Our Approach: Human-Centered Design with a Mission
From storyboarding to software development, we apply a user-driven model which plans for scale and sustainability from Day One. Instead of asking our clients "What product do you want?", we ask "What problem do you want to solve?" By focusing on collaboration and big picture impact, every solution we build meets the direct needs of local users. The result? Satisfied communities, stress-free field staff, happy funders -- and real social change.
Kickoff and Plan
We start with comprehensive stakeholder mapping – which identifies all relevant parties and determines their respective requirements and their levels of involvement and influence in the project. Once stakeholders have been identified, we work directly with the client’s team and gather all information needed to plan the project.
Research and Scope
In this phase, we carry out targeted research to inform the design of service or product components – drawing on a range of research methods from different fields, ranging from traditional UX design to ethnographic methods which generate insights into individuals’ perceptions, behaviors and needs.
Design and Conceptualize
After completing our research, our design team creates artifacts that represent proposed new solutions (or enhancements to existing solutions). These artifacts can be shared with clients/stakeholders for feedback immediately, and can also be used for testing with end-users for quick feedback cycles before building prototypes.
Build and Prototype
Based on agreed-upon design specifications, our designers build prototypes that can be tested and validated with end users during field trials. Depending on the project’s time frame and the client needs, the prototypes will offer various levels of resolution and fidelity, and test both the digital product and overall service experience.
Test and Validate
After prototypes are created, we work with client and stakeholder groups to test their usability and market-worthiness. Stakeholders review the prototypes and provide input to our designers. Our team also conduct usability testing to identify elements of the design users find inaccessible, confusing, or simply undesirable.
Launch and Scale
Finally, our team works with client and stakeholder representatives to launch the offering. Prior to launch, our software team implements a full QA plan which includes security and performance testing among high volumes of users. This phase also includes the creation and delivery of training material to ensure smooth handover.
Our process incorporates four elements:
360 Resource View
By taking a “360 degree” approach, rather than a straight-line view, we map out the entire ecosystem of stakeholders from all vantage points, ensuring that the experiences of institutions, businesses, government, technology partners, and communities are all given relevant weight in the design process.
Our design approach incorporates simultaneous training of partners and stakeholders on the methodologies and tools used at each stage. Beyond simply carrying out the design activities, we train partners in real-time to carry out the activities themselves, through real-time training sessions and shadowing.
Quick Wins First
We focus our design efforts on creating “Quick Wins First”, using a 2-by-2 impact-feasibility design matrix method during the different phases of its design work to help clients prioritize and focus the team on “low hanging fruit” milestones which can produce rapid impact and drive momentum for stakeholders.
We maintain a coded database of prior design solutions and processes, tagged by location, service type, success factor/pain point, and 10+ additional criteria. When starting a new engagement, our staff query this database to produce a set of design patterns/trends which can be applied to the new work.