During 2016-2017, I was a UX + graphic designer, project manager, and curriculum developer in a team working with Coahoma County community members and organizations; these groups are addressing challenges in providing the youth of Coahoma with the necessary resources to be successful. Below are some of the design works I did to help the team understand and get feedback from the community.
*Note*: After years of iteration and partnering with Coahoma community members, the project has evolved into "Shifting Rhythms." You can learn more here: www.shiftingrhythms.org
After developing relationships with schools, afterschool programs, and other organizations, we met with youth in Coahoma County to learn more about available and missing learning resources in their community. I helped design a tool (shown below) for youth to imagine a new learning space, which allowed us to listen and learn from them.
We were able to have conversations with over 100 youth from Coahoma. This information helped us narrow down to 5 potential ideas for a learning space in the county.
KEY TAKEAWAYS: Many of the youth feel uncomfortable in the city, and want a safe, youth-centered space where they can study, learn and hang out.
I created posters for 5 potential ideas that were formed using the data from the co-design activity. We held a meeting with youth and community leaders we had been partnering closely with, and sent the ideas to schools in the area for more feedback. We ended up receiving input from over 400 students.
KEY TAKEAWAYS: A mobile space can serve people across socio-economic lines in the county. Existing organizations see the mobile space as an opportunity to reach people without transportation, people in smaller towns, or people who might not know about their programs.
Using the information from co-designs and community meetings, we ran playtest with the community at the annual Juke Joint Festival, a blues festival which brings thousands of Coahoma County residents to the city. We also playtested and iterated the activities at CCYO, a new youth center.
KEY TAKEAWAYS: The activities were popular with younger groups and their parents. However, the team will have to rethink curriculum that will be better suited for teens.
At the end of the year, I designed a proposal for a mobile learning space to share with potential organization partners, as well as local government officials.