Involving users early in projects helps to understand real-world accessibility issues and helps you implement more effective accessibility solutions. It also broadens your perspective in a way that can lead you to discover new ways of thinking about your product that will make it work better for more people in more situations.
This benefits not only users, but also stakeholders; for example, increased use of the product and other business benefits from increased accessibility.
Including end user feedback should be an organized activity because study after study shows that active involvement in the design and creation of a system dramatically increases the chance of success.
One important branch of Groningen Internet Exchange (GN-IX) is Groningen Internet Valley, a non-profit organization which supports young entrepreneurs to develop products and services for the growing ICT and Internet market. Startups who make use of support an funding from Internet Valley will be guided by experts and mentors from the very beginning to the finalization of their product or service and will have the chance to involve citizens to co-create, test and improve the services, before they will be put on the market. There is a broad network of people the young entrepreneurs can discuss their product with and numerous activities in the Groningen Region they can participate in to improve the innovation process and to achieve a final product or service in the end that makes sense and is useful for a larger target group and contributes to community needs.
Workshops - during the project period of DANS-ON the management of Groningen Internet Valley organized five workshops and events. During the workshops the startups have the opportunity to present their product, idea or new concept. Basically representatives of university, government and private sector are invited. But since one year also potential end-users are invited to participate. This A new element is that also But what are they about? I suggest to count those as events were “citizens” are being involved
Meet-up – during the project period of DANS-ON the management of Groningen Internet Valley organized two meet-ups with entrepreneurs who are already active in the program. Discussions about communication and involvement of end-users were integral subject of the agenda.
Read more (downloadable pdf): Using the DANS Model in Groningen Internet Exchange – GN-IX