During Refinement, let's get hands-on to bring our Top 20 shortlist to life.
I n our Healthy Ageing Challenge, folks from around the world shared inspirations, explored opportunity areas and ultimately designed 134 ideas to help people thrive as they age.
Recently OpenIDEO met with our friends at Mayo Clinic to review all of your creative ideas and decide which ones to short list for the Refinement phase. As always, the shortlist represents a hybrid of the feedback you shared with us during Applause and the expert input we received from the Mayo Clinic team. It was a tough decision to narrow our list down to 20, but we're really excited about the promise these ideas hold for the future of healthy ageing.
In our conversation with Mayo Clinic, a few key questions and pointers emerged that we wanted to share as we all turn our attention to the Refinement phase. We hope you'll keep them in mind as you iterate and prototype the shortlist. Be sure to also check out these additional tips.
Desirability: do you understand potential users and their needs?
One exciting thing about this challenge is that everyone knows at least one person who is either experiencing or affected by ageing, which makes our shortlisted ideas ripe for field testing. During Refinement, let's ground these ideas in reality by sharing them with our families and friends.
You might start by explaining the basic premise and asking questions like: What do you like about this idea? What's confusing about this idea? If it's a service, would you pay for it? Each time you receive an answer, follow up by asking, "Why?" This will help you uncover latent needs, perceptions and assumptions that your interviewee might not even realise they have.
To make the idea even more tangible, you could also put together a small-scale model or sketch of the idea and observe people interacting with it. By drilling down into an idea's desirability, we'll be better able to understand what works, what needs to change, who our target user is and the value the idea provides them.
Diffusion and Spread: how might you reach seniors worldwide?
We talk a lot about how important it is that our ideas scale to serve the needs of people around the world – but how exactly will they do it? What are the mechanisms of diffusion for your idea, or an idea you're helping to iterate during Refinement? Questions you might ask yourself include:
Who is the client/customer?
Who's paying for the development of the product or service?
How will people learn about the idea? What's the marketing plan?
Essentially, understanding how these ideas will spread can help us start to tease out the business model behind them – an important piece as we shift from ideas to implementation and impact.
Market Research: what can you learn about what's already happening?
As we've seen so far, healthy ageing – and health care in general – is a topic that a lot of people are currently tackling. How might we do even more learning to understand what's been tried, what's worked, what hasn't and what the opportunities are for these shortlisted ideas?
Of course you can start by doing an internet search and seeing what comes up – but why stop there? Head to your local library to check out scholarly journals on ageing; reach out to companies working in this space and interview employees; or strike up a friendly conversation with seniors in your area to get their thoughts on the products, services or organisations they currently use. Let's see what new insights we can uncover by digging deeper into what's already happening in the world of healthy ageing and wellbeing.
Before we dive into Refinement, we also want to recognise our Honourable Mentions for this challenge:
Beam Platform by Michael Fish
Braintrust by Carla Jaspers
EXP: Life's greatest lessons worth spreading by James McBennett
Finance & Service Provider Management Tools for Caregivers and Families by Christopher Thomas
It's a Virtual Window, not an iPad! by Amanda Ames
myStory.com – an online autobiography for everyone by Eugene Yap
RECOLLECTIONS: Explore, Document, Share by Fatma Korkut
Senior Knowledge Bank by Rachel Krausman
The Vintage Club by Koen De Lombaert
So with that, it's time to roll up our sleeves, check out the Top 20 ideas and choose which ones we want to help refine further. Remember, even if your idea isn't included in the shortlist, everyone's invited to add comments and builds, create sketches and mockups and even run a small prototype in their community and report back on OpenIDEO. This is definitely a case of more heads being better than just a few – so why not jump right in? We're excited to see what you come up with.