Center for Socially Engaged Design

Needs Assessment

A needs assessment is an approach used to gain an in-depth understanding of complex problems and focuses community needs and context to generate areas of need and possible impact. It consists of, but is not limited to, observations, interviews, literature reviews and extensive critical thinking. In conducting a needs assessment, you will not only be able to identify the needs in a given community or setting, but also to identify and understand community assets and determine potential opportunities for design intervention.

The Socially Engaged Design Academy (SEDA) online learning blocks can help you understand the language around needs assessment, the protocols and processes used in assessing and filtering needs, identifying community assets and documenting your findings. SEDA Shorts can also provide a brief overview of these topics. Our experts can provide insight and advice through individual consultations or team workshops. Follow the links below to all these tools!

SEDA Block: Needs Assessment

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Design Interviews

Design interviews require rigorous and consistent methods and the quality of your information is dependent on the quality of your protocol. Good interviewers know what questions to ask to elicit key information and what order to ask those questions. C-SED can help you develop the best protocols to gain useful information.

The Socially Engaged Design Academy (SEDA) online learning blocks  can help you create interview questions and structure these questions in an effective protocol. SEDA also contains information on interviewing skills and translating your protocol into an effective conversation. SEDA Shorts can also provide a brief overview of these topics. Our experts can provide insight and advice through individual consultations or team workshops. Follow the links below to all these tools!

SEDA Block: Crafting Design Interview Protocols

SEDA Block: Conducting Design Interviews

SEDA Shorts

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Observations

Observation plays a crucial role in understanding the underlying unmet needs members of a community are experiencing. Observation can happen in any setting from a labor ward in a low resource setting to a whole school system. Designers actively observing better understand the challenge they are addressing and create better potential solutions. C-SED can help you become an active observer to improve your design process.

The Socially Engaged Design Academy (SEDA) online learning blocks can help you understand the importance of design observations and useful frameworks for performing observations. SEDA Shorts can also provide a brief overview of these topics. Our experts can provide insight, advice, and experience through individual consultations or team workshops. Follow the links below to all these tools!

SEDA Block: Design Observations

SEDA Shorts

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Secondary Information Gathering

Beyond provided information and information gathered through design ethnography, you will need to gather additional information about the region, the users, needs, and potential solutions. Learn how to efficiently and effectively gather information and use it to make decisions in your design process.

The Socially Engaged Design Academy (SEDA) online learning blocks can help you navigate additional information sources and prioritize your information gathering plan. SEDA Shorts can also provide a brief overview of these topics. Our experts can provide insight, advice, and experience through individual consultations or team workshops. Follow the links below to all these tools!

SEDA Blocks: Secondary Information Gathering

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Needs Statements

A need statements is a focused and concise articulation of a need, problem or question that a design problem is based around. Since this statement is the basis for developing design solutions, it’s important to get it right. Writing effective needs statements takes practice and C-SED can provide that preparation.

The Socially Engaged Design Academy (SEDA) online learning blocks will prepare you to write effective needs statements and understand common mistakes in needs statement writing. SEDA Shorts can also provide a brief overview of these topics. Our experts can provide insight, advice, and experience through individual consultations or team workshops. Follow the links below to all these tools!

SEDA Block: Needs Statements

SEDA Shorts

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