Build On The Idea

Build On The Idea

Bring your solutions to people in the community to re-engage them in the design process and gather honest feedback.

Listen to their questions and suggestions and be willing to adapt, improve and rethink the idea. Invite participants to build on the ideas you present and ask them to consider how the solutions could be better for them.

1 Hours - 1.5 Minutes
  • Pen
  • Notepad
  • Prototypes
  • Design Team
  • Community Members
The HCD Toolkit
and all HCD methods are licensed under: Creative Commons License
Instructions for this Method
  1. Prepare to present your solutions to participants by having members of the design team practice presenting solutions to the rest of the group. Enactment is especially effective. Invite team members to help simplify and clarify the presentation and identify questions to be answered in research. Work to standardize a script about the solution so it is delivered consistently at each feedback session. Write down key questions to ask in follow-up.

  2. When introducing the feedback session to the participant group, explain that you want honest feedback— even if negative—and that the team has spent minimal time prototyping.

  3. When presenting solutions, begin with a large group (10-15), then break into smaller groups, one per solution, for intimate conversation. Present solutions in a neutral tone, highlighting pros and cons. Don’t try to sell the idea. Be willing to adapt on the fly.

  4. Invite participants to build on the ideas so they have more personal value. Respond to participant questions about what the idea is, with questions about what the product or service should be. Encourage participants to improve the ideas or give additional critique. Keep careful notes.

  • Turn it around. Encourage participants to build on the ideas with questions. If a participant asks a question like, “Can this service be purchased by the community or just an individual?” Respond: “Should the service be purchased by the community or individual?” Or, “How could this be better for you?”
  • Imperfect ideas. Don’t invest too much time perfecting the ideas before gathering feedback. The point of re-engaging users is to change the solutions, not to prove that they are perfect. The best feedback is that which makes you rethink and re-design.
  • Soliciting feedback. The goal is to solicit honest feedback, even if it is negative. It’s helpful to know early on before much investment has been made that a solution is not desirable. A great way to get honest feedback is to take several executions out to people. When there is only one concept available, people may be reluctant to criticize. However, when allowed to compare and contrast, people tend to speak more honestly.
  • Whose feedback. Speaking to new participants in a different region from where you did your research is a way to explore the breadth of a solution. You may choose to speak to a mix of both new people and to those you have spoken with before. Try to include all community members who would touch the concept; in addition to the end user, include manufacturers, installers, service providers, distributors, retailers, etc.
  • Identify questions. For each prototype, identify three to four questions you’d like to answer about desirability or use case during the feedback session. Keep careful notes of the feedback, both positive and negative, and the new questions the team needs to answer about the solution.

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