User testing: an iterative acquaintance

Building valuable software solutions requires a clever team of software developers. But, and above all: domain experts and end users. We often work with people new to the world of software development. Some lessons learned from our Povigo project: an iterative acquaintance with user testing. Verhaal vertellen met onze lessons learned van samenwerken met een partner die geen IT projecten gewoon is - gebruikerstesten heel moeilijk op gang gekomen tijdens ontwikkeltraject, maar nu vanuit een rollenspel toch al heel belangrijke feedback.

Today we entered the release 2 development phase of Povigo, the growth-app Kunlabora is building with ESF funding. People that are re-entering the labor market after a burnout and are receiving coaching can use this app together with their job coach.

People looking for a new job register what keeps them busy in their job search. They are supported with information, encouragement and tips concerning the soft skills in which they want to grow and the (small) steps they want to take towards the labor market. Supported by narrative visualizations and analysis (data science techniques), together with their job coach, they discover patterns and connections in the search for a job, and together they decide which next steps seem most appropriate. In this way, people take charge of their own growth process, and the job coach can offer stronger support. Many concepts in our app are based on the theory of effective feedback and are further finetuned for our vulnerable target group of people who just recovered from a burnout and engage in a job search journey, which can be stressful at times.

Povigo app growing

In this project, Kunlabora facilitates a service design approach and develops an initial ‘Minimum Lovable Product’. Expertise in job coaching is assured by Groep INTRO. Expertise in soft skills and effective feedback is provided by the AP educational research unit. Later this year we will validate our concept in a pilot phase. IDEA Consult will conduct the impact evaluation and assess whether our underlying assumptions about effective feedback can be confirmed. A most exciting and socially highly relevant software project!

Let us take you through the process of how we have handled this project so far!

Delivering value to your customer: fast prototyping!

We started off with an impact map and personas. This gave a clear picture of our goal, our users and stakeholders, and the way in which we could offer added value. This was further explored in customer journeys: as is and to be. We then mapped out these features in a user story map and worked out a first prototype on paper. After merely two weeks, we had our first low-fidelity prototype! Very simple, with sketches and click areas on these sketches in the prototyping tool Marvel, but enough to withstand a first validation with potential end users.

Lo-fi prototyping

We continued by gradually finetuning our prototype into high-fidelity screen designs (with some Fectiv power) and started developing a working basic version of the Povigo app.

Our lessons learned from the prototyping:

  • It is very powerful to validate and adjust your prototype quickly and often.

  • It is very powerful to prototype in different areas and from different angles: we consulted both job coaches and their customers, both in the context of burnout, but also people who return to the labor market after a long illness like cancer. We explored both the employee's and the employer's perspective. All these different angles provide a rich context to finetune the challenge we are trying to solve with our software tool.

  • A strong and complementary partnership is vital in realizing added value for the end user:

    • Groep INTRO: domain expertise and customer access;
    • AP: expertise in soft skills and effective feedback;
    • Kunlabora: service design and software development;
    • IDEA Consult: impact evaluation;
    • ESF: actively engages in the projects they support: “challenger, problem solver, networker”.


Always welcome for a chat!

Email Kris or book your Think Forward session here: free of charge, exclusive and when it suits your agenda.

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