To our community of civic designers–and our community members who don’t yet see themselves as designers–we’re excited to announce the launch of our Resource Library.
We define design simply as “the series of decisions on our way to solving a problem.” Designers, therefore, are the people who help to make those decisions. We are passionate about redefining who ‘gets to be’ involved in the design process and improving the way priorities are set and decisions are made.
For this reason, we find it important to share and demystify the ‘design’ tools we use. We hope that more “non-designers” can make use of them, and over time bring more people into decision-making.
Our Resource Library represents the practical side of our work, rooted in our experience translating private sector design tools for the unique constraints and values of the public sector. Sharing our tools and insights is one of the steps we are taking toward democratizing design and disrupting the “that’s the way we’ve always done it” model.
Who might use this Resource Library?
These tools are intended for practitioners at any level and in any department who work in government , nonprofits, foundations, or mission-driven businesses. We believe design tools and methodology are valuable no matter where you sit in your organization, and that collaborative decision-making tools should be in the hands of those with direct experience of the challenge being addressed.
Design Principles for our Resource Library
To guide the creation of our resource library, we developed design principles. The resources that we share should be:
- Desirable. Compile tools that our clients and training participants have found valuable.
- Practical. Offer tools that our community can easily put to use and can recognize from past projects or trainings with us.
- Accessible. Provide instructions and tips in plain language, and offer file formats that we’ve vetted with our public sector partners.
- Authentic. Share tools that we have developed or iterated through the course of our work, ensuring each resource has been tested and will continue to be refined through application.
- Generalizable. Human-Centered Design informs all our projects, and can be introduced into many of yours. Our tools should offer a clear outline of an approach, while being general enough to apply to any kind of public sector challenge.
Introducing Our First Batch
In addition to the design principles, we wanted to share tools that spanned the human-centered design process (Discover–Define–Co-create–Prototype & Test–Implement).
Our tools cut their teeth both on our projects and in the testing ground of our Learning Lab. This first batch reflects the six tools that rose to the top for our team, as well as our community:
As we learn and grow, so shall this library. We will revisit and iterate on both this list and the tools themselves, just as we hope you will test and build on them.
All of these resources are licensed via Creative Commons. This means you can distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as CivicMakers is attributed.
Hearing from our Community of CivicMakers
Check out these tools–practice with them, reimagine them for your work–and let us know when you do! Find something particularly valuable? Then please share with your colleagues or network.
Don’t see a tool that you think is important? Wish a template was offered in another file type? Contact us to share your hopes, requests, or resulting work samples, and let’s begin co-creating!
Community building and reciprocity are central to this work. Our hope is that we can cultivate resources for civic design and collaborative decision-making that bring as much value to your team as they do to ours.