It was our work on a similar project that brought The Doerr Institute to TXI. Years ago, we built a platform for the nonprofit WomenOnCall to connect professional women to volunteer opportunities. The Doerr Institute figured we could apply the same thinking to help them engage students — but what they needed went a step further. Where WomenOnCall’s users were seeking volunteer opportunities out, the Doerr team had to find a way to connect with students who might not even know there were leadership opportunities available.
To figure out how to do that, we started with research. The Doerr Institute staff knew their audience — they work on the same campus as the target users after all, and they had copious research on hand. What they hadn’t done was apply the systematic, UX research tactics TXI builds projects around.
We couldn’t start building for users until we knew what they wanted. So we worked with the Doerr team to find the real user needs the fastest way we know-how — with a Google Design Sprint.