Through the research project, the research team catalogued ideas that popped up during workshops and interviews, and de-briefing sessions within the research team. At the end of the discovery process, we conducted an “ideation” session with the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, generating ideas for practical tools, services and improvements that could help to meet the needs that were surfaced through the research.
From this process, 63 unique ideas emerged. We wanted to test several ideas in practice, creating low-fi prototypes that initiative leaders could see, interact with and respond to. By doing so, we could see whether our assumptions of how to design for community initiatives were founded, and generate additional insights into the specific areas of need.
Six of the ideas were selected through a prioritisation process that focused on impact, feasibility, ‘prototypability’ and need. Our research partners also participated in this exercise, using an online tool called UsabiliTest that allowed them to drag-and-drop the different ideas on a 2×2 feasibility/impact matrix.
The prototypes were developed by the research team, using the principle of the Minimal Viable Product, or MVP, to convey the intended idea. The prototypes were then tested in three focus groups, each with three individuals who are either current founders of community initiatives, or have expressed interest in starting their own initiative. They were asked to interact with and respond to the prototypes, providing insights into whether and how they would use each of them, and ideas for improvement. These insights are used to document how each prototype could be improved, and equally importantly, distill a series of design considerations for community initiatives. While the prototypes have not been implemented in practice, the information has been documented in the below section, together with a short list of design considerations distilled from the user feedback.