OpenIDEO Design Challenge, UX DEsign project



Design Challenge: " How might we radically improve access to, and quality of, sexual and reproductive health education and services for young people?"

Our group went through Open IDEO's design challenge and I think this was one of the best ways to learn design thinking, and it was not easy for us. It’s always easy and fun to start a project, but carrying it out through the end needs more commitments and dedications. So I think participating Open IDEO’s design challenge and having some in class workshops really gave us opportunities to do something, make our hands dirty, and learn more things we would never expect before doing those activities. At each phase of our progress, I did learn something new and really enjoyed the process. 


Worked as UX Researcher / UX Designer in a team of five.

Team members: Cherisha Agarwal, Runqi (Ryan) Du, Joanna MolloyYu-Hsuan Lin

Design Process

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We did not limit our research area at the very beginning since the scale of this topic was really big. We conducted the survey to high school students, interviewed with several sexual educators, visited health clinics, and also did some secondary researches about other countries problems and issues.

During the researching and ideation stage, one of most memorable things to me is interviewing to the sexual educator Lexi Hoffman. It was an hour long phone call, and she’s really passionate for her expertise and sharing everything to me. We got some good insights from her experience and I can’t wait to share what we have for the finals soon. Also, we did realize sometimes it is difficult to get some research information from organizations, especially the topic is kind of sensitive. Being turned down by those organizations was a little frustrated at first, but it was good that we tried other more approaches to get the information we needed. 

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My profile page in OpenIDEO Design Challenge

We tried to focus on and narrow down the problem we are going to solve from our research insights. And we decided to focus on young teenagers in NYC with casual sexual activities problem. 

Research Insights:

  1. A Majority of teens in NYC have mobile phones and also engage in social media.

  2. High-Technology can be combined with Low-Technology to solve the problem.

  3. Most teens have sex education in the school yet they don’t pay attention.

  4. Everybody loves to play games!


Problem Statement: 

"Some young teens in NYC do not place importance on the consequences of casual sexual activities which is the reason behind an increase in teen pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Even in other countries, these problems are present."


Initial Ideas for Prototyping:

  • AR Poster

  • Mobile Text-based game

Design & Prototyping

For going through the design process, I think one of the hardest parts is when we all had many different and cool ideas for the solution, but we needed to decide which one to prototype and test. That is something you need to think about all the possibilities and potential risks and so many details. We struggled a little bit on that phase, but glad it turned out quite well. 

I think prototyping phase and iteration are important and hard too. During the IDEO NYC people coming, they shared the idea of “any ideas can be prototyped”, which is the key of the prototyping process. I am surprised that after we prototyped and tested our both ideas, we decided to mash up two ideas into a new one. That was something we never thought about before when we were in ideation phase, and I believe that showed us the value of prototyping, user testing and iteration. 

"The Drama" - Narrative Posters with Gaming Experience : Ideas post in OpenIDEO Challenge page


The mockup of our idea. We combined two ideas in our Ideation phase --- AR Poster with mobile text-based narrative game.

User Testing

We wanted to text out how the idea would work in public. So we put the poster near a high school in Brooklyn and observed how young teenagers would react to it. We also asked them some questions and based on the feedback to iterate our idea. We found out a lot of students would stop by when seeing the poster, and that was the good sign, because our design was meant to catch their eyes. We found out some of teens did not know how to use their phone to scan the QR code. And some of them do not have unlimited internet on their phone. They said they wanted to see more stories of this project. Those were some good feedbacks we got. After our user testing, we decided to change some details on the poster, and we decided to move on the design of text-based game.  

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First version of the interactive, text-based dialogue game. It's called HOTLINE at that time. 

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The second version of it. We tried to play with the color theme of the dialogue box.

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The third version of it. We tried to put the avatars of characters, and also the background image. 

Final Prototype

Design Statement: 

Engaging narrative posters linking to a text-based interactive gaming experience for young teens in NYC to understand the consequences of casual sexual activities like teen pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases by learning through a more playful and interesting way.


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Interactive Prototype :  DRAMA