Design Research + Strategy

Dear Avenidas

Young people have questions. Old people have stories.

// User Research, Prototyping

// Winner, Best Class Project (Human Computer Interaction Design)

 
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THE CHALLENGE

This project grew out of a design prompt around fostering community and collaboration among groups of people with different backgrounds who share a common space. We focused our needfinding research at a local senior center, and saw the need to foster a healthy intergenerational community in the area, especially as friends and family become less available. 

Project: Dear Avenidas, a platform to connect seniors and youth in their communities
Collaborators: Maya Sussman, Kent Blake, Christopher Probert
Context: Final class project for CS247: Human Computer Interaction Design

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THE APPROACH

  • Ethnographic observation

  • Expert and user interviews

  • Concept development and storyboarding

  • Prototype trials and feedback interviews

  • Wireframing and usability testing


THE INSIGHTS

  • Many seniors were eager to share their memories and experiences one-on-one, but were also very wary of privacy and hesitant to share in more public forums

  • Human connection motivates engagement and sharing - sharing is more therapeutic when it feels more personal


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THE RESULTS

Taking these insights into consideration, we developed "Dear Avenidas," a platform to connect seniors and youth in their communities. Seniors would receive questions from younger people asking for advice, young people write questions through a web interface, and these questions are then printed onto paper to be responded to by a senior.

To simulate the user experience on the senior side, we returned to Avenidas with printed-out questions gathered from students, from "what is the secret to a happy marriage?" to "what do you wish you had prioritized in your twenties?" We distributed these questions to seniors to test the appeal of writing responses to such questions, and received positive feedback. 

We also developed a functional prototype for the student experience, allowing users to browse questions and responses, react and comment, and submit their own questions.