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KeyUp: A recruiting service for young adults to find middle skill careers

This week was a turning point for our project. After last week’s flurry of stakeholder outreach , our experiments this week laid to rest the last of our concerns about the fundamental desire on the part of working young adults to connect with training programs and services to help them get through school. Our meetings with stakeholders in person or over the phone also confirmed their interest in a digital service to help training programs and non-profits to connect with young people. With that out of the way, we created paper prototype interfaces and continued to develop our landing page.

Hypotheses

This week, these were the hypotheses we tested in order to de-risk the development of our service:

  1. If stakeholders believe there is a need for our service and will support it, then they will express that in our meetings and follow up with us afterwards.
  2. If our target users are interested in our product, they will agree to meet with us to co-create an app interface for our product.
  3. If our target users attend recruitment meetings for Capital Idea (a non-profit that gives people scholarships to get training for middle-skill careers), they indicate robust interest in getting to middle skill careers and using programs offered by local non-profits to do so.

To investigate those assumptions, we conducted the experiments detailed below.

Experiments

Experiment 1: Stakeholder Outreach, Meetings, and Follow-up

To address the risk that stakeholders in the job training/employment community might not support our project or see how it could integrate into their own processes, we decided to request meetings, speak with them, and then see if they were willing to follow up with us afterwards

Success Criteria

We hoped to schedule meetings with at least five stakeholders,  and then meet with two stakeholders who would then follow up with requested information afterwards.

Actual Results

As of the afternoon of Friday the 9th, we had scheduled four new meetings for the next week. We also met with two stakeholders this week, a professor at the Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources at UT and the executive director of the Austin Youth Chamber of Commerce. They both expressed enthusiasm for our product and offered to follow up with more information and contacts to support us. Alyssia Woods of the Austin Youth Chamber then actually sent us an email afterwards offering to introduce us to people at several relevant local organizations with whom we had not already talked.

In summary, stakeholders continued to be interested in our product and see a need for it after meeting with us, sharing their expertise, and hearing our plans.

Experiment 2: Intercept Interviews

Success Criteria

We hoped that at least 5 people would inquire further about our product after hearing about the concept and being asked to cast their vote for what the product’s name should be.

Actual Results

We briefly interviewed 16 working adults this week at the Barton Creek Mall. From those interviews we learned that our participants found our original working title, “Sidestep,” confusing, often responding that it sounded like a dance move or like a job you could have on the side.

The most popular proposed name was “KeyUp,” which participants thought sounded catchy. It also reminded them of the actual purpose of the product, saying, “it makes sense for what you would want to do,” and “it sounds like an improvement.”

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