Minnetrista, High Schoolers, and EMDD

By October 24, 2016Blog, Uncategorized

Think of your last year in high school.  After more than a decade of academic rigor, you’re about to break free from the public education system.  A flood of possibilities abides on the horizon and amid a spectrum of emotions you likely feel two things: overwhelming excitement and fear.

Prospective EMDD students will learn how this abundance of options creates a Paradox of Choice and can lead to anxiety and indecision.  But, by building a foundation of goals and self-confidence, outgoing high school students can effectively navigate the sea of choices in pursuit of defined milestones.

Minnetrista, Muncie’s community gathering place, wanted to help high schoolers confront tough decisions after graduation. They enlisted an EMDD project team to find out high school-aged teens’ perspectives on life after graduation, what motivates them to get involved in activities, and their career goals.

Once we understand the problem space, we will develop a project which answers the question: how might we create a semi-structured, educational, and fun transmedia experience for Muncie high school students which fosters the development of practical skills and life goals to help teens transition to adulthood?

Like all EMDD design challenges, our project involves 3 iterative (sometimes overlapping) phases: research, ideation, and prototyping & testing.

Empathy research: We must understand our audience if we expect to communicate with them! We are currently conducting this research by interviewing teens, community leaders, and staff and faculty at Muncie Central High School.

Ideation: We conducted a saturate and group exercise with stakeholders at Minnetrista, and will also do the exercise with members of our target audience. This allows stakeholders to co-create the project with us and provides many innovative ideas we could not have imagined ourselves!

Prototype & Test: After determining a best-fit idea to solve our design challenge, we will build models of the idea to test at various fidelity levels. Results from testing will guide adjustments to the design so we can make improvements before building a high-fidelity prototype.

In mid-October we will begin focus groups to finalize our empathy research for Fall 2016. Stay tuned for updates as we create our project page!