Future diary

Getting insights into the hopes and dreams of your users

Practical Information

What is this tool?

A tool to understand the hopes and dreams of your target group and how they would like to see themselves in the future.

Why do we use it?

When you try to understand a problem and design a solution it is important to understand what motivates and drives the users. The Future Me allows for reflection on how the users feel today and how they imagine themselves in the future.

Design phase:

Design research

Materials:

Pen and paper, Print, Online tool

Time:

30 minutes - 1 hour

Worksheet Print
Worksheet Digital
Worksheet French
Worksheet Arabic
Worksheet without Text
Worksheet URL

A step-by-step guide

1. Select and/or adjust a Future me worksheet. There are two types of worksheets:

  • Hopes and dreams worksheet: 4 questions about the hopes and dreams of the users, this can be used with groups who are quite good at explaining their own ideas.
  • Present and future worksheet: This has more directive questions about the current situation and then asks the users to explain how their answers will be different in 5, 10 or 15 years. This can be used when you have specific topics you want to explore. 


2. Ask the participants to answer the questions on the worksheet for themselves or use the worksheet in an interview.  You can decide to ask participants to fill out the worksheet directly or agree on a deadline and let them do it in their own time. 



3. By the end, everyone shares their worksheets, if they are very personal, you can make them anonymous. But if it’s possible to also reflect them with the whole group, that will bring a lot of added value. In that case organise a short group discussion where people can share the most striking outcomes and take notes of the discussion.



4. Take time to review all the diaries: do you see patterns, or differences in age, gender…? Make a summary (including common dreams, differences between now and in 5 years…) and discuss this with the team, and draw insights from it.


How other organisations used this tool

How to use the outcomes of the tool?

Use the insights when ideating and prototyping potential solutions, make sure that they are in line with what motivates your target audience.

Related tools

Social map
Understanding the social connections that influence your users
Combine the Future me with the social map to capture the social fabric of the community around your users
Diary
Capturing the lives of the users through their daily (inter) actions
Combine this tool with a daily diary. This tool is also a good introduction of a week-long diary exercise.
Photo collection
Creating a visual story from the perspective of your users to empathise with them.
Combine the Future me with the Photo Collection tool to get a more visual understanding of the context of your stakeholders.

Thoughts? Share with us!

We would like to know how you experience how you used our tools.
Share with us your experiences and filled out worksheets.


Email us at: toolkit@butterflyworks.org

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