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

Team Tools for the Homeless / H2omeless: Build, Test, and Final Thoughts

Build: Our HCW statement was “How can we ensure homeless individuals in Houston’s tent camps have an easy way to carry their water to maintain good hygiene?”  We started off with 5 spaces where we could potentially build a prototype in: delivery services, refilling stations, waterless hygiene, information distribution and carrying methods.  After doing “axis” exercises, it was clear that the most feasible and realistic space would be carrying methods. Our prototype is a sturdy, yet extensible strap that will attach the half gallon milk cartons in two places to make the carrying of these full cartons easier.  A half … Continue reading Team Tools for the Homeless / H2omeless: Build, Test, and Final Thoughts

Team Homemade Pride: Test

Over the past two weeks, we tested at a GED class offered by Houston Center for Literacy as well as with a current underprivileged youth involved with the Salvation Army who is looking to start taking GED classes.   The questions that we asked at the testing sessions to the people taking/interested in taking the GED classes had to do with: their background, why they decided to take a GED class, how much they knew about the GED beforehand, and time commitments outside of studying. We also asked questions to the GED class teachers and asked them about: the knowledge … Continue reading Team Homemade Pride: Test

Team Design Journal: ITERATE + TEST 2

To recap, last week we tested our lo-fidelity 1.0 prototype. This prototype was used to test only the content of our design journal with two user groups – those with high familiarity with DFA and those with low familiarity with DFA. This is a snapshot of what lo-fi 1.0 looks like: Feedback on lo-fi 1.0: Our team consistently heard from both test groups that our text was too abstract and used a lot of inaccessible language. Resulting action: We went through our content and looked at the words that our test users said they had no context for — if we … Continue reading Team Design Journal: ITERATE + TEST 2

Team Design Journal: TEST

This week we completed the first phase of our testing process. We presented lo-fidelity prototypes of four different pieces to be included in the Design Journal: a project snapshot, an interview with community partner, an interview with a studio lead, and an interview with a team lead. This week we only tested content. To accomplish this, we printed out text without any fancy layout, just to see if people were able to digest the text. In general, there were some common observations across all pieces. Readers often commented that they were unfamiliar with some information crucial to understanding the design process … Continue reading Team Design Journal: TEST

Team Homemade Pride: Build

We started our building phase guided by our how-can-we statement, “How can we promote the self-sustainability of marginalized individuals who lack a GED by focusing on their personal spaces?” We started our building phase by having a really fun and productive prototyping meeting to create a low fidelity prototype of our GED box idea. We split up into 3 pairs so that we can explore different areas of our solution. First group focused on how to motivate the user to work towards getting a GED, the second group focused on organizing the studying aspect, and the third group explored how … Continue reading Team Homemade Pride: Build

Hermann Park: BUILD/TEST

  In the past few weeks, we had been working towards creating a  mascot for Hermann Park Conservancy. However, after meeting with the staff at Hermann Park, we were inspired by the stories they told us about their interactions with the park visitors. Learning about these genuine and unique stories, we decided to change the direction of the project. Instead of moving forward with designing a mascot, we decided to focus on finding a way to encourage people to interact with the gardeners, who are critical for the sustainability practices in Hermann Park. We believe increasing these types of interactions, … Continue reading Hermann Park: BUILD/TEST

Lend a Hand: BUILD/TEST

For the past few weeks we have been focusing on building our prototypes and are ready to begin our first round of testing! When designing this writing utensil we have kept our specific HCW statement in mind: How can we create a durable, comfortable, and modular device to assist users without the use of their fingers to write efficiently. Our current prototype consists of two sleeves with one sleeve that can be strapped on around the wrist with a pen attachment (pictured in blue) and another sleeve (pictured in pink) where the pens can be stored so that the user … Continue reading Lend a Hand: BUILD/TEST

WaterProof | BUILD/TEST

This week we started building and testing around our how can we statement: how can we help the Rice community become more aware of their water consumption through an installation art piece at the Solar Studios? Through our past phases of the design process we isolated the insight that our water footprint is much larger than the direct water consumption we are aware of. Though we may not be able to always see that water footprint, others can when it impacts the larger system. With this in mind, we plan to build an art instillation at the Solar Studios that … Continue reading WaterProof | BUILD/TEST

Chapstick: test

Test #1– 4/6/2018 This Friday, we visited Clarewood House Retirement Community. We were able to visit 3 of the senior citizens that we previously met during our first visit. We brought in three different chapsticks to test our prototypes, , HCW statements, and  measure of success. This second visit has allowed us to gain a better insights and reshape aspects of our project.   Test #1- Color Test     Previously, we were unsure whether poor eyesight inhibited their ability to operate the chapstick. We assumed that most struggled to a certain degree due to their eye ability. However, to … Continue reading Chapstick: test

Team Design Journal: BUILD

  Our team’s doing it! The remainder of the semester will be spent riding a build-test-iterate-test-iterate-test-present train. And we’re doing it! This week we compiled our lo-fidelity prototype (“lo-fi 1”) comprised of four content blocks. We have a “snapshot” template for a DFA project, a community partner interview, a team lead interview, and a studio lead interview. All four have an emphasis on lessons learned and/or social impact, reflecting our user research findings from earlier in the semester. We’ll be testing later today and hope to have results ready to publish for next week’s blog post. We’re doing it!!! Continue reading Team Design Journal: BUILD

WaterProof: Mid-Semester Review and Prototyping Beginnings

Solar Studios MSR Blog Post   Before beginning ideation, we narrowed our how can we statement to: how can we help the Rice community become more aware of their water consumption through an installation art piece at the Solar Studios? We also finalized four specific design goals for our installation:   Successfully built and installed in the Solar Studios space by April 20th Appeals to a broad audience Has visibility on campus/is visited by Rice community Impacts visitors in some way – emotional reaction, change in individual behavior, or action by university administration.   After narrowing our problem space, hcw, … Continue reading WaterProof: Mid-Semester Review and Prototyping Beginnings

Chapstick: Brainstorm/Prototype/Build

PROTOTYPE! – 03/31/2018   Last week, we had brainstormed ideas; this week, we were able to bring those ideas to life through prototypes. We went to the OEDK and produced low-fidelity prototypes our ideas as shown in the pictures, using pipe cleaners, play-doh, rubberbands, and other available resources. Due to the limited number of chapstick we had, some of us used gluesticks to pose as chapsticks.   While prototyping, we created a chart to evaluate the pros and cons of each of the prototypes we made based off of our measures of success. Our measures of success include having an … Continue reading Chapstick: Brainstorm/Prototype/Build

Team Tools for the Homeless: IDEATE and MSR

This week our team started the ideate process and presented our progress during the mid semester review (MSR). We described our story of how we got from wanting to help the homeless to our concrete how can we statement: How can we ensure homeless individuals in Houston’s tent camps have reliable access to the water needed to maintain good hygiene? We also brainstormed that our solution would achieve the following design goals: Something that you don’t have to carry or would be easy to carry/lightweight Sustainable – should be able to use more than once Cost-effective enough to reproduce Accessible/easy … Continue reading Team Tools for the Homeless: IDEATE and MSR