+ What is a Street Team?

A Street Team is a unique method of engagement that Overlap has developed to gain quick insights into the needs of stakeholders. Street Teams are designed as shortburst, face-to-face interviews and provide a rich base of data because they allow teams to reach a large number of people from a variety of locations over a set period of time.

Street Team Surveying is going out into the community to ask questions, listen and record responses!

+ Why are we using Street Teams for this project?

Street Teams allow us to capitalize on an opportunity to connect with a variety of members in your community. Street Teams enable us to directly ask people about their experiences and perceptions of your organization and beyond.

At Overlap, we use Street Teams most often in our work with libraries, social services, and healthcare clients. We develop 4-7 questions that are designed to discover insights of the chosen focus area.

Overlap’s simple, easy-to-use materials allow the Street Teams to quickly and easily gather information that can be synthesized into useful insights for the Human-Centred design process.

+ Why do organizations conduct their own Street Teams?

By sending your own staff and board members to conduct Street Teams they are able to get outside of their own walls, connect with the community, and bring new insights back to your organization.

There is something very special about getting into the community and having new conversations with people in order to understand opportunities from their perspectives. We have been told by many clients that this experience is incredibly rewarding for staff while also building their capacity.

Some clients have had great success harnessing their social media and marketing networks to generate wide-spread awareness about Street Teams (even getting front-page news coverage in one large community).

+ How soon after Street Teams training should we deploy the survey?

It really is best to try to keep the momentum of the training session going, we recommend going out again as soon as possible. But also, be selective about where you are going to reach your targeted audience.

+ What locations are best for Street Teams?

We recommend going to where your key stakeholders are, often times community events and farmers markets are a great starting point.

We have had organizations go to skateboard parks to reach younger demographics or tractor clubs for older demographics. It depends on who you wanting to engage and what you want to learn.

+ Do we need to get permissions to conduct Street Teams?

That depends on where you are planning to conduct your Street Teams surveys. If you are just approaching people on the street you will not need any permissions. However, if you want to go to farmers markets, shopping malls or other indoor spaces it is always best to check with those organizations before sending Street Teamers out.

To download an example of a Street Teams permission script please click here.

+ What are Street Teams best suited for?

  • Community engagement with the general public
  • Getting insights on:
    • The goals of individuals in your community
    • What we think is or isn’t working well in a specific context
    • Whether someone feels they are or aren’t affected by a problem
    • New ideas that have already been generated, targeted toward specific user groups
  • Generating ideas based on specific questions/constraints
  • Understanding user needs in a current, top-of-mind situation (this works best when the person is currently in the situation we’re trying to understand, such as trying to improve an ER experience by talking to people in an ER)
  • Establishing starting points for further deep-dive or focus group-based research

+ Do our employees need to have t-shirts or other swag?

T-shirts are optional but we have found that they are nice for employees, help rally the team together, and build morale. At the bare minimum, we recommend lanyards or buttons for your Street Teamers to wear. There are also opportunities to add stickers to the clipboards and logos on the pens that your Street Teamers are using.

+ What kind of support do we expect from Overlap?

Overlap will provide:

  1. A facilitated training event
  2. An instruction playbook
  3. A portable instruction card with tips and tricks
  4. Surveys, clipboards, and pens to test during the training event

+ What kind of support does Overlap expect from you?

Overlap would like:

  1. Eager Street Team participants
  2. A location for Street Teams training
  3. Coffee, tea, and refreshments for Street Teams training (as desired)
  4. Clipboards and pens for deployment

+ Overlap tips and tricks!

People often say ‘No’ when asked if they want to answer a few questions and that is okay! Expect about 60-80% to agree to complete the Street Teams survey.

There are no wrong answers! How survey respondents perceive the question can lead to deep insights during synthesis and analysis.

We recommend sending people out in pairs. Where one is the main question asker and the other writes down what the interviewee is saying. This also makes it easier to approach people together!

Overlap recommends sending Street Teams out for no more than 2-hour periods.