Prototype 2 Insights: Elaborate an Idea & Next Steps

After testing and iterating my first prototype (learn more about the prototype insights here) of group discussions with business owners and employees, I learned that the last iteration I did, which was to include a worksheet for them to elaborate an idea further, was the most valuable one because it helped them think of a tangible idea that they could solve some of their business challenges.

Worksheet of Activity 2: Elaborate an Idea, completed by Kyung (Jeju Noodle Bar), Peter (Merriweather Coffee + Kitchen, and Zoe (Zoe (Village Gyrotonic)

Worksheet of Activity 2: Elaborate an Idea, completed by Leslie (The Doughnut Project) and Laurence (Left Bank)

This activity was particularly helpful to them because of these three factors:

  • Having a plan for the next steps: the “Next Steps” box in the worksheet allowed them to think of tangible steps that they can take to achieve their goals.
  • Collaboration: Working in a group and planning to pursue an idea as a group gave them the motivation to do so. Although they are all very busy, they told me that if they are not alone doing this, they would feel more motivated and less overwhelmed.
  • Learning from others: They all have different backgrounds and experiences that they shared with each other, which was helpful for them when elaborating their ideas.

I also got feedback from my classmates and thesis professor Eric Forman, that right now I should focus on continuing to build up these meetings, and what happens next, what could hold businesses owners accountable to actually make their idea concrete, and how I should track their steps and measure the success.

Image of user research activity sheets completed by Kyung (Jeju Noodle Bar), Esther and Zoe (Village Gyrotonic), and Laurence (Left Bank)

This week I wasn’t ready to test a new prototype, so instead, I did an activity with the West Village business owners and employees who attended the last group discussion, to understand what could motivate them to implement their ideas. I listed out tools that I thought could be useful for them to implement their idea and asked them to check the items that they thought would be helpful to do. Also, I asked them to fill out the blanks with new tools that they could think of.

Here is the activity synthesis:

Insights:

I spoke with Esther and Zoe first, and Esther suggested that “assigning tasks to other business owners” would also motivate her to implement the idea. So I included that option when I asked Kyung and Laurence to do the activity and they also selected that item. Kyung also suggested one person should be the leader, the one that sets the tasks to others, which I also thought it was interesting and brings me back to my original idea, that one person should be the one leading the events and what happens next.

Laurence also gave me a great insight, that the next meetings should have the goal of pursuing their ideas with the original group, and they should invite more people to join that could benefit or add to their conversation. And new guests would already know in advance the goals of that meeting.

Also, everyone mentioned that before the next meeting, they all should do some homework, such as doing some of their steps listed on the activity from the last meeting, bring someone that could add to their conversation, or bring some type of research or ideas that can improve their project. This was a big surprise to me because I thought they wouldn’t have time to do extra work, but what I learned is that this way they don’t feel that the next meeting is a waste time and also allows them to start seeing the results of their efforts.

New steps:

  • Design the final prototype!
  • Send an email to business owners and employees to set the next meeting for January 2019.
  • Set up an existing tool like Trello or create a Google sheet in which they can assign tasks to each other and report their progress to continue testing.
  • Plan the flow of the next meeting, which will be about recapping what has been done and what needs to be done next to implement the idea.