Annie Lin is our current volunteer Challenge Community Champion. You'll see her popping up across the Healthy Ageing Challenge with handy tips and words of encouragement – and posting community updates here like a true champion!
Thrive (photo by Ann Fisher, CC-BY-NC-ND).
The Evaluation phase is all about going through the refined shortlist ideas and seeing how much they've met some of the key factors of success we've highlighted throughout the process (in my earlier blog posts , in OpenIDEO's Lowdown on Refinement, in the question prompts that show up when someone submits an idea, etc.). These key factors include an idea's scalability, potential for partnership with existing organizations and sectors, likelihood for quick/early prototyping, and of course effectiveness at helping people to thrive as they age.
Beyond looking for these factors of success, I'd also recommend the following as you review and evaluate ideas!
- Think about how much the idea has built upon fellow community members' thoughts and suggestions. OpenIDEO is all about collaboration — has the idea in its current iteration smartly taken advantage of the brilliance of the community?
- Ask yourself: will I use this product/service/program myself as I age? Will my family or friends use this? Ultimately the best ideas are those that actually work well for their users, and while you may not be representative of the larger aging population, your own likelihood to use something — and the likelihood of those around you to use something — is still a good litmus test for its appeal and relevance to potential users.
- It's possibly a great sign (although not always) if there's an initiative that relates to some aspect of the proposed idea already in existence in real life that is successful. While all ideas in the Top 20 shortlist are unique and innovative, many of them draw upon existing, inspiring examples — for good reason, as that shows that something about this idea has already been "proven" to work with users.
- Review ideas together with elders in your life! The involvement of the end users (seniors) should not stop with the conclusion of the Refinement phase. Find one or a few elderly people who would be interested in ideas for healthy ageing and evaluate the Top 20 shortlist with them. They will likely have great insights about why an idea might or might not work well in real life. Keep adding those comments too.
- Related to the previous point: if you know any caregivers or have friends who are interested in, or knowledgeable about, healthy ageing, involve them in evaluating the ideas too!