biodesign challenge

service design & strategy

biodesign challenge

user research
Product Strategy
Graphic Design
Project Management
how might we engage alumni?
The Biodesign Challenge is an education program and competition shaping the first generation of biodesigners. The design brief stated: How might we create a strong alumni network and stay engaged with more alumni over time? Our goal was to design the alumni experience by addressing core emotional needs. In collaboration with Jonathan Zur, Tamara Salman, and Nicolle Belaunde.
following the journey
The Biodesign Challenge struggled to maintain strong connections with their alumni. To understand this problem better, our team conducted 19 interviews with current alumni and key stakeholders. By illustrating a typical alumni journey, we found that key emotional needs arise while they are still students.
identifying key needs
If these 3 emotional needs are unmet as students, then they will feel disconnected as alumni. As a result, it is important to address these needs early on while they are still students in the classroom.
confidence
Students need to feel confident in how their unique skills can contribute to others
community
Students need to feel a sense of belonging by building personal, one on one relationships
compass
Students need to navigate the budding biodesign field through role models and peers
design constraints
After leading the client through a purpose statement activity, we learned 3 key design constraints to keep in mind while ideating potential solutions.
sustainable
easy to implement and sustain, because manpower is limited to 4 people.
grassroots
pioneered by the alumni, because the biodesign field is not yet well-defined.
accessible
inclusive, because students are diverse and spread all over the world.
testing prototypes
We ideated a range of solutions that would address the core emotional needs. After concept testing with alumni, we focused on prototyping the student-alumni collaboration, the digital forum, and curiosity conversations.

curiosity conversation

is an intimate, informal event for alumni to share their stories and meet each other. We learned that a curiosity conversation elevates confidence by validating alumni voices, letting them openly share their story, and empowering each other.

digital forum

is an informal space for alumni and students to share knowledge, connect with peers, and discover the field of biodesign. We learned that this platform complements face to face events and is used as an avenue for future connections.

student-alumni collaboration

involves bringing alumni directly to the classroom in order to support students. We learned from instructors that they are constantly on the lookout for new mentors. We learned from surveying alumni that they are incredibly willing to contribute their unique skillsets to students.