As our team finished week one of immerse and midterm recess arrived, our project was in a pretty good spot. During our first few open studios, we conducted background/secondary research on the problem spaces in our project. There we gathered what we believed to be a good understanding of the users and stakeholders in the project. However, our assumptions were turned on their head after meeting with our Community Partner, Haley Smith. This interview was one of the most rewarding moments of the past few weeks since it revealed tons of valuable insights about the users and some additional constraints about how the device should feel and look. This interview gave us lots of information but also increased the enthusiasm we felt towards the project.
We assumed that we would just talk to the potential users after our interview with the community partner but it turns out we were told there would probably be a little paperwork to complete before we were granted access to the patients. Getting through these documents would end up being the most challenging aspect of our project and it was not an issue we would have anticipated. It turns out there is an extensive process required before talking to patients currently being treated at the hospital because of HIPPA guidelines. Since we figured insights from the patients would be very useful while designing the solution, we took lots of steps to work through all the requirements. This included getting our vaccination records from the health center, getting flu shots, and completing reading for quizzes. After doing all of this, we got stuck at the roadblock of getting background checks for the team since they cost $30-$60. Currently we are working with TIRR to get the background check waived.
Despite this unexpected setback, our team has been ready to meet these challenges and I think the willingness to go the extra mile in an effort to better understand the users shows how dedicated our team is to the project