Low-income constraints parents encounter when having more responsibilities: Part one

For the next 8 weeks Dan and I will work together with JUST to learn more about financial inclusion and how that affects their day to day lives and to help JUST have a better understanding of financial decision making when it comes to family responsibility. We have found interesting information and we are only getting started.


What is JUST?

Steve Wanta is the CEO and Co-founder of JUST whose mission is to invest in low-income, female entrepreneurs to create more resilient communities in America and therefore to create a more just world where people have the chance to live with less stress and more joy. To do this JUST wants to change the narrative around the potential of low-income communities to be their own change agents. JUST provides loans exclusively based on trust to female, Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs.

JUST partnered with AC4D to find other communities they can serve and to understand how other communities behave when it comes to financial inclusion.


Our objective

Our main interest was to learn and understand how low-income constraints affect parents with the added responsibility of having a family. We have found that having low-income is set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and is dependent on region. Qualifying for low income households in Austin is $57,689 a year, or $4,807 a month. 

Providing for a child in addition to being on the lower end of the earning spectrum is a challenge that we are interested in exploring further. The objectives of this research are:

  • To identify and understand the circumstances that parents who are low-income experience life on a day to day basis around Austin, Texas.
  • To identify and understand the emotional journey of parents who identify as low-income.
  • To identify and understand motivations for spending, budgeting, and saving around having a family.
  • Understand how a low-income family’s access to network services reflects their ability to operate as a family.


Our focus

The focus of our research is to better understand the circumstances parents with a child (or children) who are low income face in present day Austin, Texas. To do so we will discuss the intricacies of their motivations, struggles and community. We hope to explore life as a parent on a stringent income and how they go about navigating their day to day lives.


Our Methodology

For our methodology, we will be talking to each participant for about 45 – 120 minutes. Sessions should be conducted with relevance to the participant. By these interviews we would like to understand their financial attitudes and behaviors, specifically on how living with low-income adds more responsibility when having a kid (children). For parents and family members we hope to interview subjects in their home setting or a location where they feel comfortable. While interviewing with administrators or program persons we will interview in their place of work where they deal with the families they serve.

Firstly, we will start by having a small talk about them, then asking some questions to understand where they are at in financially and their feelings around it Secondly, we will do some activities that involve them understanding where their money goes and helping them visualize their responsibilities. This will help us to understand how they feel about these financial constraints and what things they are lacking in order to feel fulfilled in life.


We need your help

We need help connecting with parent participants. If you or someone you know may be interested in chatting with us, please reach out to team_da@ac4d.com to get in touch. Your perspective is incredibly valuable and will ultimately help in designing solutions for this unique group of people.

As students working with a nonprofit, we appreciate your willingness to help both us and our community.


Austin Center for Design

Austin Center for Design (AC4D) is an educational program uniquely focused on applying design principles to address social and humanitarian problems. Explore more of our philosophy and approach.

Ana Toca and Dan O’Halloran
AC4D Class of 2020

True Story: The get to know you game for people you’ve known your whole life.

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Thanks to everyone who has been following and helping with our AC4D project, True Story. We are so excited to share with you what we’ve created and what’s next for our product.

Our Project: A Recap

Over the past 9 months, Maryanne Lee and I have been researching, designing for, and testing solutions that can help families members communicate more openly. Specifically, while we were conducting qualitative research around the impact of aging on family relationships early in our project, we found that adults and their aging parents often have trouble discussing aging-related life transitions. For example, discussions around limiting driving or moving into assisted living are often too difficult to broach, and are put off until moments of crisis. We felt that we could create something to help facilitate open communication among family members much earlier, so that when aging-related discussions eventually occur, the family will already have developed a culture of open communication.

We talked to 9 participants in our early research to understand the problem.

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Based on the conversations and research we conducted with our participants, we came to 2 main insights.

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In order to create a compelling solution that would stay true to what we learned from our participants, we came up with some guidelines. Our design would need to follow these guidelines in order for us to consider our product a success.

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While we came up with over 300 design ideas that could potentially help families have more open communication around aging-related topics, we finally settled on a game. Though the topics we heard about are serious, we felt a game was the right approach to increasing a culture of communication within families. By using a fun and familiar form, families would have something they could spend time together doing. If we could get families talking through fun times together, we could create a safe space to bring up difficult topics.

The Game

While the ideal state of our design is a full-fledged game, the soul of what we’ve been working on, what we really wanted to focus on at first, is the cards.

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Each card has a prompt to tell a story.

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In fact, the object of the game is to collect stories. Why are stories important? Telling stories helps families not only learn about one another, but over time as stories are internalized, family members understand the values that lie behind each others’ choices and are able to start predicting how each person would react to a given situation. In our research, prediction was particularly important to families with elderly individuals who were experiencing cognitive impairment. Caregiving family members found value and relief in making decisions as they believed their parent would have wanted.

Many of our cards are quite whimsical, sort of get-to-know-you questions. We hope this game is seen as a fun activity for families to do together. Especially for families that live far from one another, ensuring together-time is spent on enjoyable activities is very important.

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But in line with our mission, we wanted to make sure the cards also prompt aging-related discussions. The earlier the game is played, the more opportunity families have to develop a culture of open conversation around these topics. Our research revealed 4 top difficult topics. These are health, driving, finance, and living arrangements. So we made sure some of the cards cover each of those topics.

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Real-world testing

We tested our product out in the real world to see if the game succeeded in creating a safe space for talking about aging-related topics. Not only did our participants feel comfortable opening up about their stories, they also showed they were comfortable talking about otherwise difficult subjects.

One participant shared a story about her daily tasks:

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Another participant recognized the value of the game, saying that it might help her bring up difficult financial topics with her grown daughter.

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Overall, our participants thought this would be useful to get to know family members on a much deeper level.

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How Do You Play True Story?

To play, you start with the deck and 2-4 players.

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Player 1 draws a card and answers the story prompt. He or she has the option of telling a true story or a fiction story.

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The other players guess whether the story is true or fiction.

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Player 1 reveals the answer.

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The player(s) who guessed correctly win a token to symbolize that they’ve collected a story.

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The first player to 10 tokens wins! Please feel free to explore our clickable prototype.

What’s next?

Our goal is to take True Story to the next level by conducting a second pilot test to work on our content and tone. Are we asking the right questions? Is the tone conducive to our mission? These are the things we want to figure out.

That means we need participants! If you’d like a chance to play the game and see True Story in action, please email us to be part of our pilot. You’ll help us make our product even better and we think you’ll have fun doing it!

To pilot or for more information, contact us at:



Thanks again to everyone who has been following our progress. See you at the pilot!


Technology: Strange v Familiar

This few weeks we have focused on the concept of technology being strange, yet familiar. Technologies and it’s rapid growth in conceptualization to market, far outseeds the Moore’s law already.

Is this a good thing? Is it a bad thing, does higher access to civilians make our lives more like a sci-fi film? Or make us better or smarter human beings? Or dumber… or have no affect at all?

Through all the readings I got a sense that the authors had also thought about this, and from one extreme to the next, one author Bell, felt that we should chill out on getting gadgety with domestic technology. Such as the internet tv in the refrigerator, because there could possibly be a place in your brain that could come up with a design solution to not have to have the user completely loose touch with the reality that makes us, well – human.

Not that technology is bad by any means, but choose wisely is what I got from her article. The power the designer has to influence those who interact with our “stuff” can be good, bad, or perhaps even worse, indifferent.

To illustrate this I used a 2×2 with the axis being: y axis – user controlled v technology controlled, and the x axis being the designers intent to make humans use more cognitive skills and become more intelligent, or less cognitive skills and become perhaps not dumber, but not any more intelligent by any means.



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I believe Bell fell between the technology being in control (if the future of design were to go the way she had explained) and this technology not making us human any smarter. But perhaps just making our lives easier by default of not having to think for ourselves.
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I put Sterling right in the middle of not learning or getting dumber, but at least having more user control over our situation. Although our cultures may be different it doesn’t mean we wish to have different outputs in using the technology given to us.
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Marsden was interesting to me for the sheer fact that his article dealt with such a real life situation. I placed him in an area where yes actually the user was getting more tech savy by shear means of having to learn to use the broken platform that was provided, but the user was still under the thumb of the reach of the technology provided, limited, yet aware.strange&familiar.009 strange&familiar.010

And then there is Kerweil the futurist whom I believe threw out Moore’s law a long time ago and believes that humans will actually be controlled by the robots we built in 200 years. He may be right. You never know.

Lastly I would like to leave with one thought that persisted throughout these readings. That we can not stop the progression of technology and how it impacts each person in each culture differently for better or worse. But as designers, we have the obligation to not only fulfill the need of the consumer, but also not go so overboard that we are actually making them less intelligent. There is a difference between a Roomba and an Internet ready TV screen on a refrigerator. The Roomba makes my life easier by keeping the floor clean, but it doesn’t solve my math homework, or tell me how to cook my grandmother’s recipes. 

The world has enough fluff widgetery. Let’s make some real design. 


True Story


We are only a few weeks away from our final AC4D presentation, and we’re excited to share with you where our exploration of designing for family discussions around aging has led us.

Currently, our team (Laura Galos and Maryanne Lee) is working on both piloting and creating ideal-state artifacts for our project, which we are calling “True Story.”

True Story is “the get-to-know-you game for people you’ve known your whole life.” It’s a card game for families in which the object is to collect stories from one another, in particular, between intergenerational players.

What Does It Do?

While collecting stories is a worthy goal for families on its own, True Story is designed to do much more. Stories provide a window into the past, but they also provide insight into the way people think, make decisions, their values, and their fears. While family members are collecting stories in the context of a game, they are also collecting perspectives from other family members about topics that might never come up in ordinary conversation.

How Does It Work?

True Story cards each feature a question about a situation that has come up in the past. Some examples are, “Tell me about a time you met a celebrity” and “Tell me about a time you went on vacation alone.”


Other cards ask for stories around topics that our research has shown to be difficult for families to broach, such as finance, health, living arrangements, and driving. For example, a question that gets family members to talk about ill health is, “Tell me about a time you did something to improve your health.”


Once the player has told the story, other player(s) guess whether the first player has told a true story or a fiction story. Correct guesses are awarded a token to acknowledge the collected story, and the first person to 10 tokens wins.

Why Did We Make This?

Why do families need to collect stories, perspectives, an intuitive understanding of one another’s values and ways of making decisions? Why do uncomfortable topics need to be surfaced, if only in a game setting? Why make a game of this at all?

The Making of True Story

To recap some of the thinking that went into the creation of True Stories, we returned to our last blog post about our project, written at the end of Quarter 3. At that time our goal was to develop a design solution to help facilitate the difficult conversations seniors and their families have around the major changes that come with aging. Specifically, we wanted to help start conversations about aging transitions—such as limiting driving, or looking at assisted living—between adult children and their aging parents.

While the core of idea has remained the same, over the last several months it has manifested in so many ways—from an iPad game, to a website that helps adults send letter to their aging parents, to a communication tool that uses cards to start the conversation—that amid all the changes it is affirming to look back and see how closely our current product adheres to the principles we set out at the end of Quarter 3. Based on our research and testing with families, caregivers, and aging individuals, we had developed the following criteria to which anything we made had to meet.To help families address difficult aging-related conversations, our product must:


Design Principles: Mission Accomplished?

Use a medium older individuals already enjoy

Success! To get to True Story, we started by piloting a product we called “Playffle.” Playffle was also card-based, but felt more like a communication tool than a game per se. In our initial research back in Quarter 2, we saw that our older participants, such as Anette, 84, strongly associated cards with being social. She told us that she “love[s] to play cards. I have different groups I play with—some play more complicated games and some play less complicated ones […] It’s a good time, a lot of camaraderie there.” Our pilot participants, upon trying Playffle, greatly appreciated that the cards were non-digital. One participant, aged 82, was under the impression we were going to make a website out of our cards, was elated to hear that we intended to produce a physical product. Furthermore, even younger participants who we spoke with exhibit a wide spectrum of comfort with digital technology. Using a non-digital medium allows everyone to come to the table with a degree of certainty and comfort—a positive start to productive conversations.

Feels non-threatening for older individuals

In piloting Playffle, we explicitly created cards with questions about difficult topics, including driving, living arrangements, and daily tasks. However, we thought that by introducing these topics through hypothetical scenarios, there would be less of a sense that older individuals’ behaviors are being singled out by these conversations. In reality, declining health, trouble driving, etc. are problems that anyone can face, regardless of age. By creating scenario-based questions, we hoped to open up the dialog from one of intervention to one of mutual conscientiousness and preparedness amongst family members. For example, one of our cards looked like this:

Pilot Card for Blog

Our testing showed that hypotheticals are a great way of getting older individuals to open up about facing difficult situations. One pilot participant was very honest about how she could identify with one situation—about buttons and zippers on clothing becoming difficult to manage—and sharing with the other card player how she manages those difficulties. Another participant mentioned that she would like to use these cards with her daughter, who was making financial decisions our participant was worried about. In sum, older individuals not only felt comfortable with these cards, they identified them as useful for addressing difficult topics with their younger family members as well.


Feels approachable to family members

In our discussions with adult children of aging parents, we found that there was a great deal of fear around broaching aging-related topics. That fear stemmed from angering their parent. One participant we talked to, aged 61, with a father in his 80s, said, “If you bring up the subject of driving, Dad will terminate the conversation. He will become extremely angry and stop talking. Particularly as your parents age, you don’t want to alienate them at the end.” We think that by providing a product that is comfortable and approachable for older individuals—something that will probably not make them feel threatened or angry—we increase the approachability to younger family members. When we introduced the idea of playing cards to another participant, she saw them as “Something I would do day to day with my Dad. My Dad would think its fun finding out about each other or the solutions to problems.”

Leads to solutions, not just fun bonding moments

Our pilot iteration, Playffle, was geared toward adult children and their aging parents at a very specific stage—one in which the adult children were already concerned about the changes their parents would have to make due to aging, but before a crisis had yet occurred. These adults are understandably feeling a lot of pressure and seeking quick, sure solutions that would alleviate their anxiety and make their parents as safe and well-cared-for as possible. Playffle was pretty direct about coming to solutions, not just fun bonding moments. However, the cards felt clinical—a major reason we moved toward our current product iteration. We doubt that Playffle was an enjoyable enough product for people to want to use on their own without us sitting beside them. So we made a decision to broaden the possible usage of our cards. Our current iteration, True Stories, is less direct. It is not meant for adult children who need answers immediately. It is meant as a game different generations of a family can play together to hear stories they would not otherwise have known, get a sense of how the other person/people think and make decisions, and bring up “taboo” topics, such as health and finance, long before a crisis forces the issue. However, in exchange for directness, True Story offers an enjoyable experience that increases the likelihood people will actually use it. One participant in our early testing is caring for her father, who has dementia. Increasingly, she must make decisions about her father’s care on her own without her father’s input. She told us that she wants to make decisions based on “what would my Dad do?” By creating a game that families like to play—and as a secondary benefit, helps family members get to know each other, how they think, and what they value earlier—they can help each other make aging-related decisions together later.

Includes a way to follow-up on conversations

One of the strengths of True Story is that by playing it, the game ensures that taboo topics, such as health, are aired before a crisis happens. A question such as “Tell me about a time you had a health scare” means that families will have heard a story about ill health and have some perspective on the thoughts and feelings around that topic. Later, if and when tough situations arise, each of these stories acts as a tiny window through which the conversation can be re-introduced. By the time a serious conversation about these topics needs to happen, the silence around the subject has already been broken.

Takes into considerations families who live far apart

Many families today live far apart. Partnerships, job opportunities, and geographical preferences can result in families members that live thousands of miles away from one another. In our research, many families we talked to see each only for visits on special occasions. We know that the time spent together under these conditions is valuable. True Story honors the family time together by focusing on the collection of family stories. Additionally, it’s portable—not a small consideration in cases where families must travel to see one another.


Based on the design principles we laid out at the end of last quarter, we are confident that True Story can help families set the stage for open communication based on mutual understanding as they face major transitions, including those that occur with aging, together. Please feel free to explore our pilot version, Playffle, in the clickable prototype below. We will continue to pilot and evolve True Story until pencils down on May 2nd, so we welcome any feedback you have on our project in the comments section. Thanks!

Playffle Clickable Prototype


Alumni Design-a-thon Results

La Michoacana market, a Hispanic Market on east 7th street in Austin, TX, is just a block away from my work but feels a world away from the Austin I typically experience.  Garish, multi-colored lettering on the outside describes food products in Spanish.  The clientele is predominantly Hispanic, particularly during the lunch hour, when lines of Hispanic migrant construction workers await Mexican food and aguas frescas from the kitchen that dominates one half of the store.  That afternoon, I walked sheepishly around the store with my clipboard (generally to feign professionalism), before I finally began a pained conversation with the cash register attendant in Spanish.  Shortly, I fell into a broken Spanish and English mix.

Over the course of a few weeks, our team of AC4D alumni conducted street and subject matter expert interviews to understand Hispanic language access issues in Austin – What are the cultural and economic impacts of not being able to speak English? And what are the barriers to learning and practicing English?  From our research, we aimed to use design to generate ideas that could be used to both support language acquisition and improve a sense of shared identity in Austin, which more often than not feels like 4 or more cities co-habiting than it does one unified city.

Conducting the research, particularly via street interviews, wasn’t easy.  Our team’s rather low level of Spanish expertise gave us a rather ironic window into what many ESL students must face in their day to day experience in Austin. While I speak decent Spanish after college study abroad experiences in Central and South America, that fluidity was built up almost (gasp) 8 years ago.  Our team of designers, including Chuck Hildebrand, Bhavini Patel, and Melissa Chapman, all have varied levels of non-existent to passable Spanish skills.

With that said, I will not trade the often priceless experiences that followed those awkward introductions, where we gained some very real insight into the drivers and challenges facing migrants in our city.  Just like you and me, they’re trying to make life work – yet they might already have families and multiple jobs that can, and do, get in the way of learning something new.  I wanted to thank each member of our team, as well as the experts and individuals who gave their time to support the effort.

A taste of highlights from our Research

 There are challenging logistical barriers for Hispanic migrants trying to learn English.

Hispanic migrants often live far from their workplaces and work multiple jobs with fluid schedules.  Poorer migrants, and particularly undocumented migrants likely do not own a car – and therefore getting to and from any particular ESL location requires time and energy that only the most driven of learners can give.

The best course content includes elected, and not solely directed, information.

Learners should have a say in the content that they learn.  Speakers may want to focus on basic interactions that support daily living, such as health, school, workplace transportation, and other economic transactions.  But they equally may want to learn more specific nuance to the language they are using, including accents, pauses, pitch, and humor.

Camaraderie is an important aspect of long term learning.

For some that attend language classes, the draw for learning a language may be just as much about connecting with other people as it is about learning.  The emotional connection can provide an ongoing link to attendance that a traditional classroom approach doesn’t explicitly provide.  We should support interactions that increase dialogue around what it takes to survive and thrive in Austin.

Read the final report!

Report Cover

In the future, we’d like to identify partners for civic design who could sponsor a formal challenge for Austin Center for Design Alumni.  Please let me know your thoughts, suggestions for topic challenges, and recommendations for partners that would be interested.


In the end there can be only one…

Designers are always talking about killing babies. Don’t worry, it’s a metaphor. In this case, the babies are ideas, our ideas. And like parents, we can get pretty attached, pretty quickly. Nonetheless, we’ve had to kill a lot of  ‘babies’ over the past few days.

The dream team (Lauren Segapeli, Jeff Patton and myself) spent Q2 researching how personal and familial narratives affect debt, financial literacy and the economic choices of 18 to 30 year olds. Starting at the end of Q2 and for several days before the beginning of Q3 weeks we generated many, many ideas for possible interventions to improve the situation we saw in our research. We call these design ideas.

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A selection of the ideas we generated based on our research.

Since then we have sorted through each idea (captured on a green sticky note) and by plotting the ideas based on criteria like feasibility, ability to monetize, social impact, and personal excitement, diagraming the parts of each concept and listening to our collective gut,  narrowed it down to the three ideas about which we are most excited.

Diagrams to flesh out details for the final 9 design ideas.
Diagrams to flesh out details for the final 9 design ideas.
Lauren and Jeff at work, surrounded by our externalization process.

Using story-telling, storyboarding and diagraming we have fleshed out the three remaining possibilities, both to help us think through the details so we can solicit feedback.

Storyboards for the final three ideas with our notes plus feedback from faculty and fellow students.

Sadly, by Saturday two more babies must die. Stay tuned to find out which idea we will be working on for the rest of the year!

Disclaimer: No real babies were harmed in the making of this blog post, or in the activities it describes.

Financing Longer Life Expectancies in an Aging Population

“In 1940, the typical American who reached age 65 would ultimately spend about 17 percent of his or her life retired. Now the figure is 22 percent, and still rising.”[1]

As life expectancy in America has increased (about 3 months each year since 1840)[1], so has the length in retirement, and attendant worries about financing life in old age. By 2025, 25% of the U.S. population will be over 60, compared with 16.5% in 2000 [2]. The repercussions are often difficult for retired individuals and their families, but they are also far-reaching in society, affecting wide-ranging fields including politics, healthcare, and finance.

Here at the Austin Center for Design, we’re interested in researching how people finance or plan to finance this long period of retirement, and coming up with design ideas to address this multi-faceted problem. Our team [Lindsay Josal, Maryanne Lee, and Laura Galos] will focus our next 3 quarters on financing the longer life expectancy of an aging population, particularly for members of the working class.

In conducting our research, we will primarily employ Contextual Inquiry to gain understanding and empathy with people in retirement or planning for retirement by observing and learning from them in a “master-apprentice”-style relationship. Specifically, we plan to learn from retired individuals, working-class individuals in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s (to gain a sense of perceptions at each age plateau), financial experts, and caregivers of retired individuals.

Our full research plan can be found here.

We believe that addressing the new financial concerns that arise with increased longevity can alleviate some of the financial, health-related, and emotional issues facing both seniors and their circle of caregivers.

Interested in learning more or participating in our research? Do you know someone who would be open to speaking with us about financing retirement? We would love to hear from you! You can contact us at:






[1] Easterbrook, Gregg. “What Happens When We All Live to 100?” The Atlantic Monthly, Oct. 2014. Online. Accessed 11/5/14. http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/09/what-happens-when-we-all-live-to-100/379338/

[2] Disruptive Demographics. MIT AgeLab. Online. Accessed 11/5/14. http://agelab.mit.edu/disruptive-demographics

Empathy & Action: Reflections on Social Entrepreneurship and the Poor

A few months ago I left a wonderful job, good friends and a lot family in Cambridge, MA to move to Texas. The readings on social entrepreneurship and poverty, which we have been discussing in our theory class for the past two weeks, are at the heart of the reason for my move – I want to learn how to use my skills as an interaction designer to do socially relevant work.

The themes of empathy and action are the most compelling to emerge from this group of readings. As I considered the theme of empathy I was reminded of the saying, “there but for grace of God go I”. For me this sums up an empathetic worldview — I recognize our shared humanity, and look at differences in context and experience to understand the discrepancy our in circumstances. In the diagram, the x-axis represents this theme of empathy. Each article is positioned based on the authors’ view of the role of innate qualities versus context to explain people’s varying circumstance. The y-axis, representing action, describes each author’s relative focus on explaining a situation versus empowering action.

2x2 Diagram


Discussion of each author’s position and pdf with diagram and discussion after the break.

Continue reading Empathy & Action: Reflections on Social Entrepreneurship and the Poor

UX for Good: Introduction


My name is Matt Franks.  I’m a faculty member at the Austin Center for Design.

This post marks the beginning of a series that I hope to maintain over the next few weeks on my participation in this year’s UX for Good challenge – Kigali & London.

What is UX for Good?

“UX for Good is an effort to push design as far as it can go: past forms, interactions and experiences to complex human systems, and beyond attractive, effective and elegant to deeply impactful. UX for Good is out to set the edge, so non-practitioners can see the full potential of design and practitioners can do the most meaningful work of their careers.

Each year, a handful of top user experience designers from around the world are brought together to conceptualize and develop novel interventions that help solve complex, social challenges.”

UX for good aligns to the mission of AC4D in that it attempts to make meaningful change by focusing on problems worth solving. This year’s challenge focuses on a particularly wicked problem: Converting the profound feelings elicited by genocide memorials into meaningful and sustainable action.

As part of this challenge, I will be visiting Kigali, Rwanda for several days of exploration, research, and debate around the topic of Genocide. Kigali is home to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center.

This memorial is built on the site of mass grave, housing the remains of 250,000 Rwandans who were killed over three months in 1994.

Jason Ulaszek of Manifest Digital and Jeff Leitner of Insight Labs, the founders of UX for Good, give great context into this years challenge:

“Like all such memorials, it is intended as an antidote to genocide itself – teaching us and moving us to ensure we will never again be detached and complicit.

But, for the most part, we remain unchanged. Virtually every visitor to a genocide memorial or holocaust museum can attest to overwhelming feelings of sympathy, sadness and outrage. Schoolchildren and world leaders alike leave speechless. But most visitors can also attest that they did nothing substantively differently as a result.”

For those of you who are interested in the complete design brief, you can find it here.

I’ve been fortunate enough to spend my career surrounded by individuals who I would regard as more capable than myself in so many ways. I’m genuinely excited to be working on a problem whose solution is in no way obvious, and with a team of talented individuals from around the world.