IDEO, a leading design company, developed the DVF framework to make innovation more effective. At its core, the framework evaluates Desirability (what users want), Viability (business logic), and Feasibility (technical aspects). At Cyces, we've adopted DVF to guide our decisions in feature development, solution selection, and prioritization. This article will unpack the DVF framework, its advantages, and how Cyces effectively utilizes it.

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Understanding the DVF Framework

The DVF framework breaks down innovation into three key components:

What is desirability and how to validate it?

At its heart, desirability revolves around the users and their genuine needs, wants, and preferences. It is the human-centered pillar of the DVF framework and focuses on creating meaningful and delightful experiences for users.

To validate desirability, companies often rely on extensive user research, gathering feedback, and understanding the emotions associated with a product or feature. Asking the right questions is crucial. Here are some that can be used:

  • What problem does this feature or product solve for our users?
  • How does this align with current trends or user behaviors?
  • Would users be willing to switch from their current solution to ours?

What is viability and how to validate it?

Viability pertains to the business logic of the proposed feature or product. While desirability is user-focused, viability ensures that the innovation aligns with the organization's strategic goals, market conditions, and financial interests. Ensuring viability means verifying that the product or feature can be sustainably integrated into the business model.

To validate viability, it's essential to delve into market research, financial projections, and strategic alignment. Here are some questions to guide this assessment:

  • Is there a sizable market for this feature or product?
  • What are the projected costs associated with developing and maintaining this feature?
  • What's the potential revenue or other financial returns we expect from it?

What is feasibility and how do we validate it?

Feasibility evaluates the practical and technical aspects of a feature or product. It addresses the question: "Can we realistically build and implement this?" This dimension ensures that the product or feature can be developed and maintained using the organization's current (or immediately attainable) capabilities, resources, and technologies.

To validate feasibility, technical assessments, resource evaluations, and logistical considerations are critical. Here are some guiding questions:

  • Do we have the necessary technology and tools to build this feature or product?
  • Are there any technological barriers or challenges that need to be addressed?
  • What human resources (engineers, designers, project managers, etc.) are required?
  • What's the development timeline for this feature or product?
  • Can the feature or product scale as user demand grows?

Benefits of Using the DVF Framework

Implementing the DVF framework provides a structured approach to innovation and decision-making. Here are the core benefits of utilizing Desirability, Viability, and Feasibility in tandem:

Reduce risks beforehand: Addressing desirability, viability, and feasibility upfront helps identify potential challenges and pitfalls. Foreseeing these challenges allows for better preparedness and risk mitigation.

Optimized resource utilization: By ensuring ideas are feasible before investing heavily, you can allocate resources—whether it's time, money, or manpower—more efficiently.

Set realistic expectations: By assessing feasibility, you set realistic expectations regarding timelines, budgets, and technical challenges, minimizing last-minute surprises.

In essence, the DVF framework offers a balanced and strategic approach, ensuring that innovations are user-centric, aligned with business goals, and technically achievable.

Application of the DVF Framework at Cyces

At Cyces, the DVF framework is our guiding principle when collaborating with clients on product development. Here's an in-depth breakdown of how we seamlessly integrated the DVF framework into a product sprint for one of our clients specializing in providing care and support services for the elderly.

Imagine an individual residing abroad who desires to care for their parents but is unable to physically assist them with everyday tasks such as accompanying them to medical appointments, managing banking tasks, running errands, or even going for a leisurely stroll. This platform provides a solution by offering these essential services to the elderly parents through dedicated companions known as "Heroes." Through an online booking system, these "Heroes" extend their support to the individual's parents residing in India, ensuring their well-being and needs are met.

Here are the steps:

  • First, we put down the target audience’s wants and needs
  • Then, with this information, we write down potential solutions
  • We then prioritize the solutions with the DVF framework

1. Understood our target audience and their needs

User Persona 1: Son/Daughter (Direct User - 25 to 40 years, living abroad or off-town)

The son or daughter living abroad or in a distant town wants to provide optimal care and support for their elderly parents residing in India. Their needs include:

  • Remote Care Coordination: They seek a platform that facilitates efficient management and coordination of essential tasks and activities for their parents from a distance.
  • Peace of Mind: Ensuring their parents' safety, health, and happiness is a priority. They require features enabling them to monitor their parents' health conditions and receive timely updates.
  • Comprehensive Assistance: Beyond physical tasks, they desire companionship for their parents and assistance in maintaining their emotional well-being.
  • Efficient Communication: Clear and dependable communication channels are essential for connecting with the "Heroes" responsible for assisting their parents, ensuring seamless coordination.
  • Customization: Recognizing individualistic needs, they expect the platform to offer customizable services tailored to their parents' specific requirements.
  • Trustworthy Service: Concerns about safety and assistance quality drive the need for a service that prioritizes their parents' well-being and establishes a foundation of trust.

User Persona 2: Elderly Parents (Indirect Users - >50 years, living in a town/city away from their children with no care/support)

The elderly parent living away from their children seeks to sustain their independence while receiving necessary support to fulfill daily tasks. Their needs encompass:

  • Errand Support: They require assistance with errands, grocery shopping, and obtaining medicines from local stores.
  • Healthcare Assistance: Challenges in visiting doctors or acquiring medications prompt the need for help in scheduling appointments and ensuring proper healthcare.
  • Financial Support: Navigating bank visits and government offices can be daunting. They need help with paperwork and guidance in these settings.
  • Companionship: Feelings of isolation and loneliness necessitate companionship, prompting a desire for engaging conversations, walks, and social interaction.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Specific cultural preferences and communication styles matter. They expect a service that respects and understands their cultural background.
  • Reliable Help: Dependability, kindness, and empathy are essential. They seek a service connecting them with compassionate "Heroes" genuinely invested in their well-being.

Understanding these two distinctive user personas and their unique requirements was pivotal in tailoring the remote caregiving platform to effectively address the challenges encountered by both the direct users (children living abroad) and the indirect users (elderly parents living in India).

2. Brainstormed potential assumptions / solutions that satisfy these needs

Now we know our users and what they need, we brainstorm potential solutions by figuring out “How might we” solve their needs and start writing down.

  • How might we develop and maintain a robust online platform that allows caregivers to easily book services and provides a secure environment for managing sensitive information?
  • How might we make it seamless for individuals living abroad to coordinate essential tasks and activities for their elderly parents in India, ensuring their well-being and care?
  • How might we empower remote caregivers to easily schedule and manage appointments with doctors, banks, and other errands for their parents, while providing clear communication channels?
  • How might we enable the creation of strong bonds between the "Heroes" and the elderly parents, ensuring a sense of companionship and trust in providing assistance with daily activities?
  • How might we utilize technology to provide real-time updates and feedback to caregivers abroad, ensuring transparency and peace of mind regarding the services their parents are receiving?
  • How might we design a user-friendly online platform that allows caregivers to customize the type and frequency of services needed, catering to the unique requirements of each elderly individual?
  • How might we integrate multilingual and culturally sensitive features into the platform, enabling effective communication between caregivers, "Heroes," and elderly parents with varying backgrounds?
  • How might we implement safety measures and protocols to guarantee the physical and emotional well-being of the elderly parents during their interactions with the "Heroes"?
  • How might we establish a feedback loop that allows caregivers to share their experiences, insights, and suggestions, thus contributing to an iterative improvement of the platform and services?
  • How might we recruit, train, and continuously support the "Heroes" to ensure they possess the necessary skills and empathy to provide high-quality care and companionship to the elderly parents?
  • How might we create an efficient and streamlined process for the "Heroes" to execute tasks such as taking the elderly parents to doctor visits, running errands, and going for daily walks?
  • How might we develop a pricing structure that remains affordable for caregivers while fairly compensating the "Heroes," fostering a sustainable and impactful caregiving ecosystem?

3. Determining which solutions were likely desirable, feasible, and viable

Now we have our ideas written down, these will be segmented using the DVF framework.

Desirability (User Needs and Desires):

  • How might we empower remote caregivers to easily schedule and manage appointments with doctors, banks, and other errands for their parents, while providing clear communication channels?
  • How might we enable the creation of strong bonds between the "Heroes" and the elderly parents, ensuring a sense of companionship and trust in providing assistance with daily activities?
  • How might we design a user-friendly online platform that allows caregivers to customize the type and frequency of services needed, catering to the unique requirements of each elderly individual?
  • How might we utilize technology to provide real-time updates and feedback to caregivers abroad, ensuring transparency and peace of mind regarding the services their parents are receiving?
  • How might we integrate multilingual and culturally sensitive features into the platform, enabling effective communication between caregivers, "Heroes," and elderly parents with varying backgrounds?

Viability (Business and Market Viability):

  • How might we make it seamless for individuals living abroad to coordinate essential tasks and activities for their elderly parents in India, ensuring their well-being and care?
  • How might we implement safety measures and protocols to guarantee the physical and emotional well-being of the elderly parents during their interactions with the "Heroes"?
  • How might we establish a feedback loop that allows caregivers to share their experiences, insights, and suggestions, thus contributing to an iterative improvement of the platform and services?
  • How might we develop a pricing structure that remains affordable for caregivers while fairly compensating the "Heroes," fostering a sustainable and impactful caregiving ecosystem?

Feasibility (Technical and Resource Feasibility):

  • How might we recruit, train, and continuously support the "Heroes" to ensure they possess the necessary skills and empathy to provide high-quality care and companionship to the elderly parents?
  • How might we create an efficient and streamlined process for the "Heroes" to execute tasks such as taking the elderly parents to doctor visits, running errands, and going for daily walks?
  • How might we develop and maintain a robust online platform that allows caregivers to easily book services and provides a secure environment for managing sensitive information?

Several such frameworks guide our product development efforts here at Cyces. Get in touch with us to build yours!

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