Method in Action

Rapid Prototyping


How might we empower principals to find and select programming for their school efficiently? How can we ensure the process fosters trust, builds on the knowledge and experience of other school leaders, and focuses on what matters most to principals and their community? We worked with an after-school program provider to explore this challenge to help her better engage her customers and clients (the school leaders).


We used a blend of design methods to run this project. In particular, we experimented with using the POP app for making paper prototypes into usable/clickable mobile apps. We spent less than a day to go from defining the opportunity and engaging the user interview to drafting and pulling together a clickable prototype that we tested with a few stakeholders later in the week. It was a powerful experience that hit home the importance of learning by doing and finding ways to reduce waste/risk in the process. Using POP enabled us to get the best of both worlds: extremely rapid prototyping but with the fidelity that gave a more authentic user experience.

Stem dance crop


We learned that principals are constantly bombarded by requests for their time, resources, and pitches for programs. It's easier to choose what restaurant to go eat in even in a city like New York than it is to find a provider that matches the budget, needs, and fit of a school. And just as importantly, we learned that trying to do this for just one provider wouldn't be a good solution. The power of any solution would come from creating a shared platform for providers to connect with school leaders to build trust and transparency both ways (kind of like an AirBnB for school programming).

Josh Dormont

Managing Director for IT Solutions at Teach For America