ELEVATE

Collaborators

Acacio Domar
Annie Pyle
Emily Phan
Maddy Harrison
Mae Boettcher

Spring, 2015

2015 MICROSOFT EXPO CHALLENGE SUBMISSION

Design a product, service, or solution for someone with a context-dependent disability.

Your creation can improve that person's abilities in an existing context, or change their context to lessen or remove the disability. It must meet a clear need and be extensible to wider applications. Demonstrate how your solution maps to a person's motivations and addresses them in context. Your project may be near-term practical or blue sky, but the idea must be innovative, technically feasible, and have a realistic chance of adoption if instantiated.


UNEMPLOYMENT CURRENTLY AFFECTS 8.5 MILLION US CITIZENS


Problem + Opportunity

Through our research, we learned that providing people with the skills they need to find a job is infinitely more valuable than direct job placement. According to Kevin Gerhard of WorkSource, "The most beneficial programs we offer are interviewing and resume building workshops."

Motivated by the tough situations that can influence or result in the contextual disability of unemployment, we began to ask ourselves how we can help people find the resources they need to get a job, and how we can give them a starting point.


How can we help people find the resources they need to get a job?

How can we give them a starting point?



OUR USERS

After several expert interviews and hours of online research, we began to ideate concept ideas with the following users in mind:

HOMELESS

Approximately 3.5 million people are likely to experience homelessness in a given year (National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty). Among the many difficulties a homeless person must face, is the absence of an address to use on job applications. This creates a cyclical, catch twenty-two situation: it's hard to get a job without an address, and equally hard to get an address without a job.

EX-CON

Imprisonment can degrade a worker’s “human capital” (formal education, work experience, and skills such as the ability to relate to people or to be punctual). it can also lead to loss of social support networks that can help with the job search. Research has shown that having a history of incarceration reduces a worker’s chance of being hired by 15 to 30% (Center for Economic and Policy Research).

EX-ADDICT

Employers can refuse to hire candidates with
a history of illegal drug use, even if the candidate no longer uses drugs (US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Furthermore, about 1 in 6 unemployed Americans suffers from drug or alcohol addiction—nearly twice the rate of substance abuse found in working Americans (National Survey on Drug Use and Health).

Additionally, we thought about people looking to change careers, and stay-at-home moms re-entering the workforce. We thought about abuse victims, teens looking for their first job, and anyone else who might benefit from a little help and support while searching for employment.


Design Principles
 

1. APPROACHABLE

To create the best experience for our users, our design had to be super approachable. While a big brick building might be intimidating for some, we imagined a food truck-like "job truck" would be familiar and approachable by all.

2. INCLUSIVE

Due to many of our users lacking transportation, the mobility of a job truck provides access to the masses, and, based out of a warehouse that can receive mail, a living address for those without.

3. FEASIBLE

We designed a solution sans futuristic technologies. An entirely feasible design, Elevate could start helping people today with the right support.

 


UI Design


Concept Features


Final Presentation