Materials to use in prototypes

All ideas/prototypes will be published under a Creative Commons license - that means anybody can take any prototype from the global site and build on it or re-use it in their work, as long as they follow the license conditions. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the licence conditions.

Do not use copyrighted material in any of your products. GovJam HQ won’t be happy, the people whose work you used won’t be happy, and you won’t be happy because all of your hard work will be removed! Material you can use includes the following:

  • Material published as “public domain.”

  • Material published under an appropriate Creative Commons license (there are several different licenses, so please always check what license applies).

  • Material which you buy online, and where you buy a license to use it (it can be quite cheap).

  • Material you make yourself.

So, make use of some of these sources of usable images, music, sound, etc.

Online creative tools

There are a number of free to use online tools that can help you in building a prototype.

As Adam St John Lawrence - one of those behind GovJam has said - "PopApp is just BRILLIANT for digital prototyping. I have had top managers of companies using it to build an app in 20 minutes. They get so excited!"

Service design tools:

NESTA's excellent guide to prototyping

Some service design methods with download templates from Open Change

Digital storytelling

Our GovJam mentor Jennifer Jones is one of those who have created The Handbook of Digital Storytelling - a resource which helps people develop digital storytelling skills. It is intended for use by anyone who has an interest in using digital media literacy skills for storytelling and contains themes and examples of work together with suggested exercises to help develop digital storytelling skills.

Jennifer has also written a great introduction to using digital storytelling as a service design tool.


Video tutorials

Here are a few videos produced by the Service Design Academy that we think you will find useful. First of all, here is one explaining the Double Diamond design model that will be explained on the first evening of GovJam.



Journey mapping is a very useful technique that highlights weaknesses in current services and areas where opportunities exist for improvements.


Service blueprinting is a central technique in service design.


Street research

Before you hit the road you may want to find out more on ethnographic research.

This 19 page primer is a good starting point:

You probably don’t have time to watch this great 30 minute film - an ethnography and interviewing primer, but dip into it during a coffee break:

Want to know more?

There's some great material available that goes into real depth about service design and public services. We suggest that you start with this reading list.