Getting down with the Kidz

As part of the Leeds Digital Festival we joined the herd from Hippo Digital and a group of 20 volunteers from the digital community to help amazing local charity Kidz Klub Leeds.

Kidz Klub and Hippo had joined forces to tackle one of Kidz Klub’s biggest challenges:

How can we improve the on-boarding experience for new volunteers?

The charity get over 60 new volunteers a year and they want make them feel welcome at Kids Klub and excited about getting the coveted blue t-shirt. But the process was inefficient, slow and risked putting potential volunteers off completely.

Finding and framing the problems

The first thing us designers like to do is get to know the problems we are trying to solve inside out. So we walked through the existing on-boarding process, asking a million questions in the process and generally probing and exploring the key issues.

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The team from Kidz Klub patiently and honestly answered our questions for about an hour to help us understand the problem fully. After that we only had four hours to come up with some solutions so we split into four teams and chose one problem to solve per group.

The four problem areas we chose to solve were:

  1. The application process;
  2. The training programme;
  3. The website; and
  4. The internal processes used to track volunteers through the journey.

My team was made up of the fantastic Rebekah Barry, Fern Williams, Luke Johnson, Daniel Wigglesworth, Julia Silva and Big Chris. We worked on problem 4.

Prototyping and researching potential solutions

Once each team had their problem we started to brainstorm ideas about how we could solve it. These ranged from drawings on pieces of paper to more adventurous technical examples using real code.

The teams then demonstrated their ideas to member of the Kidz Klub team to see whether they might work in the real world.

And so we continued into the evening, with the teams iterating and refining their ideas and the Kidz Klub team testing them and giving us feedback until they were just right.

The show and tell

At the end of the evening, despite the pizza and ice-lollies, energy was waning. It was 8pm and we had been hard at it for 7 hours straight. So when 40 Kidz Klub volunteers landed to see what we had been doing all day it was just the boost we needed to power through to the end.

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Each team took it in turn to present their solutions to the audience and it is fair to say every one of them did an amazing job.

The team who worked on the website had been out on the streets of Leeds and gathered lots of valuable insights from the general public, and the team working on the training programme estimated that their solution would cut the training costs for the charity by 85%!

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Our team ended up with three solutions for the problem we worked on, one that the charity could do the very next day, one that would take a week to implement and a more technical one that would take a month to develop.

After the show and tell the grateful-ometer was off the scale.

The Kidz Klub team were blown away by the amount and quality of new ideas that the volunteers had come up with, and the volunteers were humbled and honoured that the Kidz Klub had trusted them to help.

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Mark summed it up perfectly.

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The end?

Don’t bet on it. The day was expertly hosted and facilitated by Liz Whitefield, Mike Tattersall (below) and all the fantastic Hippo Herd, and they will continue to help Kidz Klub implement the ideas they liked best. No doubt helped by the volunteers from the day who were keen to stay involved.


And of course, the amazing work of Kidz Klub Leeds doesn’t end either. If you would like to become a Kidz Klub volunteer, what are you waiting for?!

The on-boarding process will be as smooth as silk.

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