I am absolutely chuffed to be chosen as a lead mentor for InnovateHER. It’s a fantastic opportunity to help mentor girls ages 11-16, and inspire them to pursue jobs in the tech industry or even just make them more aware of possible jobs that may in the past have been seen as a ‘man’s’ role. Being chosen as a woman in the industry to help make a difference really is an honour.
A quick shout out to David Levine, our CEO, too as we’re also very lucky here at DigitalBridge to be allowed the time and support to do this.
I’ve been paired with another inspirational woman in the Tech industry, Clara, who is a Freelance User Experience Researcher. And already I know she's a friend for life. We connected instantly and that just made me even more excited about this journey. The brief for our group is to come up with a solution that uses technology to help Alder Hey Hospital out with a number of problems they face in just 8 sessions. So, it’s really pretty useful stuff! Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing what we’ve done and achieved.
We’ve already had two pretty incredible weeks which I’ve written up below:
First week went super well, the girls really got into the mindset of a researcher, taking notes, scribbling away and some even going as far as creating hi fidelity PowerPoint presentations. I explained how understanding your client and their needs ultimately helps you build better products, and also how even just knowing small bits of information about their client can help build solid relationships. Another important factor we wanted to get across was being in the real world means meeting new people, so we split the girls up into groups. This didn’t go down too well as girls can be quite happy in their social groups at that age, but for the most part the girls took it in their stride. You learn something new every day!
This week was challenging! I explained the reasoning for personas to the girls and that they can help designers (and others) understand their users. The exercise proved challenging as they got carried away with their “characters” although I don’t blame them. Professionally I don’t use personas anymore, as I feel they can be quite complicated and sometimes miss a key target audience. However, what they did really well is build empathy, and I’ve got to give it to the girls, they certainly empathise with their personas. Some girls even gave their personas disabilities to help them get into the right mindset of a patient at a hospital. Pretty impressive! The girls then came up with some amazing ideas, including an app that helps kids with asthma, where a chip is connected to their lungs and sends notifications to them via their phone or smart watch to alert them to take care of their respiratory system, and then presented them to the rest of the girls. I was absolutely blown away! The future is very bright indeed.
I can’t wait for the next class already and will share the next post in a couple of weeks. However, in the meantime if you’d like to find out more about InnovateHER or how you can get involved visit https://www.innovateher.co.uk/