mary.duhon@ac4d.com

Alumni

Mary Hannah Duhon

Raised in Austin, Mary Hannah traveled to the frozen north to study political philosophy at Hampshire College. Since moving back to Texas, she has worked as an elementary student mentor for AmeriCorps, a romance novel editor, and an English, art, and history teacher to twice-exceptional students in both public and private schools. Teaching instilled in her a deep fascination with designing systems so that people could not avoid succeeding, as well as figuring out what people need and want. It also impressed upon her that good intentions are not enough; you have to offer help in a way that makes people delighted to accept.

After five years in the classroom, she became interested in interaction design when a friend suggested she go to a hackathon. Working to design an app to help with the opioid epidemic convinced her that she could be creative, fascinated, and above all, useful, as a designer.

She is excited to find new ways to make the way humans function work in their favor. When not on the clock, you will find her at a hip hop dance practice, tucked in with too many books, or bent over a colored pencil drawing.

Recent blog posts

Design for Civic Good: A Stomping Good Time

If you are a design nerd in Austin, I hope you made it over to the Design for Civic Good event hosted by Impact Hub last night. This Austin Design Week event was toe-curlingly lovely for those of us who want to use design and technology to improve public services and civic life in general.…

Studio Touring: AC4D and Austin Design Week

Alumni Kaley Coffield and Eric Boggs and current students Kay Wyman and Aaron Steinman rocked the socks off the lovely crowd of folks who came down for the AC4D Studio Tour we held as a part of Austin Design Week. One of the core values at AC4D is designing in public. Those of you who…

Design for Impact Bootcamp

Who are we designing for? My favorite quote from AC4D’s Design for Impact Bootcamp this past weekend came from one of our attendees. They had already gotten fast and furious lessons in design research, insight creation, and ideation. They had gone out and interviewed their fellow Austinites about their relationships with public transportation, synthesized that…

Velocity Credit Union Product Strategy and Feature Brief

The goal of a product strategy and feature brief is to explain a product’s roadmap and the reasoning behind its creation so as to create alignment around the purpose and priority level of specific features. This is the document a product manager uses to convince her team, peers, and bosses that she has made the…

One Person’s Dystopia

Reporters, satirists, and observers of all kinds have been commenting for years about the tendency to insert tech into situations for which we already have perfectly decent, cheap, analog solutions. From the Vessyl cup, which told you what liquid was inside it, to the $1,500 June Oven that figures out what food is placed inside it…

Creating a Product Roadmap for the Velocity Credit Union App

This week in Product Management, we took on the task of creating minimum viable product (MVP) versions of our banking apps and then creating a product roadmap planning how all the features for the full release of our banking apps would be built out. The Purpose of the Thin-Slice Flow or MVP First, a word…

Designing Beautiful and Communicative Design Artifacts

Hello from Team KeyUp! This week we were hard at work making beautiful design artifacts that communicate the vision of KeyUp to future friends and partners. Service Blueprint process A service blueprint is a visualization of the entire service first from the user perspective and then, all of the services that need to happen to…

The Bathroom of the Future: Choose Your Own Ethical Dilemma

    The above is the most common ending to my design theory choose-your-own-adventure book, “The Bathroom of the Future.” If there is one thing our latest readings for Theory of Interaction Design emphasized this past week, it is that the path of the ethical designer is not a clear or easy one, especially if…

KeyUp Update

Key Accomplishments This week, the team here at KeyUp made a lot of progress on building out our system. WIREFRAMING KeyUp is a digital service that connects young adults to training programs and services that can enable them to move into middle-skill careers that do not require 4-year degrees. For this first week of wireframing,…

Feature Breakdown and Sizing Summary: Details, Details, Details

For our first Product Management class assignment, our task was to markup the flows we made in Q2 of our banking apps and then facilitate a conversation with a developer to create an estimate for how long it would take to create the banking app based on the number and difficulty-level of its features. Here’s…

How to Be a Good Designer, Not a D***

In Joyojeet Pal’s article, “The Fallacy of Good: Marginalized Populations as Design Motivation,” he states that we should “pay attention to what we do as a practice – designing usable products – instead of setting our goals at the transformative value we imagine offering to the user.” In other words, stay in your lane, fatuous…

Ideation to Improve Youth Civic Engagement

This week we focused on the ideation process for our Civic Engagement project. For a quick recap, our team (Adam, Mary Hannah, and Mariangela) focused on understanding how young adults without college educations go about engaging with their community and the government. We started by applying an insight combination technique which consisted of combining our original…

Rapid Ideation and Creative Problem Solving: Financial Modeling for Normal People

For this final week of Rapid Ideation and Creative Problem Solving, our professor Jon Kolko had a surprise for us. He asked us to incorporate features into our banking apps that would provide financial modeling services for users. Specifically, the app should be able to: provide a snapshot of your finances and their trends. allow…

Iteration 4 of the Velocity Credit Union App

After getting feedback about Iteration 3 of my Velocity Credit Union (VCU) app , I decided to take a step back by taking a better look at best practices in app design. Accordingly, I bought myself a copy of Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks by Luke Wrobleswski and settled in for a good read…

Iteration 3 of the VCU App

For my third iteration of the Velocity Credit Union banking app, I changed up my usability testing methodology. Not entirely – I still used the Think Aloud Protocol, which calls for users to literally say out loud what they are thinking as they accomplish a task. Studies have shown that though thinking aloud slows down…

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