Straight from the Test Lab – A Practical Approach to Integrating Design Thinking into Evaluation

Session Number: 1441
Track: Collaborative, Participatory & Empowerment Evaluation
Session Type: Skill-Building Workshop
Tags: design thinking, Empathy, Human Centered Design
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Kristen Itani Koue [Research Associate - Harder + Company Community Research]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: Sophia Lee [Senior Research Consultant - Harder+Company Community Research]
Time: Nov 01, 2018 (05:00 PM - 05:45 PM)
Room: Hilton - Center St. Meeting Room D

Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Design thinking helps organizations solve problems by emphasizing the perspectives of those who use their products and services. Design thinking is commonly used by the business world to promote innovation. The stages that underlie it (empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test) are increasingly adopted by the social sector to test innovative solutions. By incorporating human-centered design, evaluators and mission-driven organizations cast aside their assumptions about the needs of “end-users”, and develop an evaluation focused on amplifying community voice and generating deeper insights.

Our firm pilot-tested design thinking on two evaluation projects. During this session, we will share our approach to creating “test labs” that benefited our clients and our practice, including tools (e.g., human-centered interview guides) and products (e.g., learning agendas) developed through the pilot-test. We will also engage participants in hands-on activities that show how to integrate design thinking, empathy and human-centered design into multiple types of evaluations.