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Three Ways To Go From Healthy Ideas to Impact Three Ways To Go From Healthy Ideas to Impact

Three Ways To Go From Healthy Ideas to Impact

by Sven Newman

July 31, 2013

 
As a design team driven by social impact, we pour our hearts and souls into finding creative ways to make the world a little healthier. But there's a lot to be done between inspiration and impact. Here are three things we do at Daylight Design to help bridge the gap from good ideas to tangible results that might be worth trying out on your next initiative.
 
1. Get small, visible wins quick
 
Taking highly visible action on a handful of low-barrier challenges can give a community confidence that change is happening. We often ask, "What can we do at 9 a.m. on Monday?" 
 
For example, our first intervention to improve wellness for Johns Hopkins medical residents was simply putting water coolers in their offices to help with hydration during marathon shifts. Did this address the tougher emotional issues? No. But we knew we could get there, once we had momentum and buy in. And seeing those water coolers with "wellness matters" stickers gave residents a small but concrete reminder that change was happening.
 
2. Make the future tangible
 
Inspiration can become reality, if you get enough people to believe in the future you envision. We think one of the best ways to get there is making the future tangible by crafting visual stories that put ideas in the context of people’s lives.
 
When the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation wanted to make medical data more useful to everyday people, their academic partners came up with some fantastic ideas. But these technically complex possibilities weren’t very accessible yet. By creating short, human-centered vignettes, we were able to help key decision-makers connect to these compelling ideas in a much more visceral way.
 
3. Iterate relentlessly
 
We’ve found that the single greatest predictor of a project’s ultimate effectiveness is the number of cycles of experimentation the team goes through. Good ideas translate to great impact through cycle after cycle of rough prototyping and relentless iteration based on user feedback.
 
When helping HopeLab tackle childhood obesity, we knew we were on to something with the concept of a physical activity monitor linked to virtual rewards for real-world movement. But some of the most effective ideas for keeping children engaged—like "random double point days"—were things kids themselves came up with while providing feedback on our prototypes. The end result? A sustained 59 percent increase in physical activity, all thanks to relentless iteration.
 
These are few tools that have helped us. We’d love to know what else you find useful in pushing inspired ideas to tangible results.
 
 
Images courtesy of Daylight Design
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