Below you can find out more about the tools and approaches that challenge teams use to develop their prototypes.
Each tool helps challenge teams to work through four phases: Learn, Plan, Do, and Review.
This diagram shows what you will be collecting along the way, so that you are building up evidence of your project outcomes. Each challenge will be at different stages at different times.
You can refer to this diagram. Use this from time to time to review your journey, check you are on track and remind yourselves of how you will make an impact through your work. Click on each phase where you can access free downloadable tools which will help you, it’s the toolkit!
Europe Challenge Journey
Libraries and communities scope the challenge and learn what’s happened already, or what’s out there that might inform their thinking.
Use this template to help you start your work together and understand what you are trying to address and why. It’s also useful as a tool to check that everyone is on the same page.Download problem statement template Download problem statement template (Spanish translation)
Observe and record
To understand the problem, try observing it in action.
What’s happening? Why is it a problem? Who is it a problem for?
Gain a deeper understanding by asking others to keep a diary or take photos of the ‘problem’ from their perspective. What can you learn from this?
Empathy mapping and Persona templates
Put yourselves in the shoes of other people using this simple tool. To experience empathy, first decide on a persona. This is a great way for people to have conversations and explore topics through forming a fictional character. By getting people involved in your challenge to define the characters, this technique goes beyond stigma or any intrusion people may experience in relation to their individual characteristics. Looking at a topic through the eyes of someone else can also broaden thinking.Download Empathy mapping template Download Empathy mapping template (Spanish translation) Download Persona templates Download Persona templates (in Spanish)
This template will help you get started on your project. It asks you to think about the overall outcome you want to achieve and support your understanding of what you plan to do and start to gather ideas for making it happen.Download Logic model template
Activities sample session – example for ideas generation
Before you start prototyping solutions and thinking about the practical aspects of your project, it’s important to get creative and brainstorm as many ideas as possible. You will then be able to prioritise the ones you want to bring forward and test.Download idea generator template Download idea generator template (Spanish translation)
Communities and libraries work together to turn their ideas into a prototype
You have arrived as a partnership between community and library. It doesn’t need to stop there. Using this mapping tool, get curious and ask:
- Do we have all the people here we need?
- Who is the ‘we’?
- Who else do we want to be involved with?
Project poster –- for bringing ideas into one place
The project poster encourages you to think about the next steps and what actions need to be taken to make it happen. You can use the project milestones at the bottom of the template to prioritise the actions and keep on track with your progress.Download project poster template
Project planning framework –- for organising outcomes
This template will help you predict and plan what outcomes you are aiming to achieve. Going through each level will encourage you to think about what you want to do in your project as an overall aim, and better understand how to get there.Download project planning template
Invite a small group of people who have interest in your topic to a workshop to explore your prototyping ideas. This will help you get an overview of reactions to your topic and help you add ideas that you may have overlooked. Make sure you have a sample of people who are relevant to the topic. Prepare carefully so they are able to share their thoughts freely and comfortably. Make space for their ideas in your prototype.
Measuring impact and change and reflecting on how successful your Europe Challenge is
This is a great template for helping you describe your challenge as though you were in a social situation. Imagine telling your neighbour a simple story about highlights and best bits. Use this template to plan how to outline your narrative.Download collecting stories template
Outcomes Mapping – to track outcomes
Once you have started planning your project, it’s time to think about the concrete outcomes you expect to see and the ones you would like to see. Use this template at the start and all along the way to check you are getting the results that you are hoping for.Download outcomes mapping template
Most significant change poster – for making a note of impact along the way
This is about identifying what your impact is along the way, thinking about both expected and unexpected changes coming out of the project. Use the poster to gather stories from library users and community members at different stages of the project.Download most significant change template
Testing the prototype to find out what’s works, what the best idea is, and what needs to change
What this is, what this isn’t
Make two lists which sit side by side and clarify what your prototype is, and what it isn’t. Use this method to sharpen your thoughts on what you are creating. Do this in a diverse group with different interests, to understand how people think, what they understand, and more about their expectations. The activity can help you understand more about barriers and enablers, to make your challenge a success.Download What this is, what this isn't template Download What this is, what this isn't template (Spanish translation)
This involves making a simple model of your big idea. By making a 3D, physical model, you can explore how effective it is at this stage, before making refinements. This will also help you explain what you are trying to do. Test your model with different people to gain their thoughts. What is the process needed to make your prototype work?
Webpage from the future –- creating a vision of future thinking
This tool helps you create a simulated web page from the future to spark ideas on what your ideal project could look like. For example, 3 years from now, what is the legacy of the project?Download webpage from the future template Download webpage from the future template (Spanish translation)
Peer to Peer –- coaching and support tool
You are part of a European network of libraries and communities that take part in the Europe Challenge so you can support each other during the programme. Use the template to think about your own project and someone else’s project, and use your external point of view to help progressing each other’s project.Download peer-to-peer coaching template
Show and Tell
Invite a diverse group to a Show and Tell event, where you present what you’ve working on. Invite critique on accessibility, usability and feel of your idea. Use this insight to further develop your prototype.