Future Tram Strategic Roadmap

Contribution: Workshop facilitation, Journey mapping, Visual design
Collaborators: Cameron (Director), Vivienne (Manager), Justin & Andrew (Analysts)
June - September 2021

Problem /
 Opportunity

Plot Twisters is an EdTech studio building tools for personal narrative, self-reflection, and metacognition -- what we call "journey building". Visual extraordinaire and friend from uni, Jenny, added me on to lead design and user research -- and since, it's expanded into a studio community of 25 people across 3 continents and an idea for an online storytelling tool for journey building

Screen Shot 2021-03-06 at 12.17.50 pm.pn

What Jenny and I included in our initial pitch to teachers. Illustrations by Jenny.

Approach

01 Immerse

When Jenny asked me to join Plot Twisters in February 2020, it was an idea for an innovative learning management system meant to be prototyped and user tested with teachers and students. Centred around the idea that students have gifts (strengths), hats (roles they like to play), and postcards (environments they thrive working in), it designed a system for teachers to distribute qualitative yet standardised feedback for every assignment they submitted. It was a big idea, but we were excited to get feedback on it.

Our research period was March-May 2020, and we set up a "Teacher Table" of educators to pilot our ideas by using our worksheet MVP in classrooms, assessing "gifts, hats, and postcards" for each others' students, and user testing as we iterated the UI. The COVID-19 pandemic forced educators and school administrators to abruptly create robust systems to run classrooms online -- not a time to test any new softwares. It was a sign that we should take our time to research what we wanted "journey building" to be and what we wanted to impart on students. 

Skills: User outreach, pitching, research planning.

02 Reframe

As the world was adapting to remote learning, we started thinking about delivering our journey building tools beyond the classroom. Honing in on where we learn most as kids, we started studying TV shows, films, and other stories to gain insight on creating a compelling, educational narrative. We started drafting a story that users experienced like a picture book, moving throughout a fictional world called "Twisterland" and learning lessons from friends. 

We were also inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement to better understand race and trauma-focused healing. We partnered with the EMPOWER Lab at the University of Georgia to understand how having Black familial and community support systems empowers Black youth in Atlanta to grow from their trauma -- and how, generally, community care informs healing and growth. We're still in partnership with them, building out a website as an all-in-one resource for Black youth coping and healing from race-based trauma (still in progress). 

03 Explore

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Outcomes

We're currently building out an MVP in the form of an interactive storybook to be released later in 2021! Jenny and I are also designing an interactive online workshop we're hosting with USC's Iovine and Young Academy in April 2021 to test core interactions for the storybook.