Introduction/Identify: Team HMNS!

Introduction/Identify Our team is excited to work with the Houston Museum of Natural Science to create an educational model for the museum’s Touch Tours. The Touch Tours create unique experiences for patrons with visual impairments, but face challenges when conveying complex concepts like distance. Currently, the museum uses puff paint or wooden models of constellations and moon patterns. We are interested in exploring topics related to astronomy to create an accessible, immersive museum experience for all users. Through user interviews and research, we hope to scope down our current “How Can We” statement: How can we create tactile educational materials … Continue reading Introduction/Identify: Team HMNS!

TEST & ITERATE: Team Magpies & Peacocks

Based on the feedback we received from our previous test, we added a receptacle box by the front desk, and waited another week to see the results. Since we only made a change that would affect time taken to sort donations into boxes, that was the only metric we asked employees to pay attention to in this iteration. We received feedback that it took less than a day for employees to take donations from the front box and sort them into the categories at the station. Employees also expressed that the boxes under the table would need to be bigger. … Continue reading TEST & ITERATE: Team Magpies & Peacocks

TEST: Team Magpies & Peacocks

We tested our idea of an immediate sorting station at the Magpies & Peacocks warehouse. For our medium fidelity prototype, we brought four cardboard boxes representing different categories of donations, and set up our sorting station. We placed a large table Magpies & Peacocks already had away from the front desk, and asked the employees to first empty out donation bags onto the table, sort them into piles on the table, place the piles into their corresponding boxes, and later take the items in the boxes to their assigned locations within the warehouse. We left the prototype for a week … Continue reading TEST: Team Magpies & Peacocks

BUILD: Team Magpies & Peacocks

This week, we built a low fidelity prototype based on our different assumptions. Because our problem was very specific to Magpies & Peacocks, their space, and their needs, it was not really possible for us to come up with a low fidelity prototype that would really reflect the problem space, but we tried our best. After the Mid-Semester Review, we had identified two possible solutions: a space oriented solution, which was an intermediate sorting station to break up the organization process, and a people oriented solution which involved weekly volunteer sessions to deal with the existing mess. After weighing both … Continue reading BUILD: Team Magpies & Peacocks

IDEATE: Team Magpies & Peacocks

This week, we brainstormed ideas for our narrowed-down How Can We statement, focusing on how we can make the task of emptying donation bags less of an undesirable chore for Magpies & Peacocks employees. We started by individually writing our thoughts on sticky notes during Open Studio. After getting all of our ideas out, we organized them into clusters as a team. We realized that our ideas had two main approaches: people oriented and space oriented solutions. People oriented solutions aimed to make the process more enjoyable and seem more feasible for the employees, while space oriented solutions were focused … Continue reading IDEATE: Team Magpies & Peacocks

Period: Final Review & Implementation

It’s been a fantastic semester working together as a team, with the wider studio, and with the Rice community. As we reached the end of the semester, we realized that from our testing we could not definitively say we had a prototype that improved on existing solutions. However, we realized we did have two things: Information about a variety of stakeholders working in the space of access of menstrual products, who were not all informed of the projects of the others, and not working in a coordinated manner. A wealth of data and user insights from our three rounds of … Continue reading Period: Final Review & Implementation

REFRAME: Magpies & Peacocks

In Reframe, we took a hard look at our insights and our initial problem space and put them into perspective by creating design goals, a more focused “How Can We” statement, and measures of success. We then decided the specific problem within the problem space that we will be focusing on.   How Can We We identified 5 key insights from Immerse: The space is also used as an events space & art gallery, so M&P pursues a look of a stylish, aesthetic mess. To keep the warehouse aesthetically pleasing, messes are swept under the rug, leading to pileup. No … Continue reading REFRAME: Magpies & Peacocks

Period: Implement

The results of our testing were essentially inconclusive. Over the course of the semester we have gathered a wealth of information, both from current stakeholders working in the menstrual product access space, as well as from interviews, three rounds of surveying, and in person user testing. We have important data and user insights, particularly in regards to the existence of the hidden user. However, we also found that feelings about menstrual products are highly individualized, that the existing solution in terms of the Rice Women’s Resource Center has some strengths, and there is desire for the Student Association’s in progress … Continue reading Period: Implement

Period: Test & Iterate

This week’s testing was two-fold. First, we left our prototype out in the wild (the RMC) with a link to a survey, which we also distributed digitally. We ended up getting 114 responses on this survey, but the vast majority of respondents said they encountered the survey digitally, rather than in person. However, even if users weren’t taking our survey, they were taking products from the prototype. When we removed the prototype two weeks after putting it out, almost every product was missing. All of the bundles were gone, but we hypothesize that this was influenced by the bundle drawer … Continue reading Period: Test & Iterate

Period: Test

Once our team created our medium-fidelity prototype, we moved to testing with this prototype. Our first round of testing was at Open Studio, where we asked members of our studio who menstruate who interact with our prototype. We laid our three drawers out side by side and asked users to read each label, take a look at each drawer, and then tell us which they would be drawn to and why. One team member facilitated dialogue with the user, while another team member took notes.   We were able to rapidly iterate and make edits to our prototype as we … Continue reading Period: Test

TIRR- Mid Season Review

Hello friends, The past week we got a lot of feedback on our low-fidelity prototype from the rest of our DFA group. Boiled down, they were: What materials will you choose, why, how,… any specific colors/textures? etc. Focus on being solid on function and then move to aesthetics. Material constraints may influence how it looks. Make sure our design doesn’t exist already In the future we’ll be thinking about these while making mid and high-fidelity prototypes. Our materials search is going to be thorough and probably somewhat lengthy. We should definitely make something that works first. And before all of … Continue reading TIRR- Mid Season Review

Period: Build

After Ideate and Mid-Semester Review, we had one big, general idea of how to improve access to menstrual products at Rice. Our idea revolves around the concept of a “period pack”, which incorporates multiple products bundled together to eliminate concern over taking more than one. Although we had a basis for our solution, we still needed to work out the details. Which location on-campus is private, yet centrally located for all users to access? How many products should be in each pack? Maybe the “packs” are not pre-built, but customizable instead. How do we regulate the amount of products taken … Continue reading Period: Build

IMMERSE: Team Magpies & Peacocks

In the process of Immerse, we decided to forego the traditional user persona. Instead, we’ve generated a user journey map to highlight key moments throughout M&P’s standing donation intake system. Because this intake system is highly specific to the two users (our community partners at M&P), this user journey map provides perspective into the tendencies and decision-making processes of these two individuals, as opposed to those of a more generalized audience or demographic.   An example user scenario: Ahshia, one of the employees, has just returned to the warehouse after overseeing a pop-up event at an art gallery in Los … Continue reading IMMERSE: Team Magpies & Peacocks

Week MSR: Team New Hope Housing

One major insight that we got from the audience’s feedback form is that our user research was well conducted and our user insights were well communicated. We also saw that our audience was compelled by our reframing of the design goals from one that tackles the physical advertisements themselves to one that tackles the way that residents and staff at New Hope Housing moving forward. We were proud of how our statistics from primary and secondary research were clearly conveyed to show why we decided to make the certain design choices that we did. We also received feedback that it … Continue reading Week MSR: Team New Hope Housing

Period: Mid-Semester Review

Mid-Semester Review is a great opportunity for us to reflect on our progress thus far , and receive valuable feedback from a more objective perspective. We presented key user insights, stakeholder insights, and focused on communicating our period pack idea with its areas of variation. At the end of our presentation, we were seeking feedback on which of the different areas of variation seemed the most exciting/feasible to studio members. We received feedback relating to different aspects of the solution: Location: Would these packs be accesible only when the women’s resource center is open? What about non-rmc bathrooms? Structure: Excited … Continue reading Period: Mid-Semester Review

Period: Ideate

  During Team Period’s ideation stage, we worked to take our user insights and new and improved How Can We Statement to generate ideas for what our solution could look like. During Open Studio, we began this process by thinking individually about different potential solutions on post-it notes. After we had time to think and process individually, we gathered as a group and put them into general clusters, which we found to be education/stigma reduction and physical period product-related solutions. After a few days, we regrouped for our team meeting. There, we went about the same process again during our … Continue reading Period: Ideate

Reframe: New Hope Housing

This week we completed our “reframe” step of the design process, where we reflected on the data we had collected up until this point to come up with design goals, measures of success, and two “how can we” statements that guide us into next step where we begin to ideate. The data we examined here was primarily the notes we took during our conversations with our community partner at New Hope Housing and our external research on NHH. While our initial proposed problems space concerned the low attendance of some of the programs at NHH, we realized relatively quickly that … Continue reading Reframe: New Hope Housing

Week IDEATE: New Hope Housing

This week, our team worked on the ideate process of human-centered design. We all independently brainstormed possible ideas – writing them on sticky notes regardless if they were wacky, super simple, easy or difficult to implement, expensive or inexpensive, etc. After clustering our ideas, we identified two themes that we were attracted to as possible solutions – a feedback system, and content of either advertising or the programs. For the feedback system, we developed the following design goals to guide our refinement of potential solutions: regular, relevant, accessible, easy-to-use, easy-to-implement. For the content portion, we identified the following design goals: … Continue reading Week IDEATE: New Hope Housing

TIRR Reframe

Hello friends,    This week at DFA x TIRR we’re moving into prototyping! We couldn’t get interviews for some bureaucratic reasons this week. But for now, the interview we had with the patient therapist (the person who works with those with spinal cord injuries), in addition to lots of informative youtube videos by people with spinal cord injuries, are a solid enough foundation to start designing a mid-fidelity(solid but unrefined) prototype.  Looking forward, we hope to gain access to interviewing more users at TIRR. When that happens, we will be adjusting the prototype (user-testing) to better fit their needs. After … Continue reading TIRR Reframe

Midterm Recess: Team TIRR

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 … Continue reading Midterm Recess: Team TIRR

Team CHAUS: Mid-term Recess

After Mid-term Recess, Team Chaus continued to deeply understand the various problem spaces and gather user insights. After receiving over 240 responses to our initial survey, we spent most of this week interviewing those who opted for a follow-up interview and communicating with other stakeholders, such as employees (also known as “Keepers of Coffee,” or “KOCs”) and suppliers. The initial survey sent out to the public. Graphic designed by Katherine Hui. One of the most rewarding aspects of the design process became clear as we discovered more perspectives on sustainability. We learned that many customers were informed about the sustainability … Continue reading Team CHAUS: Mid-term Recess

Period: Reframe

The reframe step of the human-centered design process consists of highlighting measures of success, defining design goals, and narrowing our How Can We (HCW) statement. This design step is crucial to understanding exactly what we want to achieve from this project, ensuring all decisions we make are motivated by the valuable user insights collected. At the reframe OS, we focused on brainstorming various HCW statements driven from user insights identified below: 80% of our survey respondents menstruate monthly, and 67.2% can typically anticipate when their periods will start. 35.1% of respondents budget for purchasing menstrual products. “I would rather buy … Continue reading Period: Reframe

Team CHAUS: Immerse

This week, Team CHAUS focused on immersing themselves in the issue of sustainability in Rice Coffeehouse and its users. Before starting this stage, we had already done research into CHAUS’s various current sustainability initiatives that included discounts on bringing your own mug, in-house mugs, and more. We first started out by creating a survey that generated over 200+ responses about their general habits and knowledge of these current sustainability solutions. From these responses, we were able to gain an understanding that while most people already know about CHAUS’s sustainability initiatives the overall usage of them is low. Afterward, we conducted … Continue reading Team CHAUS: Immerse

Period: Mid-Term Recess

Because this project encompasses a broad, important issue, we expected other groups on campus to be working on a similar issue. As we began our research during Immerse, we came across multiple examples of solutions other universities had designed. For example, some had begun to unlock the menstrual product cabinets already in the bathrooms, while others distributed period products in all binary bathrooms. During this stage, we also uncovered the Student Association at Rice had made significant strides in this area. They are planning to unlock cabinets already installed on-campus and already made arrangements with the previous supplier to keep … Continue reading Period: Mid-Term Recess

Period: Immerse

From our insights (generated from a survey with 140 responses, as well as six in-person user interviews) we have created two user personas. The first is the more typically visible user: The Situational User. This user is a Rice Student that typically menstruates monthly and can usually predict when it will start, but not always. They think menstrual products should be free, but doesn’t feel financially burdened by purchasing products & doesn’t budget for them. They also care about product quality (they don’t like tampons with cardboard applicators or thick pads), and as such they would rather buy themselves a … Continue reading Period: Immerse

Period: Identify

During our “Identify” week we worked to understand further understand our users, stakeholders, and overall experience of accessing menstrual products on campus. This process began by breaking down our project’s question of: How Can We increase accessibility to period products for menstruating people on Rice’s campus? We began our session by coming up with key questions and guidelines we wanted to further understand about our project, including: increase by how much/how do we measure success; Does ‘people on Rice’s campus’ just mean undergrads, and where on rice campus should we be focusing? From these more broad questions, we began to … Continue reading Period: Identify