Lycéo: the free, prepaid debit and discount card for school-related purchases

Lycéo: the free, prepaid debit and discount card for school-related purchases

What was the problem?

The Champagne Ardenne Region has its eyes set on a new priority: young people. The Regional Council has a youth department, although its functions are divided among many others, including: professional training, work-study, education, economy, culture, etc.

Departments working transversally however can expect to experience a few bumps in the road, especially when hierarchy gets in the way. This project therefore tries to explore how we can steer hierarchy, officers and young audiences in a similar direction, and how we can set and entire organisation in motion around a political priority such as young people.

The case chosen for this project is Lycéo, a service offering high school students and work-study trainees in the Champagne Ardenne Region a free, prepaid debit and discount card for school-related purchases, book loans and cultural events.

What did they do?

The experiment starts off with a user-research phase. Trained by the pluri-disciplinary team of la 27e Région and User Studio, a group of civil servants from different departments in the government, equipped with cameras head off to “stalk” the areas where Lycéo appears – be it a sticker at the entrance of a movie theatre or a poster in a high school hallway.

The snapshots were gathered, given captions, studied and displayed. The civil servants split up into groups to reflect upon three key topics:

  • What is Lycéo, and where can I learn more about it?
  • What do I do with my €20?
  • I’ve got a problem; to whom can I turn?

After the workshops, four specially-designed prototypes – a new kit, a new bag, an improved user manual and a Facebook page – are rolled out at two high schools and a handful of cultural facilities.

Once feedback upon them is reviewed and compiled, the entire process and areas for improvement become the focal points of an exhibition organised at the Regional Council.

What was the result?

The experiment lasted five days, during which the person in charge of Lycéo received promising peer support from officers with the same objective from other departments. The collaboration between the different departments of the Champagne Ardenne Region inspired staff to work together from an actual practice to a change in policy.

Although their contacts were not frequent, most staff now gathered very good knowledge on the characteristics and possibilities of Lycéo. As they participated in the design process of the project together with the designers, they became familiar with the user-centered methods used.

The design experiment is now considered a tried-and-true method, capable of being reproduced time and time again in other cases. Finally, extending beyond just general policies, five tangible proposals were presented to elected officials to improve Lycéo.

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