Design Jam with Airbnb at UW

Empathize 💥 , Define📝, Ideate💡, Prototype 👩‍💻, Test 👷

From left: Yao Way, Yuhui Mao, Kirti Kumari, Sejal Khatri, Siddharth Naik, Garrett Mar

On October 24th, Airbnb organized a Design Jam in the University of Washington. We were presented with a problem space and were supposed to come up with a design intervention in limited period of time. In this blog post, I am sharing the design process that we followed.

Design Question: How to support international Students and make them feel welcomed in new communities?

We followed the design process and the general UX guidelines to come up with a solution. We started by understanding the problem, this is a very crucial step as you would not want to start building a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist. The next step was to interview possible stakeholders for our solution which helped us define our project scope. Since there are strict time constraints in a design jam, we decided to interview our team members. Considering the possibility that this could lead into biases in our design, we asked one of the Airbnb organizers to volunteer for our user interview. Based on our research, we created user personas in which we identified and grouped users who had similar motivations and goals to use our product. This step helped us identify user pain points which we leveraged to come up with a design intervention. Then, we moved on to doing affinity mapping to finalize the theme of our design.

Our final solution was around building a community of international students and introducing the concept of a yearbook that would facilitate community bonding and support.

As I said earlier, I wrote this blog post to share the process we followed and not the specific details of our project. The takeaway is that design jams are like sprints and you have to be very proactive while participating in one. It is completely possible to follow the design process in short span of time. It’s completely fine to make some assumptions if you are stuck and build upon that. Good Luck for your next jam!

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