Last year, ethnographic research into the experience and behaviour of students at Cambridge University led the Futurelib Programme to pilot a new web-based service to assist in the location of study spaces: Spacefinder.

The pilot service, which has now been running for 8 months, has been extremely popular, receiving rave reviews in student newspapers and on social media. The second version of the software was released in April and we are now exploring how to support the service beyond its pilot phase.

In design terms, Spacefinder is what is known as a minimum viable product. It was built in just 6 weeks and launched with just enough features gathered from our initial research to ensure its deployment and use, ahead of its continued development.

It is also important to note that we did not arrive at Spacefinder by gathering information on professed user need, but through research into user behaviour. Students would never have told us that they needed a space finding tool, but this project clearly proved that they did. The journey from user behaviour to concept to service is explored in detail in our new report.

Download the Spacefinder Project final report
> Access Spacefinder