Reflections from our Design Thinking Associate Devansh
Soon after arriving at Georgia Tech, Engineers Without Borders piqued my interest through their mission to apply engineering principles to uplift humanity. In particular, the Wish for Wash Team caught my attention as they focused on improving institutional structures within the local Atlanta community.
As I began to work more with Wish for Wash, I was exposed to Design Thinking and Design Jams. Entering my first Design Jam, I was anxious, unsure of what to expect. However, quickly I was engaged by the interactive process of the Jams. In class, students would often fade into the background, hesitant to speak out amongst a group they don’t know very well. But in the design jam, students opened up and grew closer to the group, through the ice-breakers and interactive activities.
Soon after Jaz introduced the focus for the session, a persona was introduced: “Javier is a single father of two girls who wants to support and educate his kids about menstruation,” the slide read.
Throughout the rest of the session, the personas caught my interest. Were these personas based on real people? How did the team craft these personas or stories to make the problem more personal to the Design Jam audience?
To my surprise, when I started working on a persona for an upcoming Design Jam, I realized researching personas was a much more involved process than I anticipated. I created a research plan detailing stakeholders in the issue I hope to meet with to craft a persona. My next steps are to interview the stakeholders in the process, formulating more in-depth drafted personas. After that is completed, I hope to iterate my ideas, implementing the knowledge and feedback of the people I interview to enhance the personas.
Throughout my first few months at Georgia Tech and in the Wish for Wash program, I’ve developed a breadth of knowledge relating to connecting to an audience. As we approach the next semester, I hope to continue my persona research and create one that resonates with the Design Jam audience. — Devansh