The Learning Lab uses the resources below as a part of its human-centered and design thinking process. This list of tools and resources can be helpful to organizations interested in developing their own user-centered design-thinking projects. TSNE is not the author of these tools and this list is not intended to be an instructional guide.
1: Learning from Our Constituents and Communities
TSNE conducts Discovery Interviews during the information gathering stages of a project to create dialogues between organizations and their constituents. These interviews make space for those we serve to guide the conversation and provide insight. TSNE conducts discovery interviews with our constituents and community based organizations to better understand the needs of under-resourced organizations and groups. Learn more about conducting interviews here.
The Learning Lab employs user stories to focus on and explore the specific needs of our constituents. A user story is an informal and quick way to capture the needs of your constituents and should always be written from their perspective. The Learning Board writes user stories to help TSNE understand our client’s underserved and chronic organizational needs. Learn how to write good user stories here.
2: Making Meaning of Learnings
The Learning Lab uses personas to make meaning of the data gathered from the discovery interviews. The persona is a reliable and realistic representation of those you serve, or aim to serve, with your potential design. The Learning Lab uses personas to help staff conceptualize our diverse constituents. Learn more about personas here.
Once the Learning Board completes the user stories and decides on the list of most crucial needs, they create needs assessments to identify the goals in meeting each need and the gaps that are preventing those needs from being met. The Learning Board created 10 needs assessments on our constituents’ most urgent underserved needs. See an example of a needs assessment here.
3: Co-Creating Potential Solutions
It can be difficult to conceptualize people’s ideas. Prototyping allows people to bring their ideas to life through drawing, playing, and creating. It’s also a great way to ensure you and your constituents have a shared understanding of potential new services, programs, or any actualized ideas. In the Learning Lab, we prototype with our constituents by asking them to draw their ideas, whiteboard their processes, and design an empty box as if it was their product. Learn more about prototyping here.
The Learning Lab uses different tools to test new ideas and capture real-time feedback in a fast, cost effective manner. We continuously use these testing tools with our Learning Board and other community-based groups in order to solicit feedback on new designs and explore new concepts. Instead of asking extensive questions, we simply provide our constituents a prototype or concept and ask them what they like about it,that they would change to make it better, and opportunities to reimagine it. Learn more about feedback grids here.