Povigo app: to restart work after a burnout

A smart team of developers is an important prerequisite for launching valuable software solutions. But such a smart team best includes domain experts and end users. It often happens that at Kunlabora we work with people who are completely new to the world of software development. This was also the case in the Povigo project. There, we introduced project partners to user testing step by step.

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Povigo: developing a digital growth app

Today we started the release 2 development phase of Povigo: the growth app Kunlabora is building with ESF funding. The Povigo app provides guidance for those who want to re-enter the labour market after a long-term absence. Especially after burnout, it is a good app to use together with a job coach.

End-user centric app development

The Povigo app puts the end-user at the centre. When someone is looking for a new job, they register in the app what is on their mind. In the process, they receive lots of information, encouragement, and tips on soft skills they can develop further. Thus, in small steps, they receive the necessary encouragement to return to the labour market.

Because the application is supported by narrative visualizations data science analyses, they can discover patterns and connections in their job search together with a job coach. This allows them to decide together what next steps are possible.

The app creates opportunities. On the one hand, it gives the user the chance to take control of his or her growth process. On the other hand, the job coach can offer more targeted support. Looking for a new job can be stressful. Especially with vulnerable target groups, such as people who have just recovered from burnout. That is why we have built so many effective feedback mechanisms into the app.

Complementary cooperation for application development

This project started with a Service Blueprint (hyperlink) so that we could develop a ‘Minimum Loveable Product’. Of course, we could not do this without partners. A strong complementary collaboration was needed to realize added value for the end user.‍ This way, we could rely on Group INTRO's expertise in the field of job coaching. They also provided us with access to the end user.

In addition, we enjoyed support from AP's research unit. They are experts in soft skills and effective feedback. Both played an important role in the development of a concept that was validated in a pilot project. IDEA Consult - expert impact evaluation - now has the task of assessing whether our assumptions about effective feedback are confirmed. We are already looking forward to evaluating this exciting and socially highly relevant software project.

Project approach: rapid prototyping to deliver value to customer

The project started with an impact map and personas. In this way, we clearly mapped out our goal, the users, our stakeholders and the intended added value. We then deepened these with customer journeys: as is and to be. In this way, we gained insight into the required features, which we incorporated in a user story map. This was the impetus for the first prototype on paper.‍

In doing so, we moved quickly: after only two weeks, we had a first low-fidelity prototype on paper. In doing so, we used the prototyping tool Marvel to show easily clickable sketches. It was simple, but sufficient for initial validation by potential end-users.

‍It was then an iterative process to gradually refine this prototype into high-quality screen designs (with some Fectiv power). We could then start developing a working basic version of the Povigo app.

Our lessons learned in prototyping

This project taught us valuable lessons. First, in prototyping. We learned that it is very powerful to validate and modify your prototype quickly and often. ‍

Daring to look at your prototype from different perspectives is also important. We engaged both job coaches and their clients for this purpose. We also diversified the target group: we involved both people suffering from burnout and people returning to work after a long illness, such as cancer. Finally, we also brought diversity in perspective: we looked at both employee and employer perspectives. ‍

These different perspectives provided a rich context to start in. Thus, we were assured that the challenge we want to solve with the tool was fully mapped out. All these aspects, together with all the expertise and domain knowledge we brought together, was already a great starting point for the development of the digital growth app Povigo.

To end, a special shoutout to the partners who helped make this project possible:

  • Groep INTRO: domain expertise and customer access
  • AP: expertise in soft skills en effective feedback
  • IDEA Consult: impactevaluation
  • ESF: actively involved in the projects they support financially

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