A Graduation Project Series

Part 2 : The Un-pretty Phase

Welcome back to part 2 of this series. In this post, I will be sharing the un-pretty but necessary process behind this project. It’s a short read, but I hope you would enjoy reading it!

Empathize to Understand

“It’s not ‘us versus them’ or even ‘us on behalf of them.’ For a design thinker it has to be ‘us with them’” — Tim Brown

When trying to define a problem that we want solve, it is essential that we understand the people that we’re trying to design for. That understanding can be achieved by empathizing with the crowd which we want to help out with our design. Empathy is an innate, God-given talent that every human being has that designers have to incorporate in the design process in order to gain insights of what the people need, what they want, how and why they feel, think, and behave a certain way.

I always try my best to understand every problem by empathizing with the people that the design is meant for, and not merely believing my own assumptions. To gain deep understanding for the people that this graduation design project is for, I did a one-on-one interview with several people that are experiencing Impostor Syndrome (as indicated on their Clance’s Impostor Phenomenon Scale results).

Through these interviews, I gained a deeper understanding of what these people with Impostor Syndrome are struggling with and understand all the whats, the hows, and the whys that I take into account when designing the solution. However, one important thing I found is that the root of the problem that causes all the Impostor feelings is due to the lack of knowledge and self-awareness about the condition itself.

Hence, the objective of the project which is to raise awareness and understanding about Impostor Syndrome.

The Media

It takes the right vessel to reach the right destination. Same goes with any design projects, it takes the most strategic media to fulfill the objective effectively.

Based on the research that I did, I found out that the website is the type of media that is the closest and the most go-to sources that the target would go to when they want to learn about something that they don’t know. On the other hand, websites are capable of having interactive elements that would make learning much more engaging and immersive. I decide that the website would be the most effective media to fulfill the objective of raising awareness and knowledge on Impostor Syndrome.

In a nutshell, the website design process includes: 1. Deciding on the needs-to-have and nice-to-have elements, interactions and contents 2. Planning on how the user would navigate through the website 3. Sketching out all the web pages 4. Designing the rough, but “neater” design of the website 5. Creating the website prototype.

After all the prototype has been made, the next step is to challenge (again) my assumption that the design is effective and has fulfilled the objectives by testing out the prototype to 10 users. This step is crucial to identify unnoticeable issues that the users might face while going through the website.

Un-pretty

This part of the journey to me has been quite un-pretty. There are those days when I feel like I am just running around the cul-de-sac, not being able to think and design the right solution to the problem. However, I learned that at times when I feel like I arrived at a dead end, the best thing to do is to take a step back, assess, and take another route.

Check out the final design here at www.unmaskimpostor.com !

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