She's a 12 year old Harry Potter fanatic. She lives in a cupboard under the stairs, for Pete's sake.
We met with Emma and conducted multiple interviews with one goal in mind--dream her dream toy. It didn't take us long to learn of Emma's love for the wizarding world. And what does every good witch or wizard need at her age? A wand.
We wanted the wand to feel real though, and fit contextually into Emma's life. She had just started middle school, and was trying to figure out what paths she wanted to pursue in life. No small task. So we designed the Emmarauder's Map, a secret vision board that her wand could literally activate to help her position herself to pursue the goals she found most meaningful. Her wand was cherry, with a magnetic core, concealed to by craftsmanship and a bit of magic.
After many user tests, we added the final touches. wrapped Emma's gift, amd made the delivery. She was overjoyed.
This project called upon many technical skills our team had learned in the Graduate School of Education's Makery--a space dedicated to maker education, constructionist ideals, and amazing design projects like the Emmarauder's Map. I learned the importance of design research, ideation, empathy for end users, prototyping, and testing.