Digital Civics Blog Entry 11

During these 10 weeks working on our ‘design sprints’ we have learned to work on a project in a team while considering advice and demands from people that would use what we would produce. We learned the benefit and challenges that digital technologies would provide. We also learn the various ethics, statements, ideas that were involved when creating a digital technology.

The words ‘Digital civics’ started to be widely used during the last decades. Depending on your position you can view and define digital civics in different ways. However, it is a form of interaction that involves digital technology and civic groups. Most schools of thought would go towards a digital technology that would go for the benefit of the user. But there are many digital technologies that are designed for surveillance and data collection. To create a digital technology that would go for the benefit of the users there is an absolute necessity of involving potential users during the design of the project. The concept of digital civics is still something that is vague and depends on your ethics, point of view

Our project is a smartphone application that involves the participation of residents of Bensham for their benefit. It permits residents to be more involved in their community but also, it promotes interaction between people and share their knowledge. Furthermore, it permits residents to solve problems that the local government is not in the measure to solve. The project was achieved through deep thinking from the team but also through participation from people that would benefit from it. We have done with them a contextual interview and tested the prototype of the project which enabled us to adapt and verify our design project. So, our project offers services that tend towards the benefit of the public.

During our presentation of the project the feedback was positive. However, as our project is an application on smartphones, people who do not have smartphones are not able to use it which can create inequalities. This can be due to socio economic factors, but also culture, religion can have an influence towards digital technologies. To make it accessible to a maximum of people that is targeted, an internet website version can be created so that people who do not have a smartphone or internet at home can access the application by using, for example, a computer in public spaces such as in a library.


Digital Civics Blog Entry 10

My group asked Jayne Hopkins to arrange prototype demonstrations with 3 participants from Best of Bensham. We wanted to ask the people from the Best of Bensham, as they mostly represent the residents of Bensham. The participants live in Newcastle and they have worked in the Bensham at least for several years. Even though they may not live in Bensham, they interacted with the Bensham residents and they would understand their needs. My group could have asked our friends to complete the prototype demonstrations, however, we concluded that our friend groups do not have background knowledge and understanding for the Bensham community.

Participant Profile Questions

Before we began with the demonstration, we asked them a couple of personal questions and they are in the following points:

How many years have you stayed in Bensham?

  • Participant 1: She doesn’t live in Bensham but she worked in Bensham for about 25 years.
  • Participant 2: She doesn’t live in Bensham but she has worked in the community for 12 years.
  • Participant 3: He doesn’t live in Bensham and he has worked in Bensham for nearly 3 years.

What is your occupation in Bensham?

  • Participant 1: She works with a small charity and also as a project coordinator.
  • Participant 2: Project Support Officer
  • Participant 3: Community Development Worker

What is your experience like in solving local matter in Bensham?

  • Participant 1: She finds that it is difficult for people to talk about the issues.
  • Participant 2: She mostly works with low-income families and the community issue with food poverty.
  • Participant 3: It is hard to engage a diversity of people from different backgrounds and education.

What are some of your hobbies?

  • Participant 1: She keeps hens, likes to keep fit, walking outdoors and knitting.
  • Participant 2: She enjoys reading, writing, walking outdoors, Pilates, swimming and cooking.
  • Participant 3: He likes to hike, camp, cook, make beer and make music.


              There were several tasks that the participants were asked to complete during the interviews. The tasks are listed in the following points:

  1. You are new user to the application. Set up a profile with this application.
  2. You found a issue in the community and you would like to report this issue through the application.
  3. You would like to join a volunteering group that interests you.
  4. Make a volunteering group with this application.

All 3 participants were able to complete these tasks with ease. There were some difficulties in using the Figma website itself, but overall, all the participants enjoyed the process and commented positive opinions.


At the end of the prototype demonstration, we asked the participants to give their honest feedback on the application.

  • On scale of 1-5 (1 being the least and 5 being the most), how easy was the application for you to use? All of the participants answered a 5.
  • On scale of 1-5 (1 being the least and 5 being the most), would you use this application in the future? All the participants answered a 5.
  • All of the participants would recommend this application to other people.


  • Simple, clear, user-friendly, and easy to navigate through the application
  • Likes that the users can report community issues and they will receive automatic updates when the Council takes action
  • Loves the voting feature, allowing the users to express their opinions
  • Likes that the users can invite their friends to vote on an issue or join a volunteering group
  • Thinks that this application is a better alternative than Facebook to make volunteering groups – more controlled

Opportunities and Future Obstacles

If our group had more time, we would ask other residents of Bensham to participate in this demonstration. These 3 participants were all from the same organization, so they may share similar perspectives and opinions about this application. By reaching out to the actual target audience, this would definitely enhance our feedback. One of the participants brought up a good point that this application would be really effective if there is a large number of users. However, the challenge is to convince the residents to accept this new change into the community. The initial process might result in a limited user base, so this might not be able to give the application its intended use. At the same time, there needs to collaboration with the Council to update the administration process online.


Digital Civics 2020 Blog Entry 8

Having established a map for our application in the week before, this week we were introduced to prototyping and conducted an in-session practice of our chosen tool. Due to the circumstances related to the ongoing pandemic of Covid-19, this session was carried out via a remote video conference.

Before creating a successful prototype for our application, it is of essential importance to be familiar with the purpose of a prototype and what it means to the application to be prototyped. A prototype, in general,

  • Presents the target stakeholders a sample of the final product
  • Allows the stakeholder to familiarise themselves with the product
  • Can be used to check for any significant issues that need to be taken care of for further development.

The term ‘prototype’ itself is ambiguous and broadly defined given the wide range of different products that need to be prototyped – there can be interactive prototypes as well as static ones. In our case, the prototype will need to be interactive, as our product is a mobile application which is designed to be heavily interacted with by the intended clients. An interactive prototype will allow the user to

  • Directly interact with the application and discover its functions
  • Determine the quality of implemented functions and suitability to the end user.

During the session, we were presented various methods of prototyping, as well as a range of different tools that can used for it, each with their advantages and shortcomings. When choosing an appropriate tool for creating our prototype, several essential factors need to be considered, including the points regarding an interactive prototype above:

  • Fidelity – this determines the proximity of a prototype to the final product; high fidelity means greater proximity to the final product in terms of appearance and functionality
  • Functionality – what functions does the tool offer and can those be used to achieve the intended working of the application
  • Flexibility – the range of the tool’s usability, e.g. whether the tools requires certain systems or specific software to be working

Based on these, we have decided to use a web-based program called ‘Figma’. It neither requires to be run on a certain operating system nor a specific program to be installed except for a browser, thus allowing to be run by a wide range of users. ‘Figma’ comes with numerous design tools that allow the creation of customisable visual assets, as well as a prototype function enabling to draw interactive connections between elements which can be tested using the presentation mode of the program. These make ‘Figma’ a high-fidelity prototyping program that can be used to test designs for mobile applications, and it also provides various aspect ratios, e.g. that of various mobile phones, tablet computers, to test the prototype on.

Furthermore, ‘Figma’ allows a prototype design to be shared with others using invitations per E-Mail for anyone to view, edit, or interact.

There are a few steps remaining for us to complete the prototype of our application, which are

  • Finalising the storyboard of our app, including the creation of a persona
  • Decide upon which aspects of our design we want to prototype – consider the main objectives of our application while also considering the stakeholders that will use it
  • Refine the prototype design based on the focus aspects – flesh out navigational structure and user interface design.


Houde, S., Hill, C. (1997) What do Prototypes Prototype? In M. Helander, T.K. Landauer, and P. Prabhu, Handbook of Human-Computer Interaction 2nd Edition (1-16). Available from: [Accessed 10th April 2020]

Digital Civics Blog Entry 6. Mid-term presentation/Storyboard

This blog entry will introduce the readers to the work and presentation that our Digital Civics group has made during week six of the project. It will introduce the storyboard sketches made in the seminar session; there will be an upload of a final storyboard that our group has decided to present (Figure 1). Furthermore, the text below will include a discussion about the context of the use of our prototype, its entry and exit points and what the users would be able to do with it. This post will mention how the storyboard relates to user research; what is more, it will quickly describe how our mid-term presentation was presented and how the feedback that we got will be addressed.

Figure 1. Completed Storyboard draft from week 6.

The seminar session this week helped our group to understand what exactly a storyboard is and how it should look including its sketches and a finished draft. “Storyboarding is a common technique in HCI and design for demonstrating system interfaces and contexts of use.” (Storyboarding: An Empirical Determination of Best Practices and Effective Guidelines, 2020) During the seminar, we produced three different sketches of a storyboard. Our main goal was to produce different situations with different user personas, which would enable us to further understand how our prototype would work in various situations. In other words, we did not want to make a prototype idea and then test it just in one scenario; we wanted to test different scenarios and how they would evolve into a story that could be made into a storyboard.

The final storyboard draft used a persona which was likely to be involved in community organizations, is a middle class, middle-aged woman (the persona square in the storyboard will be added later in the project). The context of use in this storyboard can be seen quite clearly while looking at the storyboard. The idea behind it is that a person, who is socially active in his or her neighborhood, sees a problem that should be addressed by the council or by people around the problematic area. In the storyboard, our group used an example of an unmaintained green space. The persona who sees that space notices it and takes a photo to upload it to our prototype idea, an app that lets people share issues around Bensham, the area in Gateshead which the prototype is designed to help make a better place to live in. The storyboard then visualizes how the persona can make a change to such place. The app sends information to the local council and shares it with other users as well as the Bensham community group. Then the council decides if it has the finances and required resources to solve the issue; if not, the Bensham community group will then organize volunteers who will solve the issues without the help of the council.

Our group’s storyboard has been influenced by the user research we have done throughout the project. We have done the research with interviews with local residents, council representatives and site visits. The data produced from this helped us to understand more deeply the problems with the area of Bensham and what the residents want to be happening in the following years. Furthermore, the interviews with government representatives helped us to understand what kind of aid and cooperation we could expect as well as what is happening in Bensham nowadays. With all this information gathered It was quite clear that we had to do a storyboard about a prototype app that help to clean up and maintain safe and welcoming urban spaces in the area of Bensham.

Our mid-term presentation this week has been done with relatively positive feedback. All our group has had a say in the presentation and everyone was feeling that they have something to say and talk about. During the presentation, we introduced our team, talked about project context, the main purpose of it, user and digital application research and tried to show how our prototype would look like in the following weeks.

To summarize, the work that was produced during week 6 has really helped our project to go into the prototyping stage. We have agreed on further work needed to develop the project to be fully presentable in the final pitch.

Mindaugas Rybakovas

Bibliography 2020. Storyboarding: An Empirical Determination Of Best Practices And Effective Guidelines. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 7 April 2020].

Week 7 Blog Post

In order to make a useful application, as a group, we looked at mapping user pathways which is used to give an indication as to how we expect the participants to use our product. By doing this, it offers opportunities to gather questions as to the interactivity that the application will provide and also how we will deal with and will give us a much better understanding of what we are going to prototype in the weeks to come, and progress on any issues which we may come across. Doing this allows us to visualise the experience through the users eyes, and if we did not do this, we wouldn’t fully understand the best way to go about adressing the users needs.

Below, shows our initial map, displaying how we would expect our application to flow. An example of how this works is “Reporting Issue”, from this area, we can see there are two options, the issue being voted up (meaning this is a more important issue than a less voted issue) or the issue being categorised into its specific area. 

One of the points which we talked about was the dilemma of how to get a good user engagement with our product, possibly using some sort of incentive or points scheme to help keep users active and feel rewarded from using the application. Briefly looking into this, we came up with an idea of being able for a user to access how many people they have helped, for example. 

In this session we also looked at how we would go forward with prototyping in the following weeks. These are the points we looked at: 

How to set up a volunteering group? 

How to connect people with the skills/ resources to fix the issue?

Profiles of user (signing up/ update) 

Identifying skills or interests. 

Identical issues? 

Reward systems/ incentives?

Furthermore, one of the problems which we currently face is the indication of the progression of the issue in hand, and who is to deal with that particular issue. At the moment we face a dilemma as to if a problem is too big for locals to fix, and how this can be decided if the council should immediately take this problem on? 

Who would be responsible if someone were to try and fix something and made it worse? 

How can local groups gather to fix a problem and where? 

Blog Week 9

This week we focused on putting a plan together for our prototype demos. The plan involved our actions before, during and after a potential prototype user test we are aiming to carry out in the future. The purpose of our prototype test is to “gauge users’ experience with [the] system” (Hertzum, 2016) and identify the positives and negatives of our app at its current stage, whilst receive feedback on its usability and design from a fresh perspective. 

Before carrying out our prototype demonstration, we had to establish a set of parameters for our test, including our target participant, our aims from the test itself, how we intend to carry out the user test and the different roles we can each take.  

Firstly, we defined our ideal participants as being residents of Bensham who perhaps had an interest in volunteering or being involved in local issues, as these will be the most likely users of our application.  

Also, during these tests, we are aiming to identify the ease of use for participants trying to navigate our application and their ability to use its functions effectively.  

Furthermore, for deciding how we will carry out the user prototype test, due to the current global situation regarding COVID-19, we considered the most efficient method of contacting with potential participants would be through a video conference call/ meeting whereby users can also have access to our prototype through the ‘figma’ application and share their screens while testing the app.  

Finally, we considered some important roles for us to cover during this user testing phase, which would be: 

  • A Facilitator – Leads conversation within the session and encourages user testing through hints etc. 
  • Observer/ Note taker- to keep a script of all the important events during user testing (e.g. User confusion/ stalling at certain points using the app? / Opinions of the user) 

During our user testing phase, we considered the actions we need to complete in order to ensure our prototype test is successful. For this section we took inspiration from the ‘Five-Act Interview’ from ‘Sprint’ on YouTube []. Referenced in this video were five key aspects needed to be involved in your user interview. 

The introduction is the first stage of the interview, whereby we will begin with a friendly introduction in order to make the user feel as comfortable as possible and explain what it is they can expect from the session. It is important to make sure the participant is at ease with the situation so that they can give a critically honest review of the product. Following the introduction, it is useful to ask a series of contextual questions to discover the background of the participant, which will offer a more insightful meaning to their responses and reasoning for being a potential user of the application. 

We then had to consider introducing the application and decided the best action is to describe the aim of our application and a potential situation where it may be used. After this, we considered the tasks we would ask participants to complete during the testing phase and the questions we may ask during this section, as these are vital to the results we get from the test.  

Basic tasks that would be useful for us to explore through user testing would include: 

  • The ability to post and report an issue. 
  • The ability to set up a volunteering group/ interact with other users on the application. 
  • The up-voting and down-voting function of the application. 

Through exploring such tasks as these we can gain an understanding of how easy it is to navigate our product in the way which we aim for it to be used. During these tests it is important we remind our users to speak aloud about what their thoughts are whilst using the app, such as where they may be confused, or whether they like/ dislike certain aspects. We also considered the importance of not guiding them through the app step-by-step and instead allowing them to figure it out (with occasional hints from the facilitator) as this would produce the most authentic experience for a new user and allow us to “find any problems that prevent users from completing their tasks, slow them down, or otherwise degrade their user experience” (Hertzum, 2016).

Once the user has prototyped our app, we will then ask several questions to try and gain an overall review of the product from an outsider perspective, these questions would include: 

  • What did you like/ dislike about the concept? 
  • Are there any things about it you would suggest changing? 
  • How was your experience using the app and would you choose to use it again? 
    Are there any applications like this one that you know of? 

In conclusion, once we have completed our user prototype testing we will evaluate the success of our product and review the results we received from our users. The ways in which we will test our success will include comparing our user tests to our designated tasks to see how many times user was able to complete the tasks with ease or where they needed assistance. Finally, we will document our insights from our demos by comparing each user test and identifying commonalities This will allow us to further design out potential flaws with our app and improve its functionality. 


Hertzum, M. (2016) ‘A usability test is not an interview’, Interactions, 23(2), 82–84, Available at: [Accessed 27/03/2020]

Sprint. (2016) ‘From Sprint: The Five-Act Interview’, available at: [Accessed 25/03/2020]


Digital Civics 2020 Blog Entry 4

The most important topic this week was to further define the goals that we want to achieve with our project with the help of a series of ‘How might we’ questions that were devised in this session. With those in mind, we were presented a few examples of existing applications to facilitate an understanding of their contexts of use, with which we will be designing our project aim.

With our main aim being to help the residents in Bensham express their needs and aspirations for their community, these are the questions and points that came to mind:

  • How might we develop a process of co-production between the residents and the ‘Best of Bensham’ group or between the ‘Best of Bensham’ group and the city council?
  • Help creating a community-led group that works to solve issues of their neighbourhood and holds close contact with members of the community
  • How can we help create a self-organised group among Bensham residents that is able to voice their views and establish a better connection with the council?
  • How might a community group be able to relieve some pressure that the council is overburdened with?

For our search for relevant existing applications, we first established a list of core criteria based on the questions above and a few examples that were presented during the seminar, which included both analogue devices and fully digital website-based means, to make our search for further examples more accurate and goal-oriented:

  • Enable residents to voice their concerns to the community
  • Provide a way where the residents and the council can communicate more directly with each other
  • Provide a means where residents would be able to connect with each other and co-produce solutions with the council

Following these criteria for our search, we have identified multiple applications and platforms which employ means that are uncomplicated to handle and make use of state-of-the-art technology, thus having the potential to gain a wide reach among members of a community.

  • Commonplace: An online platform which seeks to bring citizens and planning authorities as well as councils together to shape the living environment. It comes with the functionality of submitting online feedback, which can be seen and reviewed by the respective council and authorities and reduces the effort that needs to be put into organising in-person interviews.
  • FixMyStreet: This mobile application allows residents to document issues they come across and report them to the local council. The main page provides easy-to-follow instructions for its users, as well as an overview of new and updated reports. Residents are also saved from the trouble of searching for contact persons in the council to report an issue to, as the application does it automatically with its submissions, and provides the space for the respective council to write responses and updates.
  • Block by Block: This collaboration makes use of a popular 3-D sandbox video game called ‘Minecraft’ to involve people from all over the world to partake in public projects where they are otherwise excluded. The virtual world in the game provides an easy way of three-dimensional modelling to tackle a respective issue, and it is not limited by materials. It allows people of a community to come together and express their ideas and suggestions in form of easy-to-make visualisations that are visible to everyone.

While each of these applications focus on a different aspect of engaging people through the employment of state-of-the-art technology, the common point here is to bring people together to reach a common goal and cut down the efforts of establishing communication with local governments. This is an important step to encourage more active participation from citizens in local matters, which will be the main aim of our project.


Commonplace. (n.d.) Conversations to create better places. Available from: [Accessed 9th March 2020]

FixMyStreet. (n.d.) Report, view or discuss local problems. Available from: [Accessed 9th March 2020]

Mojang, Microsoft, UN-Habitat. (n.d.) Block by Block. Available from: [Accessed 7th March 2020]

Falco, E., & Kleinhans, R. (2018). Digital Participatory Platforms for Co-Production in Urban Development. International Journal of E-Planning Research7(3), 1-27. doi: 10.4018/ijepr.2018070105

Digital Civics 2020 Blog Entry 5

This week we worked on the first steps on designing a prototype for our project through sketching. Before drawing our ideas, we review all the work that has been done so far and addressed the objectives so every individual knew what our design would lean towards to. We divided our work into 2 parts. On the first part each individual generated and shared a broad range of ideas through sketching in a certain amount of time. The sketches were influence by the research and interviews that has been conducted in the past. Those ideas once shared were discussed with the group. Each member of the group was given 3 red stickers in order to vote for the ideas that were the most relevant for them. As a result, ideas that had the most stickers were the most relevant as we can see on photo 1 and 2 below. This had an impact on the final decisions we made about the prototype we want to design.



On PHOTO 1 the prototype presented is a digital based application that permit to report issues to the local authority but also share it with the other residents. Through a voting system and enabling people to leave comments it has the purpose to make the voices of the residents to be heard. This prototype has also the purpose of enhancing interaction between residents by creating profiles where they can share their interest skills and knowledge. This prototype has the purpose to enhance connectivity between the local authority and the residents but also between the residents.

On PHOTO 2 the prototype presented is a box with a device that enable to record and listen what other people have been saying notably concerns and suggestions. In the box you have chairs where you could interact directly with other residents. It aims to encourage communication and interaction between residents.

For the second part we took one or several ideas (but no more than 2,3) that were discussed and presented during the first part and sketch 8 variations of it within a short amount of time. When sketching we considered improvement or alternative that could be done with those ideas. After the time passed, we shared and discussed about the variations of our ideas.


On PHOTO 3 two variations of an idea is presented. The idea is a digital application that shows event and issues happening in an area. The left variation is a visual prototype that enables to look on projects/issues/events that has happened, going to happen and happening on a map where you just need to click on the coloured dots in order to have more information. The right variation is a descriptive prototype that enables to look on project/issues/events in a chronological way, personal interest and popularity way. In order to have more information you just need to click on the article.

During this session the main challenges we have encountered was to express our ideas through sketching in a short amount of time and to choose ideas that would become the basis for our future prototype. After this session influenced by the discussion we made on the ideas presented, we decided to work towards a digital application prototype that would promote/strengthen connection between the residents and the local authority and between residents. Further research with the prototype design, notably learning from existing application as examples will permit us to create a viable digital based service.

Digital Civics Entry Blog 3

User Research Methods

The team decided to conduct interviews and site visits for user research. We will be interviewing people who are representatives of the government, local residents and community organizer. These people are highly knowledgeable about their community needs, as they either live in the city or work directly with the community. Additionally, the team will conduct site visits in understanding the spatial connections and relationships with the residents. During the site visit, the interviewers will ask the residents to identify meeting points and vacant properties. This will help us figure out where the residents gathers and which areas could have the potential to be redeveloped for community needs.

Aside from the interviews and observations, we are doing literature reviews on digital platforms that could create co-production in the community. Falco and Kleinhans (2018) displays the different types of digital participatory platforms (DPP). DDP functions as a two-way form of communication, bridging the gap between the residents and government. In this article, it provides successful DPP that are exercised in other cities and countries. We will be conducting research on DPPs that foster collaboration and co-production of ideas within the community. Ultimately, we hope to find DPPs that would align with the three User Goals.

These examples include CitySpidey, Commonplace, Block By Block, Fix My Street, Co-Urbanize, and Bang the Table. These digital application examples research serve as references to how we could potentially develop a product for the community.

After these interviews and observations, personas and customer journey mapping would be explored. Grudin and Pruitt (2002) show that persona is an excellent technique to focus on the main audience and enhance awareness on the user experience. The personas could be created after these interviews and site visits. Marquez, Downey, & Clement (2015) demonstrate that customer journey mapping is essential for understanding the overall experience and paths taken by the users. This method is important in establishing a connection between the designers and users, so the designers could determine which pathways would fit best for the users. These two techniques will be further explored in our research, prior to developing a digital application for the community.

Interview Questions & Observations


Falco, E., & Kleinhans, R. (2018). Digital Participatory Platforms for Co-Production in Urban Development. International Journal of E-Planning Research7(3), 52–79. doi: 10.4018/ijepr.2018070105

Grudin , J., & Pruitt, J. (2002). Personas, Participatory Design and Product Development: An Infrastructure for Engagement. Retrieved from

Marquez, J. J., Downey, A., & Clement, R. (2015). Walking a Mile in the Users Shoes: Customer Journey Mapping as a Method to Understanding the User Experience. Internet Reference Services Quarterly, 20(3-4), 135–150. doi: 10.1080/10875301.2015.1107000


Digi Civics 2020 Blog Entry 2

This week we met with Jayne Hopkins, our project partner from Best of Bensham, with which we discussed our project brief and gained a greater understanding of the area of Bensham and its community. 

We addressed the challenges and opportunities within Bensham as a starting point for our project focus, some of which included: 


  • Lack of financial resource amongst large proportion of population. 
  • Inaccessibility to shops for residents who don’t have access to a car. 
  • Unclean streets (Littering/ Vacant lots). 
  • Best of Bensham is unclear of its unifying theme. 
  • Best of Bensham is set on an asset-based approach but there is a lack of understanding about what this is. 


  • Bensham is a very diverse area. 
  • The population possess many valuable skills (especially its affluent residents)/ knowledge. 
  • There is a large opportunity to achieve results with the locals within the next 12-18 months due to the current motivation surrounding the topic. 
  • There is a great interest in the creation of more outdoor spaces within Bensham, specifically focusing on garden areas for growing plants/ vegetables. 
  • The group ‘Best of Bensham’, is well-resourced regarding grant funding; can give 10 grants of up to £250 to smaller organisations (e.g. To churches running Christmas day dinners for those who don’t have family to share it with). 

After identifying the challenges and opportunities within Bensham we established a key issue for us to concentrate on, which was to help the residents of Bensham express their needs and aspirations for their community.  

We then discussed potential stakeholders in the project, which we identified consisted of a few main groups: 

  • Gateshead Council; Including Neighbourhood Management Services. 
  • Local Community Groups/ Voluntary Organisations. 
  • Business Owners and Private Landlords. 

Our stakeholders influenced the next steps in our project, which were to determine a number of activities which would help us in developing our research further. We decided to arrange some next steps regarding our project plan which were to organize a series of interviews/ meetings with known residents and community members who are involved in the community activity in their area, and one member of the council. These include people such as, Dave Andrew, Phil Donovan and Robert and Marilyn Rae. The aims of these meetings are to gain knowledge about residents’ opinions of Bensham, relating to the challenges and opportunities we have discussed and learn their thoughts on residents’ ability to express their opinions about the community, as well as the councils point of view regarding the matter. 

There was also some mention of conducting a workshop which the general public of Bensham could get involved with to share their opinions on the matter. This approach was considered to be potentially more effective than individually questioning members of the public on the streets yet would be a challenge to organize. 

We also decided it would be a good idea for some of us to conduct a site visit and  take photographs of the area so we could better understand the characteristics of the location, such as the amount of green/ outdoor space in the area, number of vacant lots and the levels of litter throughout the streets.  

Here are our mind maps regarding the challenges and opportunities identified within Bensham, our stakeholder and process map, and our initial suggestions for project actions.