User testing: If it doesn’t work for someone, it doesn’t work for everyone

Social Innovation
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Members of the IncluCity Calgary team, from left: Luis Berumen, Uriel Karerwa, Stephen Yuen, Sydney Harder, Susannah Tawse (standing), Geoff Zakaib.

“Products and services won’t be as effective and won’t reach their full potential without getting feedback from diverse voices.” -Geoff Zakaib

Haskayne alumni and current fellow in the Research to Social Innovation Incubator (R2SI) run by Innovate Calgary, Geoff Zakaib was inspired by the work of the Civic User Testing Group in Chicago to integrate the voices of users with the technologies that shape their lives. Influenced by their success and similar projects in other major cities, CivicTechYYC and CalgaryUX communities came together to form IncluCity Calgary as a nonprofit organization in 2021.

The ways we work, play and live have changed rapidly over the past few years, and the race is on for developers to meet our needs with new technologies and solutions. Zakaib thinks it’s imperative to engage a representative and diverse group of people in the development and testing of these solutions to ensure that they truly work for everyone who uses them.

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