The first 4 days were dedicated to defining the problem, the target users, and strategies.
Before beginning the entire process, we started off by conducting research on the current learning curriculum and methods used by specialized teachers to teach the children in the Philippines.
We tried to look for similar learning platforms online that cater to this community.
In the end, our team has confirmed that there are tools to supplement these platforms (voice-to-text recognition, etc) but still no existing platform as such online. We also identified the reasons why such a tool still does not exist.
Despite the tight deadline, we managed to conduct remote user interviews with 2 main stakeholders within the 4 days where we identified the needs and struggles of teachers and the hearing impaired. We asked certain questions like:
For Hearing-Impaired Students (conducted using Sign Language):
- What do you enjoy most about school?
- How do you learn best?
- Was it hard to make friends?
- How would you describe your ideal teacher?
- What are the daily struggles you find most annoying?
- Suppose you are watching a video, is it more convenient to have the dialogues signed or captioned?
- Are there any mobile applications you find most difficult to use? What about it?
For Special Education Development (SPED) Teachers:
- Do you have a reward system for these students?
- What is the greatest challenge you have faced while teaching them?
- What difficulties do students face while learning remotely (esp during COVID-19)?
- Have you ever used any web or mobile apps to assist your teaching delivery?
- If you were to create an app to teach the children, what functionalities would you add?
Through conducting user interviews with SPED professors, instructors, and students, we managed to identify the key needs and struggles of the hard of hearing community as well as the current trends in Sign Language.
“Filipino Sign Language is the new norm. American Sign Language has become a traditional way of communicating in the Philippines.” — SPED Professor
“Visual aids help us understand words and phrases more such as pictures and emojis.” — Student
With the help of an affinity diagram, we were able to identify the general scope of the project based on the responses of the user interviews and on our research. This helped me find the right direction in beginning the design process.
We created a user persona to represent our hearing-impaired child users. I used this persona as a direction to meet the primary users’ needs throughout the design process.
To better understand the scope of our project, we generated mapped out our solutions on sticky notes using Jamboard and eventually, generated a lean canvas. Given our time constraint, this helped us discover our product development cycle and business propositions more rapidly.