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Trauma-informed design: lessons learned from researching with citizens through the COVID-19 pandemic by ‍Kate Every (Mastek)

Workshop

1 hr 30 mins

People who have experienced trauma are all around us: they are our team members, our users and perhaps even ourselves. Researching with users, we risk triggering past trauma, or even inadvertently creating fresh trauma, yet many of us are ill-equipped to deal with this complexity in our roles. This workshop is a chance to learn about trauma-informed practice, and gain practical ideas for embedding it.

Date and time:

Tuesday, 14 November - 10:30-12:00 GMT, 5:30-7:00 EST, 2:30-4:00 PST

Intended audience: 
  • Some experience in inclusive design, but still learning
  • Expert practitioners

Registration opens: 9 October

Register
Date and time:

Tuesday, 14 November - 10:30-12:00 GMT, 5:30-7:00 EST, 2:30-4:00 PST

Register

People who have experienced - or are experiencing - trauma are all around us. They are on our teams, they are the users of our services, and we may even have experienced trauma ourselves. As human-centred researchers and designers, we seek to understand the lives and experiences of our users in order to design services that will meet their needs. As we open up these lines of communication, we also open ourselves up to the risk of triggering trauma in our users, or even creating fresh trauma through the research process. Yet many of us are not equipped to deal with this complexity in our roles.

Drawing from academic research literature, and practical experience of designing services in Government, this session aims to open up a conversation around trauma-informed research and design. It will encourage us to consider how we could be doing more as practitioners to protect our users and ourselves throughout the human-centred design process. It will provide attendees with some key terms; a framework for trauma-informed research and design; resources for further engagement with the topic; and ideas for a starting point for trauma-informed practice. This is complex, involved work so this is very much at the start of a conversation and not intended to be comprehensive.

I will give examples of where I have failed on this front in the past. I will then facilitate a discussion and workshop activities where we look at why it is so hard to embed trauma-informed principles in our work, and how we might start to do this in practice.

Key takeaways:

  • An understanding of what we mean by trauma (including vicarious or secondary trauma) and trauma-informed design and research
  • Practical ideas on how to protect users and ourselves within a research and design setting
  • A co-designed “Trauma-informed Charter” as a starting point for conversations within your own organisations
  • This session is aimed at practitioners with experience of researching with users, or designing products or services for users. This is not limited to user researchers, or people with “design” in their job title.
Kate Every in front of her garden hedge.

Lead Service Designer

Left

Lead Service Designer

Right

Left

Lead Service Designer

Middle

Right

Hostile Documentary

1h 38m | 2022

People who have experienced - or are experiencing - trauma are all around us. They are on our teams, they are the users of our services, and we may even have experienced trauma ourselves. As human-centred researchers and designers, we seek to understand the lives and experiences of our users in order to design services that will meet their needs. As we open up these lines of communication, we also open ourselves up to the risk of triggering trauma in our users, or even creating fresh trauma through the research process. Yet many of us are not equipped to deal with this complexity in our roles.

Drawing from academic research literature, and practical experience of designing services in Government, this session aims to open up a conversation around trauma-informed research and design. It will encourage us to consider how we could be doing more as practitioners to protect our users and ourselves throughout the human-centred design process. It will provide attendees with some key terms; a framework for trauma-informed research and design; resources for further engagement with the topic; and ideas for a starting point for trauma-informed practice. This is complex, involved work so this is very much at the start of a conversation and not intended to be comprehensive.

I will give examples of where I have failed on this front in the past. I will then facilitate a discussion and workshop activities where we look at why it is so hard to embed trauma-informed principles in our work, and how we might start to do this in practice.

Key takeaways:

  • An understanding of what we mean by trauma (including vicarious or secondary trauma) and trauma-informed design and research
  • Practical ideas on how to protect users and ourselves within a research and design setting
  • A co-designed “Trauma-informed Charter” as a starting point for conversations within your own organisations
  • This session is aimed at practitioners with experience of researching with users, or designing products or services for users. This is not limited to user researchers, or people with “design” in their job title.

Kate Every (she/her)

Kate is a Lead Service Designer specialising in inclusive and ethical design and delivery. She currently works in Service Design consultancy for global digital transformation company Mastek.

On a recent engagement, she was leading on Accessibility, Inclusive & Equitable Design within the UK's national COVID-19 testing roll-out, at NHS Digital. She also heads up Mastek’s Service Design practice, working with a team of engaged practitioners to champion and embed inclusive, trauma-informed approaches to research and design.

Her academic background is in Human Rights Practice, with Masters’ fieldwork and research into restorative justice and survivor-centred approaches to criminal justice. She brings this lens to her work as a human-centred designer in Government and healthcare.

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