This is a story about us and about our future. The reality is that ID can be a very exciting, yet overwhelming experience. In the short time that we are at ID we choose classes, learn methods and apply them, and then in addition to all of this we need to find a job. One of the most important reasons we are at ID is to build a network of lifelong relationships. Imagine that the ID alumni community could make all of this a little bit easier. What might that look like?
Our Design Synthesis team, which consisted of Rob Murray, Patricia Kelton, Susan Stirling, Seth Kutnick and Jonghee Choi, gave a final presentation where we tried to imagine just that. This was the result of collaboration with another class: Social Networking Workshop where the topic was Communities of Practice. In Synthesis we explored these ideas further in order to generate new concepts. We think we have a good thing going at ID, it’s just that we’d like to see it continue after we all leave the school. Our goal was to come up with concepts that would create a strong ID community of practice by bringing students, faculty and alumni together.
With the methods we learned in Synthesis, we created four personas and then captured observations and generated insights and principles for design ideas. What we found is probably no surprise to most of us. Prospective students are bewildered, current students are overwhelmed, alumni want the information fast and easy, and the faculty and staff want ID to have a positive word of mouth.
Using more synthesis methods we further refined our ideas. So, what ideas did we come up with? Here are just a few. The rest you can check out in our presentation. We all liked the idea of the ID café: a gathering place in our building for good food, good drinks and a place where individuals and teams to meet for work and fun (think floor to ceiling whiteboards, good lighting, abundant electrical outlets and gallery space!) Then there’s the ID online tours of the school: video interviews with students, faculty and alumni. Our student body comes from all over the country and the world. This would be a way to build goodwill and attract students to ID. How about a lynda.com collaboration for ID? Students could log on anytime they need to refresh their skills or learn a new program. Then there’s the ID online alumni map. Click on a location and up pops information about the alumni who live there. Where do they work? How do they like their job? What do they do for fun, and other useful tips. Another popular idea was the ID summer refresher camp for students and business. Come to ID as an alumni and bring your colleagues, too. How about taking adventure trips with an alumni group? We also liked the idea of a glossy ID alumni journal, and an online poster book for ID. It’s all possible, but it depends on all of us.