The 2015 DC Service Jam
The 2015 theme - shown above - started off with a drawing of a "paper fortune teller" like something you would make in middle school with your friends. Teams brainstormed around this theme and came up with ideas, emotions and thoughts around what this drawing meant to them; some even made a paper fortune teller to see what it represented in 3-D. As it reminded people of different things we took their Post-it notes and started to cluster them based on like-ideas. Some of the clusters centered around life and infinite possibilities, others focused on the game element and "children's play" and others focused on connecting with others and relationships.
We had teams stand by the cluster of ideas they liked best and felt most excited about working on. This marked the project teams for the weekend, which was about 5-6 people per group. We had 5 total teams last year.
Once in a group, teams were instructed to brainstorm how they wanted to take their ideas and turn them into a problem statement, which is pretty much a sentence stating what you will be attempting to research and solve. Whew: that all happened on Friday night.
Saturday morning was chock full of interviewing local DMV'ers, out and about in Old Town, Alexandria. After teams got a quick demo of how to conduct good design research interviews, teams went out and did it themselves. Most teams tried to talk to at least 5-10 people to get a basic understanding of how people felt about their topic area. Some teams even made phone calls to friends and family or launched a quick survey on their social media.
After lunch, dinner and some silly moments, teams finished Saturday by starting to make their ideas come to life by prototyping.
Sunday was crunch time on prototypes. We ended the day with a group share-out and voting on some of our favorite ideas.
The final ideas included: a "Smart bin" recycler, an app and wellness kit to help people relax, an interactive game for kids to play while grocery shopping with their parents, an app to help you make better decisions and an interactive map app that will help a visitor/newcomer explore a city.