Redesigning Retirement

Our Bootcamp students wrapped up their second design projects this week, and the results were spectacular.

Twelve teams spent three weeks using the design process to re-invent “the Golden Years” for rebellious Baby Boomers. Students were asked to give particular focus to the empathy phase of the process, and develop a strong user Point of View (POV).

How do you do that? Partly by getting out into the world, spending time with people to understand their needs, then narrowing down to develop your solution when you’ve found a really rich need. Here’s an example of how that’s done:

This team–Micol Seferin, Lee Redden, Ashutosh Bagaria and Jacob Klein–had been out talking to users all over town. But when they realized they’d only talked to men, Ashutosh set up another interview, with a Stanford librarian who’d he’d met in his first week on campus. Her rediscovered passion for sewing and need to share it was so compelling, that they did what any great design thinking team would do: they narrowed down to focus on designing for her. That meant moving fluidly past the other users they’d talked with rather than getting stuck trying to design a one-sized-fits-all solution for everyone they’d talked with.

Another fundamental aspect of the design process is iteration: the ability to keep re-inventing your solution based on feedback you’re getting from users. That can be tough when the feedback is: “This sucks,” and you need to start over again. But that’s exactly what the Time Capsule for Superheroes team did when their first idea fell flat with users. Team members Juan Valverde, Karen Cheng, Matthieu Rouif and Tanya Flores tossed out their first idea and came up with something new. You can some of their iteration process through the story they told:

A huge congrats goes out to all of the Bootcamp teams for their great work on the Boomer challenge!

One Response

  1. Bill Rowe
    Bill Rowe March 11, 2010 at 3:43 pm |

    Nice to see others looking to help other others.

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