Project Duration: 2 Weeks
Software Used: Axure RP8, Sketch, Photoshop, Principle, Google Drive
An exciting two-week project into understanding the societal challenges faced in rural Ireland. The project consisted of a research phase in a team of three, and then individual solutions which were delivered to the client. The brief was broad and covered the areas of:
- Work, industry, and employment
- Social Connection/Civic Engagement
- Disconnect from government and ‘Silicon Valley’
- Employment, industry, and income
- Village decline
- Isolation/ Transport
Our group was fortunate enough to have a member from a rural area, so we chose his town, Lorrha in north Tipperary as our location to visit and perform interviews and observations. We came to understand the difficulties faced in rural areas by interviewing eight locals over the course of nine hours, and visiting local points of social gathering, such as the cattle mart in the nearby town of Portumna. The interviews gave us a great insight into the struggles of life in rural Ireland, and the disconnect between them and those living in large cities.
The interviews took a semi-structured format, and were recorded so we were later able to transcribe them.
The following day we unpacked our findings, and began to draw insights for a possible direction to take the project. I presented my findings to the client the next day. With their feedback, I focused my solution on community centres, which I had found were effective in reversing rural decline from within.
Having settled on a direction, I researched what resources were available to communities interested in establishing a community centre. I quickly discovered that it was very difficult to find information, despite the fact that there were numerous government and EU programmes to support and help fund communities involved in the undertaking.
This motivated me to create an informational website where rural residents could find out what the process is, how other have achieved it, and what funding is available. Additionally, it allows people to register an interest in establishing a centre in their area, and to connect with others who have also done so.
Personas & Wireframe
I generated personas based on the people I had met in Lorrha which helped drive my final design. Of particular importance were the technology uptake and usage, and the fears and concerns of the local people.
I created different user flows for different use cases with the goal of guiding website users to the information page.
- First time use/exploratory use (the user should arrive at the information page).
- Returning to access the how-to/information page.
I then created wireframes and tested them with users to establish the most suitable interface.
Finally, I created a fully interactive prototype to present back to the client.