melissa.chapman@ac4d.com

Alumni

Melissa Chapman

Melissa is an organizer, strategist, designer and an optimist.

After graduating from Georgia Southern University with a BA in Cultural Studies, Melissa spent 5 years in the Pacific Northwest implementing citizen-driven grassroots political campaigns. After working on a very localized level to engage citizens and move specific policy, she is excited to promote a different strategy for influencing the world.

Inspirations include product design so good that you don’t notice it, music, combining work + play, and empowering individuals to ask for more than what they were given in this world. In her spare time, she exercises her inclinations for design through her handmade jewelry line, Stone + Smith.

She sees potential to create positive impact through the systems by which we organize and communicate amongst ourselves which is what brought her to the Austin Center for Design.

 

 

Recent blog posts

Adapt Solutions: An Update

Willy and I are developing an app that simplifies the paperwork side of adoption for families and agencies: Adapt Solutions. Ask anyone who has adopted: paperwork is a headache and amplifies the vulnerability, frustration and emotional turmoil that comes with the territory. Currently, adoption paperwork is agency-specific, analog and a complete pain. Documents are scanned, mailed,…

That which you should control

There are things you can control and those you shouldn’t. There are things in a design setting that are in flux and those that are fixed. For this last round of position diagrams in Chris Risdon’s Theory of Interaction Design and Social Entrepreneurship class, I attempt to parse out these concepts in relation to where…

Customer Service Blueprint: an exploratory exercise

Influenced by both a reroute in research halfway through the quarter and an inspiring batch of preliminary research, our customer blueprint represents a fantastical dream state of all of the various ways in which the space could be positively designed. It’s unrealistic in nature but proved a helpful generative exercise to help us think through…

Course Scheduler: Time to flip the on switch?

Here is the last in a series of six iterations done under Professor Kolko’s IDSE 201 class.  The following wireframes outline a blueprint of an app that would lead a student through signing up for classes. Enjoy!

Designing a Course Registration System – Take 4

Bold moves were taken in this most recent iteration of my course registration system for Professor Kolko’s IDSE 202. I abandoned the helpful albeit young Adobe Proto for InDesign, added a navigation bar, readjusted the filtration process, and generally spruced it up. These are iPad app wireframes designed for an architecture student at the University…

Course Registration – 3 steps forward, one step back

In this last iteration of wireframes, I implemented a revised course filtration system that eased what was previously a pretty daunting and crowded ‘starting point’ screen. It’s a totally new way of discovering classes, enough so that it was ‘back to the drawing board’ for me. Though it hurt to do so on a third…

Class Registration System – Take 2

For the second round of iterations in this quarter’s Rapid Ideation and Problem Solving class, I walked boldly into the world of designing Ipad Apps. There’s something simultaneously as soothing and maddening about designing these. For instance, the wayfinding techniques are so much simpler to use that I didn’t spend the time focusing on how…

Another justification for User Centered Research

The design process we are learning at the Austin Center for Design (you might have heard of it) begins with research. In order to negotiate a wicked problem, we must first gain insights by rigorously researching the problem space or ecosystem in which a disruptive or helpful product or service could exist. In order to…

Designing a Course Scheduling System: Take 1

Within this quarter’s Rapid Ideation and Creative Problem Solving class, we were tasked with designing and developing a course registration system. Turns out that our collective memory of archaic, bulky and unfriendly undergraduate class registration processes aren’t a far cry from what exists today. To attack this problem, we fabricated personas around which we could…

Position Diagram 4: Problem Solving in Design

For our last position diagram in ‘Design, Society and the Public Sector,’ Jon asked us to illustrate difficulties in solving problems. I wrestled with the ideas of Herb Simon’s “The Structure of Ill Structured Problems” and Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman’s “Judgement under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases”. We decided in class (so it’s true) that…

Position Diagram 3: Technology as Ubiquitious & the Role of the Designer

Participatory Interviews: Transformative. Informative. Fun.

These words didn’t exactly come to mind before we began. Lauren and Leah encouraged our group by saying “you’ll understand when you do this” but that is similar to saying “when you jump out of a plane, you’ll feel like floating” – if you’ve never done it before, it doesn’t quite matter. OK, maybe design…

Position Diagram #2: Designing Locally and for the Long Haul

When innovation is happening in your own backyard, you have a stronger and more long-term investment in the stakes of change. When we talk about designing for change, this is a key concept that must be taken with us – especially into projects specific to a place or community. If we as designers take the…

Networking Coffees: There's gold in them hills

There’s gold in those hills: Start with who you know. Lots of different options are available to the modern-day networker. There’s the casual coffee shop approach which works surprisingly well in Austin, the cold-call (or even farther of a shot, the cold-email), LinkedIn messages, Facebook connections, your family, your old boss, Instagram connections, etc. The…

Position Diagram #1: Designer as the Problem Solver

What struck me most about the way Richard Buchanan and Victor Papanek define the role and responsibility of the designer is in regards to how they solve problems. This distinction resonated and led to an initial layer of my personal design foundation/ethic which is that if a design artifact doesn’t contribute to solving a problem…

More from Melissa Chapman...