Thread Together: TEST

This week, Team Thread Together introduced our low-fidelity prototype to the public to test consumer responses. We began with our colleagues in Design For America, who already had some knowledge of our project. Their feedback brought our attention to elements of our design that we had overlooked, such as that we never explicitly said that our featured artisan was a refugee! The other students also recommended that we focus more on the community of artisans, incorporate more photos, and better integrate our statistic about refugees in Houston into our overall design. After altering our design based on this feedback, we … Continue reading Thread Together: TEST

MID-SEMESTER REVIEW: Open Arch

Mid-Semester Review was a great time for our team to pause, reflect, and consolidate all the work that has been put into our project. In our presentation, we were focused on conveying the narrative of our project and how we reached this point in our design proposal. Throughout this project, our team faced a lot of ambiguities. Some initial questions we had included who our users were, what our interpretation of wayfinding was, and what our specific role within this larger project would be. After visiting the site, and attending the town hall meeting, we finally gained a better understanding … Continue reading MID-SEMESTER REVIEW: Open Arch

IDEATE: Open Arch

After our visit to the Northside, we had a better understanding of the neighbourhood we were working in, which allowed us to move onto ideate. During this step of the design phase, we began to think about the project in two parts: content and aesthetics. For content, we were particularly interested in the exact information that would appear on the sign. What points of interest are we trying to target? Is the purpose of the sign for going from point A to B directly? Or for wandering and enjoying the area? These were some questions that came to mind when … Continue reading IDEATE: Open Arch

Arms Wide: Test

This week our team tackled Test. We worked on testing and getting feedback on our low fidelity prototype for our users. In building our solution, my team decided to focus on the follow-up aspect of our solution for our tests. We developed different email templates that could potentially be sent out to parents at different times. The email templates also had different sets of content and focuses. Some emails focused on supporting the parents via resources while others focused on reminding parents the steps necessary to start the adoption process. We also played around with developing different timelines for the … Continue reading Arms Wide: Test

Identify: Team OpenArch

This week, we dove headfirst into the first stages of the design process, and began to challenge our assumptions about the problem we are trying to solve. Given that our problem revolves around a specific space in Houston, we began by defining the logistics of the space and doing some basic research about the neighborhoods we were assisting. This research consisted of reading relevant articles, searching census data, and spending time looking at online maps. We discovered that the our target area is incredibly diverse, and rapidly changing. Many new businesses are being developed, dramatically impacting the character and personality … Continue reading Identify: Team OpenArch

Week 6 Reframe: Open Arch

After meeting with our community sponsor and other members of the Northside community at the charette, we decided to shift our focus to having the sign outside of St. Arnold’s.  With this change in setting, we also decided that our user entity could be re-narrowed back to a user persona – a young, caucasian professional. This allows us to safely assume that our users will have access to smartphones and the internet, which heavily influences what content needs to be present in our final design.  Regarding our design, we have decided on three main goals: it must be a clean … Continue reading Week 6 Reframe: Open Arch

Arms Wide: Build

This week the team worked on “build” — essentially building out the prototypes to our solution. Specifically, our team wrote three sample emails for the follow-up scheme we want to create for Arms Wide and potential content and interaction for the Facebook group. DFA emphasizes that the first steps of the build process should focus on concretely defining and creating content and building “lo-fidelity” prototypes. Essentially, lo-fidelity means as simple as possible, so without the frills and flourish of a final product. There are a couple reasons to keep the early prototypes at lo-fidelity. The first is that it becomes … Continue reading Arms Wide: Build

ScootASS: Build/Test

In the past week, we designed a couple very low fidelity prototype and had the chance to test them with some people from the studio. Our HCW statement is ‘How can we empower mobility scooter users in Rice serveries obtain and carry food and drinks independently and efficiently?’ Our prototype ideas are as follows: Prototype 1: 11×18 inch tray with attached arm system clamped on to the scooter Using a screw and clamp system with tray between the screw and clamp to allow rotation of the tray Material – Wood Using donut shape on top of the tray to hold … Continue reading ScootASS: Build/Test

Thread Together: Build

This week, Team Thread Together drew from the insights we had gained during the previous weeks to build lo-fidelity prototypes of our design. One audience comment after our Mid-Semester Review presentation was that consumers would be more likely to hang onto our design if it were multipurpose. In our team meeting, we decided that in addition to prototyping postcard-style designs, we should also prototype bookmarks. We agreed that we personally tend to keep bookmarks that we acquire at various events because they are useful and unobtrusive. We also discussed what content we thought we should include in our design. Our … Continue reading Thread Together: Build

Thread Together: Post MSR

This past Saturday, team Thread Together presented at Mid-Semester Review in front of our studio and community partners. Our presentation covered the work that we had done so far which included our research on Houston’s large refugee population, the work that The Community Cloth is doing, and our insights into the conscious customer with an emphasis on learning what draws them to a particular organization. Eventually, we realized that the best way to increase customer engagement for The Community Cloth would be to create something that brought the organization to the conscious customer instead of waiting for the conscious customer … Continue reading Thread Together: Post MSR

Arms Wide – Mid-Semester Review

This past Saturday, Team Arms Wide Adoption Allies presented in front of our studio, community partner, and friends for Mid-Semester Review. Our presentation covered our work so far, the insights we have made, and our proposal for a solution. Overall, the team did really well and we are very pleased with the positive feedback we have received! The audience received our presentation really well. Our community partner, Melissa, also seemed really pleased with our presentation and solution. The excitement and support we’ve been given by Arms Wide has been great and a huge motivating factor. The solution we offered was … Continue reading Arms Wide – Mid-Semester Review

ScootAASS: Ideate

This week we narrowed down our solution ideas by thinking about what solutions would be feasible to implement in one semester, cost effective, and actually target our problem space. Initially, we focused on both carrying food and potentially reaching food. We decided to go forward with a tray idea that would target the first problem space. The tray would have anti-slip material on it, which would be available at every servery (~2-3 trays per servery). To go into more detail, we wanted to attach the tray to the scooter. This would make it easier to carry more food, and could … Continue reading ScootAASS: Ideate

Thread Together: IDEATE

We are in the next stage of our design process: coming up with ideas to address our project. First, we took a step back and re-evaluated what main points we wanted our final product to have. Through several brainstorming sessions we broke down our question– “How can we help The Community Cloth attract more socially conscious customers by telling the individual stories of artisans at places that these people already frequent?”– into smaller components. We thought about “What about the individual stories do we want to include?” and “What do we want the conscious customer to know?” We all had … Continue reading Thread Together: IDEATE

Montrose Grace Place: Reframe

Going into reframe, we wanted to start to develop our design goals before going into the ideation process. We based our How Can We statements and our measures of success on the material we retrieved from interviewing our users from the Immerse phase, as well as the information from secondary sources and internet research we had done. Ultimately we decided on this HCW statement: How can we compile and present information about the navigation to and use of resources that youth at risk of homelessness would feel comfortable with? This statement encompasses both our concerns with the usability of the … Continue reading Montrose Grace Place: Reframe

Thread Together: Immerse

  How did you immerse yourselves in your respective problem space, what have you accomplished (summarize)? This week we had a phone call meeting with Kaila, our community partner and asked her about what The Community Cloth’s needs and goals are by the term “customer engagement”. This led us down the path of discussing how we want these women to be seen and what would make a good story. During our weekly team meeting we each classified our own expectations for this problem space and discussed how they aligned in terms with our team and the community partner’s vision. We … Continue reading Thread Together: Immerse

Montrose Grace Place: Immerse

In order to immerse ourselves in our users’ experiences, we traveled to the Montrose Grace Place and interviewed the youth who attend the weekly dinners and activities there. Most of the attendees at MGP are 18-21 years old, and they are a very close-knit group. They seem to come very often to MGP and have formed close relationships with each other and with those running the organization, such as our community partner, Courtey. When we told them we were redesigning the helpcard, they almost instantaneously had questions for us, especially regarding information on GED/education and daycare services. Without prompting them, … Continue reading Montrose Grace Place: Immerse

Arms Wide: Intro and Identify

Who are we? My name is Neha Goel and I am a senior studying Civil Engineering. I am interested in learning about the adoption and foster care system as well as its benefits and misconceptions. I am excited to work on a project with a community partner in Houston and hopefully make an impact in our area! My name is Ramee Saleh and I am a senior studying Economics and Policy Studies. This is my first semester with DFA and I am really excited to learn more about and engage with the design process. I am looking forward to making an impact for Arms … Continue reading Arms Wide: Intro and Identify

Montrose Grace Place: Identify

We are the team working with the Monstrose Grace Place and the Houston Coalition for the Homeless. Our names are Jared Snow, Ashton Drake, Chidera Ezuma-Igwe, and Matthew Perez. We are working together because we are interested and passionate about the intersectionality of LGBT+ specific issues within the homeless community. We are working on designing a way to distribute information on resources that the City of Houston has to offer its homeless and housing insecure community. Specifically we are working with the Montrose Grace Place, and focusing on information which is relevant to the homeless youth. We have identified our underlying … Continue reading Montrose Grace Place: Identify