Before starting a project, spend time upfront to understand your users. We all want to build solutions that are useful and needed. You may think you know what your users need, but don’t rely on assumptions – ask! CDC programs identify users, and IIU observes and/or interviews 5-9 of them to identify their pain points, understand how things are currently working, and help you refine your goal. User research takes approximately 6-8 weeks to complete.
If a technology solution is indicated, IIU partners with CDC programs to conduct IIU’s version of a Design Sprint (process developed by Google Ventures). In less than 40 hours, we work together to understand the problem, create a rough draft of a solution, and test the solution with end users. The purpose is to quickly test ideas, and answer foundational questions before writing code or committing resources. Results from the Sprint determine next steps, if any, for the long-term project. This process saves CDC programs time and money and increases the impact of IIU’s technology solutions by ensuring that they are useful, needed, and not built based on assumptions.