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The Spectrum Project Update 3: three4three

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 | Posted by Chelsea Hostetter

Hello everyone!

Chelsea here, with the third update for the Spectrum Project. As Alex talked about in our previous update, we were due for a pivot in our idea based on the direction we were going and the critiques we received.

After a long talk on Sunday, and mapping out our next steps in a handy GANTT chart, which broke down for Alex and I all of the individual tasks that we needed to accomplish for the week, we arrived at the conclusion that the box itself was not necessary—it was the connection between two humans we wanted to foster.

The service that I would like to present to you now is called three4three—a skill swapping service that allows people of all gender identities to trade skills with one another locally. It is called three4three — people trade the three most important points about the skill that they know for the three most important points of a skill that they are interested in learning.

We created a storyboard and initial wireframes around this; three4three would be a website where folks input the skills they want to know, and the skills they are willing to trade.

When a user performs her search, the website would locate people in her local area willing to swap skills. The user would then use three4three to set up a meeting with the other person, where the skill swap happens.

We presented on Saturday our storyboard and wireframes, and we received some helpful critique, specifically about the fact that we were suggesting in-person meetings. If, indeed, we were suggesting in-person meetings, how could we guarantee the safety of our participants? How can we create a safe space that protects our participants’ identities and doesn’t accidentally “out” them while still facilitating the human bonds that we all need and crave?

Alex and I are still working out these questions. Also on Saturday, we performed a test with some of our trans* participants to see what their response would be to two questions:

  • What are three things that you are good at?
  • What are three things you wish you were better at?

The results were wonderful, and confirmed our assumption that in-person meetings, or at least meetings that facilitate a human connection, would have the most benefit to the community. The community that we are working with to design this product are highly motivated, sometimes mentoring others for little more than a tank of gas. The strength that our participants find in connecting with one another is astounding and inspiring.

We also found that a lot of the folks we were talking to were less beginners, and more on the intermediate scale of learning skills. They felt that they were good at their preferred skills, but they also wanted to improve. That was something Alex and I hadn’t considered before in our thoughts.

In short, we pivoted, storyboarded, wireframed, and tested—and now we are off to the next iteration!  Stay tuned until next week, where we will be talking about user tests and tackling the puzzle of safety online and offline.

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