Prototype V4 Insights

After iterating my prototype a few times I realized that I missed something important along the way.

Caption: Prototype V4 with Lower East Side businesses owners (left to right): Mo, owner of Askan, Charlie owner of Ted’s Formal Wear, and Haamacha, owner of Theory of Gaia

This Monday I tested the fourth version of the 1st meeting structure with new participants and didn’t get the engagement I anticipated. Although participants completed the “share challenges” and “brainstorm ideas” very smoothly, they didn’t seem interested nor comfortable completing the last activity “elaborate an idea.” They also were more worried about solving their own problems as opposed to doing something that could benefit the entire group.

The prototype V1 of the 1st meeting structure that I tested with West Village business owners didn’t motivate business owners to take action towards solving their challenges, but it helped them connect with each other.
Prototype V4: activities worksheet of one of the participants.

In the first prototype, I didn’t include the “elaborate an idea” activity that guides participants to work collaboratively in one idea. I only tested the “elaborate an idea” on the second time they met, and that meeting was a success because they already knew each other and were already bought into the idea of working together.

Before working on an idea together, participants need to know each other better and build trust.

For this reason, the “elaborate an idea” activity worked with the West Village group, they already knew each other and even though there were two new participants, the ones who already knew each other took the lead on the activities that made the new people feel more comfortable on participating.

Based on this key insight, I need to design the framework for three meetings:

1st meeting (get to know each other):

  1. Introductions
  2. Share Challenges
  3. Brainstorm Ideas
  4. Schedule the next meeting

2nd meeting (elaborate an idea together):

  1. Introductions (if there are new participants)
  2. Choose a challenge from the last meeting
  3. Choose an idea from the last meeting to explore
  4. Elaborate an idea together
  5. Assign tasks and deadlines
  6. Schedule the next meeting

3rd meeting (follow-up meetings):

  1. Introductions (if there are new participants)
  2. Reflect
  3. Idea Recap
  4. Brainstorm new tasks or revise tasks
  5. Assign tasks and deadlines
  6. Schedule the next meeting