PL8s Week 5 (“Good, I’m going home” edition)

That’s the answer you get when you’re doing cold-call user testing and you ask someone how they are doing instead of assertive questions about earthquakes. Lesson learned. 📝

This vanilla lemon emergency bar expired in 2012.

This week was completely hectic. We started this week off completely lost, multiple different directions, and a desire to not take the easy route for this class (easy being a “better” earthquake kit).

I’ve learned a lot about my group from this week, and while I can’t promise it’s making us stronger, It’s a step in the right direction. We definitely had breakdowns in communication, and conflict about the unpopular opinions, but the hard conversations are a big step in an art school.

Quick tip: You want to stand out in an art school? Be assertive (Still learning how to do this. Will update later).
Indi Young’s mental modeling for our post eq pains and jobs

Taking a step back, we were able to see the safety net of “just design another kit” sprawled out below our feet and decided as a team to maybe let it drop away. We analyzed the journey of our consumer and saw, (marked in red) that the disaster kit market was indeed a safe place to design for, and the presumed pain points (marked in pink), which represented a market with little occupants and lots of opportunity—immediate post-earthquake and commitment to preparing. We collected our collage of post-its from our board and organized them through Indi Young’s mental model to establish a direct service-to-pain-reliever mapping.

Having a direction and general area of where to begin brainstorming, we started our rapid iteration day.

The schedule was as follows:


Share what storyboards we made


Vote on previous ideas and (in terms of how much we liked them)


Impact & effort to create 2x2 (impact x feasiblity)


How do we test our new idea?


Whole Foods.


A 2x2 for our ideas. Easiness of testing (y-axis), and how impactful it is (x-axis). Less post-its means more specific ideas, right?

Elevator Pitch

Our community prep tool helps SF neighbors who want to prepare for an earthquake together by establishing a plan of action and feeling secure and motivated about the stuff you wouldn’t do otherwise unlike *✧・゚:* anything else *:・゚✧*

Market Growth Plan

Our old Market analysis compared to our updated market. The updated one is tightened just enough to give us a more direct audience to test on.

Old market growth plan (left) vs. New market growth plan (right)


Created by Sara Ras

Participatory Roadmap

The participatory road map was really successful at including users into what they found important. The most common switch was moving the “SHARED POOL OF RESOURCES” post-it to the more urgent/important category. With everything ready to go, we set up outside of Whole Foods, lemonade ready, and asked strangers about earthquakes.

Give this tweet some love… only because I’m in it though.

Findings aside, this was a great opportunity to give context to a lot of the learnings I had been taught in previous classes. It’s important to me that my team and I force ourselves to learn more about interaction design than just entrepreneurship from this class. I need to get out of my comfort zone more often, no matter how much I talk myself down.

Insights from Whole Foods (Thanks Noam for letting me steal)

There are natural leaders built into community. People like the teachers, nurses and paramedics that stopped by to talk to us and give us ideas.

Those people are looking for tools and frameworks to reach out for more people in their neighborhoods. People mostly want and need this connection.

We don’t need to re-invent the wheel but work with and based on the existing resilience projects in the community

(Thank you Captain John Caba of SFFD)

For anything about community in San Francisco, we have to work in multiple languages. SF is very culturally diverse, and we need to help people bridge language barriers to connect.

We need to work on creating social engagement tool to empower those people that are involved and to bring in the people that are less so. Then — we need to give them tools and tasks to work together.

Moving forward next week, I’m eager to see what “C” position everyone lands in, and how that will affect the group work dynamic.