Shout Your Worth is a toolkit to help you communicate your value. This is an article in a series about the development of the kit, done as part of the Interaction Design capstone at Northeastern University in 2018–19.
Growing up on an island off the coast of India, known as the teardrop of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka, my heart is set on using my abilities for the greater good of society. As I took the interaction design capstone, I was beyond excited at the opportunity to work on a year-long project to create a viable solution for a “wicked” social problem. I joined Christina, Nick and Marie after a month into the course, as I was previously placed in a different group whose project was not social impact-based and didn’t align with my values.
Since I joined the team after their research phase, it took me some time to understand the foundation that they had built behind the Gender Wage Gap, and the direction of the project. I came in curious to learn and excited to take on this complex design challenge. As the direction of the project was set on creating an interactive game, my first few meetings were spent brainstorming game mechanics and fun ways we can encourage players to talk about their professional self. As someone who has experienced a lack of self-advocacy first hand, I wanted our game to be encouraging, supportive and inspiring. My personal goal was to be able to create a safe space where women feel comfortable talking about themselves and encourage others to do the same.
Curious to start designing, I was itching to experiment with print design for the cards. Although the first four months were dedicated to research, I managed to experiment with different colors and typographic layouts for our final prototype presentation at the end of our research semester.
When we came back from winter break, things really picked up. The direction of the game changed and we started brainstorming a visual system for our brand. Talking about your professional self can be intimidating, so we wanted a brand that was fun and inviting. Visual design is my expertise and also keeps me up at night with excitement! As we decided that textures and hand crafting was the way to go, I brought out my paints and got my inner artist out to create some textures.
As experimentation went on longer than expected, it got frustrating designing and editing textures only to go around in circles. Finally, were able to narrow down on a few textures and a few card designs that the team agreed on.
Once the design for cards was finalized, package and book designs followed a similar approach. Managing time was definitely a challenge as perfecting a design has no allocated time, and it took hours of experimentation and perfection.
A key aspect that was very important to me was making this game approachable to those with different cultural backgrounds. I made sure to play test the game with a group of individuals whose first language is not English. My heart was so full when I received feedback that the language was easy to comprehend and the game encouraged deep, meaningful conversations.
I cannot express how grateful I am to have worked on this project, I’ve learned so much about team collaboration, working with and managing different personalities and cultural backgrounds to leverage each teammates skills, constantly iterating and experimenting game mechanics for confidence optimization, and embracing the excitement with my last design project at Northeastern University. It was an absolutely pleasure working with Christina, Nick and Marie for their commitment, hard work ethic and dedication to constantly challenging the status quo. I can’t wait to see how Shout Your Worth benefits women, and I’m excited to take these learnings back home to Sri Lanka.