In our second week of class we asked our students to begin user research for the website we will create. We wanted to teach them the importance of both on-site observation and individual interviews and asked Odette Nemes, Project GROW coordinator, to visit our class as our first interviewee.
The girls prepared a list of questions for Odette, carefully considering how her testimonial might help them in their quest to design the program’s website.
- What is Project GROW?
- How did it start?
- Who are the “users”?
- What does Ms. Odette do?
- Who else works here?
- How do you apply? How do you get picked?
- Why did you start this?
- What information does a site need? Is there a site today?
A short clip from our session with Odette:
After our interview, Abby and I broke the girls into two groups to go and observe some of the after school classes in action.
Abby’s group was disappointed to find they weren’t welcome in some of the classes where they tried to observe. It’s a great lesson for a young designer to learn that outside observers are not always welcome, even if they have worthy intentions.
From their interview with Odette, the students realized the vast selection available to them as students in Project GROW. We wanted to get a good sampling of the classes and observed soccer practice, a science lab class, a self esteem course and a dance class. The students were eager to take a lot of photos and video of each class. They were focused observers, with a sense of importance for the duty of observing and capturing each class.
At the end of class we asked each girl to capture their observations with a drawing. They drew a variety of stories and experiences, told from many different perspectives. At the end the girls were quite happy to share what they had learned!
At the end of our session, they all asked that we do more interviews following the observation. “It’s good that we got to watch everyone, but now I want to talk to them! I have so many questions to ask!”