Week [Identify]: [New Hope Housing]

This week, our team worked on the “identify” stage of the design process, which involved us defining and narrowing down what our specific design challenge is for this project. We started by brainstorming facts, assumptions, and background information that we had about the project from either our prior experience in the problem space, or from the information provided on our community partner’s website. After brainstorming, we noticed a handful of emerging themes: “theories about why current programming is not effective”, “user demographics”, “information about the current program”. We agreed that these were critical categories to think about because our project … Continue reading Week [Identify]: [New Hope Housing]

Introduction: period.

Our team is working with Period at Rice/BCM this semester to help improve accessibility of menstrual products for people who menstruate on Rice’s campus. We’re interested to explore the different aspects of accessibility this semester, whether that’s financial, physical, situational, or other aspects of accessibility we haven’t considered yet. Ultimately, we hope to use design to help Period advance their goals of ending period stigma and increasing access to period products in the most effective way possible. So far, we have started research into existing solutions in this space and will be meeting with our Community Partner this week to … Continue reading Introduction: period.


This week our team focused on using feedback from Mid-Semester Review and using insights to develop our first prototype. We began with a key insight we gained from our community partner – that they were only targeting swim teams. We realized that this left an untapped market of athletes from other sports that could be reached out to in order to diversify the applicant pool.  From there, we had to decide how we would best reach out to this new market. The result was a flyer that would be distributed to high school student athletes. We determined that such a … Continue reading BUILD: Team YMCA

BUILD: Mi Familia Vota

This week, our team focused on making a variety of tangible prototypes of voter pledge cards to communicate and test out our ideas. We identified a few points that we believed were essential to keep on the voter pledge cards, and which points could be condensed or reframed on the newly designed cards. We worked on lo-fi prototyping, or creating simple, low-cost prototypes to implement and receive feedback for our ideas. We prototype at the lo-fi level first to test out multiple ideas we have for the final product, so we can learn more about our concepts. We are currently … Continue reading BUILD: Mi Familia Vota


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

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