The Digital Impact Framework: a scalable method for evaluating the impact of UX projects
Measuring the impact of a project is a significant tactical problem for most UX professionals; assessing the impact of national programmes, let alone worldwide activities, often seems daunting if not impossible.
We believe we have found an effective and appropriate solution for this challenge in the Digital Impact Framework (DIF).
The DIF considers impact as emerging from the value generated for an organisation either internally (e.g. improving processes; facilitating innovative or training outcomes) or externally (e.g. supporting an individual service user or customer; supporting wider societal outcomes). Each of these aspects (or value drivers) and their subsequent measures is defined as a bespoke process for the project, programme or organisation.
Core activities for this framework include:
• Exploring data and value measures already established by organisations.
• Establishing the relevant outcomes and value drivers for each scale.
• Defining a countermeasure to validate net impacts.
• Monitoring data across time to allow measurement long-term.
• Iterative analysis and reporting to allow for feedback into future operational and strategic planning.
We have applied and proven the robust methodology of the DIF to measure the impact of UX activities in:
• Individual organisations we have supported within an individual city
• Multiple projects as part of a collective action across an individual city
• Coordinated international activities as part of our support for non-profit organisations worldwide
We would like to take the opportunity to share our work to date, how we are establishing and proving the value created by our global volunteering program, as well as provide insights into how the DIF can be employed by organisations at a range of scales.
Tim has long been interested in the strategic use of data to support greater understanding of the outcomes of technological innovations. His PhD in Human Factors Psychology (2003-07) focussed on usability of image fusion processes, tested using task-based assessment, scanpath analysis, qualitative feedback and computational metrics of image quality. He spent 5 years in a socio-economic consultancy as user researcher and digital lead, running evaluations and impact assessments for local and national governments, charities and HE institutions. Since joining UX agency Nomensa 2 years ago, Tim has developed and embedded the Digital Impact Framework (DIF) approach. In addition to this, he’s been leading user research projects, exploring quantitative approaches to UX research and design, and directing projects for public and private sector organisations and NGOs.
Sandra Gonzalez is Product Design Director at Beamly, where she focuses on connecting brands with millions of customers in a unique and meaningful way. She is also the Director and Founder of UX for Change a London based organisation that for the last four years has connected non-profit organisations with the UX community. She is currently trying to figure out how to scale collaboration globally, while inspiring design excellence.
Her previous design work spans from heavily trafficked ecommerce platforms to technology for aiding refugees with organisations such Microsoft, Just Eat, TalkTalk and EmpowerHack. Sandra enjoys teaching her children how to design and program, mentoring designers within the London design community and performing Latin American music in pubs and at music festivals.