We center the voices of those who are directly impacted by the outcomes of our programs. They are experts based on their lived experience.
We know that those at the margins of our existing systems and structure often have the most experience with them. A system that is able to cater to them will work even better for the majority of others.
We believe that design must be trauma-responsive. We aim to integrate principles of trauma- responsive care into our process. Our design process aims to sustain, heal, and empower our communities.
We value doing over perfection. We embrace ambiguity through continuously reflecting on our processes. Our design sprints are intentionally messy: We dig deeper as we confirm our hypotheses and quickly shift directions when we don’t.
focuses on expansive, experimental research on general population buckets. Here we were dealing with unknown- unknowns: areas we are neither well-aware of nor understand.
focuses on exploratory or confirmatory research on specific population buckets. Here we deal with known-unknowns: areas we are aware of but don’t understand.
looks at constructive feedback on past or upcoming programs by hearing perspectives of intentionally selected populations.
navigates and synthesizes insights about specific parts of the current social services ecosystem.
45–60 minute conversations with up to 4 people. We aim for 4–6 focus groups during a sprint.
45–60 minute conversations with 1 person at a time. We aim for 8–10 interviews during a sprint.
Self-administered online questionnaires with multiple choice questions. We limit open-ended questions. We aim for 100 or so responses per survey.
Prototype and User Testing
45–60 minute conversations where we share working prototypes of an idea to see how people use them and why. We aim for 4–6 focus groups or 8–10 interview sessions. Often, we iterate on our prototype between sessions.
When we are not able to speak directly with people, we go undercover to identify pain points and areas of improvement. We put on different hats and use existing systems, tools, and programs. We also trawl social media, online forums, and newspapers for reviews.
Random Selection of People
Think of this as talking to anyone we can about their experience on a certain topic, e.g., talking to anyone who is a landlord, regardless of where they are located or how many properties they own.
Un-randomized Selection of People
Think of this as carefully defining the type of person you wish to talk to without naming specific people. These can be people with
the most experience, people with unique experience, or people with no experience, e.g., talking to landlords with a handful of properties who have been landlords for over 20 years, or talking to landlords who acquired their first property to lease less than a year ago.
When specifying our participant groups, we are mindful of their zip code, language preference, gender, age, race and ethnicity, disability status, and family structure.