This week, we worked on synthesizing all of the problems we came up with into one, singular prevailing problem so that we can focus on that moving forward. The main goal we had this week was to create a single How Can We statement, along with our measures of success. Our final HCW statement was thus: How can we utilize social media to advertise the lifeguarding position at the YMCA to teens in a way that downplays the daunting responsibilities, while marketing the long-term applicable professional and leadership skills? This was based on insights we gained in the past two … Continue reading REFRAME: Team YMCA


IMMERSE : understanding the issue at hand to a greater depth through user/stakeholder interviews, and secondary research. This week, Team YMCA focused on immersing into the issue of addressing diversity in lifeguard recruitment for the YMCA. We did this through interviewing current and previous lifeguards, lifeguard supervisors, and the aquatic directors at multiple locations, including Houston, Charlotte, and Portland. Our first interviewee included the Assistant Aquatics Director at the Rice Recreation Center, Jaime Jones. The main insights taken from this interview include the importance and influence of the lifeguard supervisor in obtaining and retaining sufficient lifeguards for the job. In … Continue reading IMMERSE: Team YMCA


Although we had some initial difficulties, after some refocusing, we have gained some new insights and generated more relevant questions to be used during interviews with our stakeholders. Our main idea with these set of questions was to figure out what practices were being implemented at partner gardens and to draw some more insights about what makes community gardens sustainable. INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: How often do you meet as a group? Do you have meetings? Who comes to them? How do they work? If not, why? How do you communicate and make decisions?   How do you assign responsibilities for the … Continue reading IMMERSE: D.I.R.T.

Compass: IMMERSE

This week we focused on understanding our users and the unique challenges they face while living off campus with respect to food. Each of us interviewed a few OC students, since there is a wide variety in the experiences of off campus students, to better understand their current struggles and perceptions of food insecurity. Based off of these interviews we were able to develop a user persona of the typical off campus student: Bob is a junior off campus student who did not get housing at his residential college. Bob is on a reduced meal plan but lacks the time … Continue reading Compass: IMMERSE


Did you conduct user interviews this week? If so what insight did you gain? We conducted interviews with Carolyn, Andre and Alex. Carolyn works with Civic Duty Rice, Andre is an AP U.S government teacher at KIP, and Alex is a Harvard bound high school senior. Through interviewing people of diverse backgrounds in terms of their involvement with the voting process, we were able to gain a wide variety of insights in to our problem. Through our interview with Andre, we learned that students feel particularly strongly about political issues that directly impact their communities. We also learned that although … Continue reading IMMERSE: MI FAMILIA VOTA

Identify: Team Compass

This week, our team met to identify what our challenge was, our assumptions, and break down each component of food insecurity. We realized that the food pantry itself had many different sub problems, and that food insecurity itself had many different components. In order to tackle the challenge in a meaningful way, we need to identify all the problem spaces. Our subproblems spaces were: Awareness: Most people do not know about the food pantry. Resources/Contents: Did the food pantry have food the users wanted? Hours: The hours are odd Perception/Level of comfort: There is stigma around food insecurity Access: Transportation … Continue reading Identify: Team Compass

Montrose Grace Place: Test

This week our team visited Montrose Grace Place, a drop-in center in Houston we are partnering with, to get feedback from individuals currently/previously experiencing homeless in Houston on our help card. At this stage, we included a short description of services, as well as bus routes to the location. The insights that drove these additions were that when interviewing youth, they often felt uncomfortable trying out going to a new resource because they were unaware what a resource had to offer them, and most all of the youth reported that their main mode of transportation was the bus. Considering these … Continue reading Montrose Grace Place: Test

Arms Wide: Build/Test

This past week we flushed out and revised our three emails given last week’s feedback and tested them with Maheen. We made sure to balance anecdotes and conveying the ethos of Arms Wide. We also made sure to be purposeful with the language. For example, we used “we” instead of “Arms Wide” in the second and third emails to make the email feel more personal. Overall, we are confident in moving forward with our email content.   We have received eight survey responses that Arms Wide had previously sent to parents who have completed the majority of the adoption process. … Continue reading Arms Wide: Build/Test

Montrose Grace Place: Ideate

This week we identified what information we wanted to include in our help card. For the bulk of our weekly meeting, we brainstormed how we can best organize information on the help card. We wanted to build on the previous help card, but this time including a description of each resource’s services so that users can choose which resource they want to go to based on their needs at the time, while also adding Metro routes to each of the locations to help better navigate. Previous help cards made navigation difficult because many housing insecure youth do not have cell … Continue reading Montrose Grace Place: Ideate