavioural Insights Are Essential to Good Design

January 10, 2017

I’m really interested these days in exploring the link between behavioural economics and design. I’ve barely scratched the surface, but I’m going to attempt to introduce you to this exciting field, because I think behavioural insights are going to be invaluable in the practise of design within the next several years.

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Service Standards: Establishing the Bottom Line

November 29, 2016

 Great service delivery can be a tough nut to crack. In Canada, we pride ourselves on publicly funding many of our social services to make them widely accessible—and that's something we should be proud of. A shortfall of our system is that providers often don't feel they have enough money to provide the same kind of top-notch services that privately-funded social services can afford. It's easy to become very focused on the basic end of actually delivering the service—as long as Cory has someone to call to make an appointment to address his mental health challenges, and he eventually does get to speak to a qualified person, we're delivering the service. It's easy for the other details to become extraneous. 

But those details are important. How the service feels is a crucial aspect of the service's success. How might we ensure a great service experience? 

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Designing Better: a Case Study in Human-Centered Design

August 08, 2016


Human centered design is an immensely powerful concept and practice. Its power is illustrated in our recent project with the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo-Wellington-Dufferin, investigating how we might improve the system of mental health and addictions services for adults in the region.

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How Does Patient-Centred Design Work?

June 21, 2016

How do we create positive, lasting change in our patients' lives?

"The first thing we do is talk to lots of people. [Institutions] find this really scary—they don't always want to talk to their end users, because I think they're worried we might not be able to solve the problem. The thing is, you don't have to solve the problem. But you should recognize that it is a problem."

Watch Overlap's CEO Brock Hart share reflections and stories  at KW Counselling's AGM about his experiences driving patient-centred design. Thanks to KW Counselling for the opportunity to share!

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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.