Blog

A Day in the Life at Significance Labs

On Sunday, we held our first A Day in the Life. We are thrilled by the outcome – technologists and community members learned a lot. We at Significance Labs also gained new insight into how we can create a space for diverse communities to exchange experiences and ideas and how we can improve it for next time. A Day in the Life is designed for technologists who are interested in learning about how technology can improve conditions for those currently underserved it, but who don’t have a full summer to commit to it (like those in our Solvefor{s} Fellowship). For our first iteration, participants were  a mix of people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Technologists across the industry participated- we…

April 21, 2014

A Day in the Life: Kick Off Meeting

We’re creating space for people from different backgrounds and communities to learn about each other. The hope is that if the people who design products technology better understand people and communities from diverse experiences and backgrounds, they’ll design products that improve the lives of a broader set of users. So, we’re connecting New Yorkers to New Yorkers. As densely populated as this city is, it’s hard to do.   One way we’re building this space is through our program, A Day in the Life. It aims to bring technology people, like engineers and product developers, together with members outside of their tech community. We’re pairing them with New Yorkers who are different from them: immigrants, single moms, community college students.  …

April 18, 2014

Solving a pain point

We’re discovering that what we are trying to do can seem pretty different from how many of the nonprofits we talk to see the situation.   We’re starting with a really simple premise. We want to understand a user’s circumstances – their routines, their decisions, their regrets, their hopes, their actions – to find something that’s painful or frustrating to them, or something that they wished they could do. And that’s where we start from – finding a way to address that pain point.   It always starts with the user. Many social problems are addressed with the reverse – with the “shoulds” that someone else wants a user to do – to eat more healthily, or to stay in school, or to…

April 10, 2014

What inspires us

We officially launched Significance Labs a few days ago, and what better way to start than to share a few ideas that have inspired us. “Follow me Home” a program that Scott Cook, founder of Intuit, started. He would hang around the local Staples until someone bought an Intuit product, then ask if he could follow them home while they opened it and began using it. (apparently that’s not creepy). It’s a great idea – really getting to know one’s users. Intuit credits that for helping them develop many of their new products, and for a while it’s been company wide. American Express has a similar initiative called “Walk, Talk, Chalk”. Getting to know users is crucial and requires creativity and…

April 3, 2014