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, they had already given us information on the types of resources that are missing from the helpcard that its users need.
We proceeded to interview them, using the following questions:
- What resources (other than MGP) do you use on a weekly basis and why?
- Have you had any particularly good/bad experiences using a resource?
- Would you be comfortable or have you in the past gone to a religious organization for resources?
- If yes, ask about experience at religious organizations
- What resources do you feel that you need but don’t have access to?
- Have you ever used this resource card in the past?
- Is there anything in particular that you liked or disliked about it?
- If stopped: Why did you stop using it?
- What method of transportation do you use to get to these resources?
- What’s the farthest you travel to get somewhere on a regular basis?
- Is there are certain time of day (or the week) when resources are particularly hard to come by?
In some case, we interviewed users in groups and produced a discussion; in other cases, interviews were one-on-one. We documented everything our users had to say and came up with the following key insights at a meeting following the interviews:
- There is a need for more information on a wider set of resources such as education (GED), childcare, ID services, Texas Benefits
- Every resource has its limitations/specifications
- Bus is the main/only mode of transportation
- Comfort is really important: gravitation towards family-style shelters and resource centers
- Cell phone access is very limited
- Everyone fairly comfortable with religious organizations
- Maps may be useful, but on a smaller scale: map service-saturated areas such as the area around Kindred in Montrose
- Distance does not prohibit them from getting resources that they need
- They’re mostly comfortable going to youth-specific resources and shelters
These key insights have allowed us to narrow our scope and better understand what works for our users and what doesn’t. With that, we are moving into Reframe.