Impact Design

Impact through analysis

Impact design applies human-centered design to social change work.  It means proceeding forward with creativity and clear logic, seeking, centering, and integrating evidence of what works and what doesn't.  It means engaging in open-minded learning as a means of continual iterative improvement against complex social problems and enduring injustices.  It means applied idealism

If you care about making the world a better place, impact strategy is a necessity.


We brinG STARTUP methods from the tech sector...

For decades, startups in Silicon Valley have been developing and refining methods of rapid testing and iteration to use scarce resources to find solutions that resonate with their audiences. 

Believe it or not, massive companies like Facebook, AirBNB, and DropBox started out as tiny operations with no money and few staff.  They were pragmatic and unsentimental in testing their assumptions, collecting evidence, and changing the way they worked to get from "plan A to the plan the works." the social sector. 

Do Big Good helps your organization do the same through simple methods of testing, learning, and adaptation that are easy to understand and cost only a little time to implement.

Why It's Needed

Addressing hard problems...

Impact design is needed because advocacy is hard. The social problems we seek to change are complex and change-resistant. (If they weren’t, activism wouldn’t be necessary).

By Adapting First Guesses into Real Successes

Because of this complexity, our first guesses about how to make change will inevitably be wrong in some way.  There is no shame in this!  But there is a problem if we refuse to test, learn, and adapt our approaches. 

Fortunately, there is a practical model we can use, the impact design cycle.

A Practical Model

 To win we have to be more agile and evidence-based, even as the world seems to go in the opposite direction.  Startup methods can help.

To win we have to be more agile and evidence-based, even as the world seems to go in the opposite direction.  Startup methods can help.

Our Secret Sauce

We've taken the best of startup practice and added our own secret sauce a unique model for rapidly learning and testing social change solutions for use by advocates without a tech or design background.  The impact design cycle moves activists through accessible, but power stages of learning and user engagement that use evidence-based methods to create social change.

Evidence-Based Methods

Centered on the impact design cycle, our core methods are:

Objective Clarification  •  Background Research  •  Theory of Change   •  User Identification  •  User Contact  •  Surveying  •  Interviewing  •  User Persona Development  •  MVP (Minimum Viable Product) Development  •  User Testing •  Measurement  •  Results Interpretation  •  Results Integration  •  Rapid Iteration  •  Rapid Learning  •  Minimal Time  •  Minimal Cost

Are you ready?

Are you ready to try something different?  To work faster and leaner?  To test your assumptions?  To change when the evidence indicates that current methods aren't working?  To really make the social change you dream of?  That is what this new world requires.  

We can help.

Your Guide

Mary Joyce has ten years' global experience working at the intersection of innovation and social change in political, academic, and civic contexts.  She was New Media Operations Manager for President Obama's 2008 campaign, is author of the 2010 book Digital Activism Decoded, and is the co-founder of the Digital Activism Research Project at the University of Washington. 

Her unique background makes her perfectly suited to translate the lessons of digital startup culture into the social change space.  Mary's training includes:

Since 2006, Mary has been an international advisor, trainer, and public speaker on topics related to advocacy and activism strategy, digital technology, media, and civic innovation.  

Having lived in India, Ghana, Chile, and Morocco, she currently resides in Seattle, where she is an avid bike commuter despite the rain. 

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Mary Joyce
Founder &  Chief Strategist

📩 mary @ dobiggood . com