Our approach

The work of the Ida Institute is characterized by collaboration and innovation. In recent years, we’ve acquired the moniker “the UN of hearing care” due to our unique ability to bring together diverse, even rival, stakeholders in the field to innovate and co-create resources for hearing care professionals and their clients. Together with the principles of ethnography and human-centered design, this ambitious approach to collaboration forms the foundation of how we work.

Human-centered design

Everything we do at Ida is guided by human-centered design, a creative approach to problem-solving that starts with people and ends with innovative solutions that are tailored to suit their needs.

At Ida, this means collaborating and co-creating with clinicians, academics, people with hearing loss, and industry representatives to create resources that help people develop knowledge, skills, and confidence to better manage their own or their clients’ hearing loss.

Read more about Ida and human-centered design here

Anthropology and ethnography

Anthropology and ethnography are key elements in human-centered design and crucial to how Ida explores a topic. Visiting clinics (in-person or online), meeting with people with hearing loss and their hearing care professionals, and learning their stories is central to understanding where there are needs gaps.

The immediate results of this research are Ida’s ethnographic videos. These short films, showing real appointments between clinicians and their clients, are valuable teaching tools in and of themselves, and are used in classrooms, presentations, and professional trainings.

These videos are also essential to Ida’s innovation processes, where they are used to illustrate real-world needs and inspire conversations and activities that lead to the development of new resources to meet those needs.

Watch Ida’s ethnographic videos here

Understand, Explore, Create

Ida’s design process comprises three phases – Understand, Explore, Create – and was inspired by a number of innovation models, including the Understand, Explore, Materialize model by global design company IDEO.

All our tools and resources are created using this method, many of them at the renowned Ida Institute seminars, where we bring together stakeholders in the field of hearing care from around the world – including clinicians, academics, people with hearing loss, and industry representatives – to share knowledge, explore unmet needs, and co-create prototype solutions.

More than 500 experts and stakeholders from across the global hearing care landscape have participated in these innovation seminars and workshops since 2007.

After each seminar, the prototypes produced are developed into new tools and resources that are made freely available to the Ida community.

Explore our co-created tools here