This past Friday, Code for Boulder teamed up with the newest Techstars Boulder class for a day of problem solving to move forward our TrendsOnline project.

The event included over 70 attendees with varying backgrounds, including Techstars founders, Code for Boulder brigade members, the Community Foundation Boulder County staff, users of the current Trends Report and members of the community unfamiliar with Trends.

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Attendees formed 10 teams to rapidly prototype solutions around interesting ways to package the Trends Report outside of the current biennial publication. Each group included at least one “customer” or stakeholder of the Trends Report, allowing Techstars and Code for Boulder participants to gain empathy and deeply understand the user for whom the solution would be built.

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Over the course of two hours, teams ran through empathy interviews, brainstorming, prototyping, and iterative feedback cycles to arrive at their final paper prototypes. Each team presented their prototype to the larger group for voting. The outcome for the day was selecting the top four prototypes of solutions that will be delivered to the Code for Boulder TrendsOnline project team for further development.

At Code for Boulder, we kicked off this project with the Community Foundation in October. After our early work to gain empathy and understand the needs of the Community Foundation staff, it was time to start thinking about solutions for customers.

At the same time, Zach Nies, Managing Director of Techstars Boulder, was looking for a service-learning opportunity for the new class. He reached out to his former colleague, Geri Mitchell-Brown, who works at CA Technologies (formerly Rally Software) and is the Captain of Code for Boulder. Working alongside the Community Foundation’s Morgan McMillan and Rally Software founder Ryan Martens, they created an impactful day of learning, giving back to the community and furthering the TrendsOnline project.

For the next phase of the TrendsOnline project, we’ll be working with the team at Dojo4 to turn the paper prototype ideas into online prototypes that will be validated with customers. After the prototyping phase is complete, it will be time for coding to begin this Spring.

Want to get involved? RSVP for our next Project Night at Impact Hub Boulder on Wednesday, March 9.