Beyond Feature Requests: what do users really want?

Short Form


Moving from pie-in-the-sky feature requests to an actionable set of staged designs buildable on a non-profit's budget. We sat down with power users of our tools to figure out what the actual use cases for the map data they generated were and how our software could be re-designed around it. I'll discuss the design research, moderated discussions, and data narrative creation with our user community to imagine version 2.0 of our application Mapknitter.


Often, feature requests are created as one particular user’s solution to their problem, and can be overwhelming to prioritize. When placed within the narrative of data use in the field, many of these “feature requests” can be simplified and combined. Getting to the root of what data users need from a program and how do they want to use it can be challenging.

I’ll discuss the group facilitation, storytelling, and research techniques we used to move towards an actionable development plan that isn’t going to break the bank.


Development, design research, case studies, UX, design, project management

Speaking experience

I haven't given this talk before. its about in-process work.

Talks last year:
University of West England, Bristol: Volunteer Dynamics in Grassrootsmapping.
University College London with Shannon Dosemagen
Computers, Freedom, & Privacy: Homegrown Drones, with Amie Stepanovich,
Open Source Bridge, Portland: Balloon Mapping Workshop
TEDxConcordia University Portland: Iconic Toilets
LaPine Groundwater Committee: Performance Coding