Service Design 05-452 | Pittsburgh
Professors: Jodi Forlizzi | Spring 2019
Programs Used: Adobe Illustrator, Figma, Miro, Adobe After Effects, Google Slides
150,000 people are on food stamps in Allegheny County.
Zhiye Jin, Sharon Lee, Shawn Koid, Zeynep Olcer
At the same time 30% of people who apply get turned down, usually due to problems with paperwork. Even those who do get accepted must go through the tedious process of reapplying every six months, an antiquated process that Just Harvest assists with. We set out to help them accomplish this.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Recipients
Create an efficient solution that workswell both for SNAP recipients and Just Harvest, lessening the responsibilities of JH's limited staff while still helping people stay on top of their benefits.
Have the proper staff to empathize, assist, and empower SNAP recipients when assisting them with necessary paperwork so they can receive the proper assistance to take care of their families.
Be reminded when it’s time to reapply and knowing what papers they’ll need for the SNAP [welfare] renewal process.
Getting our first look into Pittsburgh's welfare situation
Through the analysis of existing skill teaching applications Simbi, Skillharbour, Tibbs, and Swapaskill, we were able to identify important components to pay special attention to while designing our app. Those components were ease of searching, facilitating communication between users, and straightforward profiles. We also discovered in the process that many other skill sharing sites functioned like e-commerce sites. Instead, we wanted to make a platform similar to social media sites where the focus is on one-on-one interactions that allow interpersonal connections to form.
Through brainstorming, we also identified additional components that we wanted our application to have that would improve the overall experience, mainly an introductory survey to tailor recommendations specific to each user as well as teaching resources to help guide users as they adapt to teaching, sometimes even for the first time.
Since our target demographic is young adults, our group also conducted user interviews from college-aged individuals with a variety of backgrounds. Our main findings were that people were less interested in learning technical skills from other people online and that some found the idea of meeting up with strangers in real life uncomfortable.
From this realization, we decided to focus our app specifically on skills related to the arts and to design the application so users don't need to meet in person if they don't want to. In doing so, we also realized designing for online experiences allowed us to include supplementary features that would allow Swap to double as a hub for useful tools while teaching.
- College senior, Violin major
- Debating career path
between teaching and
joining the Pittsburgh
- Enjoyed helping her peers
in school but unsure if she
can teach someone with
little or no experience
- Worried that she won't
know how to structure
music lessons but wants to
have a positive impact
"How can I combine my passion
for music with teaching?
Would I even be a good teacher?"
- Junior art major, CS minor
- Busy course load, member
of the soccer team, works
a few hours a week as an
- Has an interest in music
from guitar lessons in high
school, wants to try his
hand at learning the piano
- Would prefer to be able to
meet other people to play
music with in the process
"I have so many passions that I want to explore, the possibilities are endless!"
- 23 year old recent grad
- Just moved to Pittsburgh for
her new job, looking to
make new friends
- Wants to dabble in the arts
but is open to learning any
- Has a graphic design
background, would be
willing to teach if people
"I'm interest in meeting new people in unique and interesting ways"
1. Connecting one user
2. In app messenger
3. Search bar
4. Suggested curriculum
5. Suggestions regarding
who your match is
7. Internal teaching tools
From our research, we identified seven key features to incorporate into our application:
After going through rounds of task-based user testing, we refined aspects of the experience such as improving the transition between stages and altered the wording of text or appearance of buttons to avoid confusion. We also adjusted the interface to be more intuitive when completing common tasks, aligned our visual styles, and tried to give Swap a simple but artistic aesthetic.
Profile Built by Questionnaire
Profile built by
By getting the user invested early and filling out questions so the site is customized to their needs, we are able to create a pleasant experience where the user is easily able to accomplish their task: finding someone to teach them through Swap.
Users are able to browse other people whose skills/interests align with their's. While other competitors function like marketplaces, we make finding other people easy and intuitive.
With our review system, users are also able to identify good teacher and have the option to offer constructive criticism.
Personal Human Connections
Swap features a simple, easy to use messenger where users can get to know each other and negotiate what services are being exchanged without risking their privacy.
Scheduling is as easy as a click of a button from there.
Swap easily syncs with
any calendar application of your choosing so you'll able to send event requests, share your availability, and schedule meetings without even leaving the app.
Once both parties come
to an agreement, their calendars automatically update so no one has to worry about forgetting.
Unlock Teaching Potential
New teachers looking for guidance have the option to follow a suggested curriculum of level appropriate songs that will adjust as the student learns.
Related applications will appear on the teaching resources page so the teaching process can be as streamlined as possible.
Users are also able to get advice as well as a variety of other resources