Who Uses This Framework

This framework is a comprehensive document with a number of points of entry. It is also intended to be used by a range of different individuals with different experience and skill levels. Here are a few examples of different users of the framework:

A project manager for an organization developing Internet Freedom tools that has struggled with usability concerns.

The project manager identifies a few key user groups and puts together a Needfinding research plan based on the light engagement approach that leverages upcoming events and conferences to organize interviews and small group convenings with representative members of those user groups. The project manager has limited research experience so they regularly seek advisement and feedback from more experienced researchers and other users of the framework as they establish and progress through the research plan.

A designer and developer struggling with user turnover in a new Internet Freedom related software tool.

The developer, who has limited access to resources, puts together a set of key questions and builds an interview guide around it, following the light engagement described above. They then setup 8 interviews with a diverse range of individuals who have expressed an interest in the tool but have not become regular users, focusing on understanding the reasons their interest was piqued but did not lead to consistent usage.

A trainer developing a new curriculum.

After building a plan based on the standard engagement, the trainer shadows an existing training event and follows up with the participants both immediately after the event and three months later to understand the value they received or missed during it. The trainer incorporates learnings from this into new training programs.

A funder reviewing grant proposals seeks those addressing key needs.

The funder understands the basics of Needfinding by reading the introductory sections of the framework and browsing through the elements and appendix. They are better able to recognize proposals that have a competent understanding of the needs they are addressing, and can advise proposal which look promising but do not yet have a satisfactory plan for user engagement.

An experienced researcher seeking deeper knowledge about a community and a specific tool.

The researcher uses the framework to outline a comprehensive research plan based on the advanced engagement approach centered around the context of the specific tool, using input from developers of the tool to understand the key points of knowledge that they seek. The researcher executes the plan alongside developers of the tool and has usable versions of the tool on hand for interviews, visual exercises, and other activities.