töölgirl

EMPOWERMENT THROUGH EDUCATION

Duration: 10 weeks

Role: Interviewer, Researcher, User Experience Designer, Product Designer. Team of two with William Woods

Description: Empowering teenage girls to use tools 

   The dominant paradigm that women don't need to use tools is being challenged across the world as women empower themselves and pick up tools they would not have a generation ago. 

 

The dominant paradigm that women don't need to use tools is being challenged across the world as women empower themselves and pick up tools they would not have a generation ago. 

Most young women, as they move out to live independently are found to either be unexposed to tools, resistant to use or reliant on an external source for household repairs. Where did this problem arise from?

Most young women, as they move out to live independently are found to either be unexposed to tools, resistant to use or reliant on an external source for household repairs. Where did this problem arise from?

A large number of women are not introduced to tools as younger girls. This can be attributed to the social stigma observed in the dominant paradigm that attempts to be tackled. 

A large number of women are not introduced to tools as younger girls. This can be attributed to the social stigma observed in the dominant paradigm that attempts to be tackled. 

Our goal is to introduce teenage girls to tools aged between 13-17   where they are found to be open and receptive to new learning methods and yet, old enough to develop motor skills and handle basic tools. Fostering educational methods for exposure and learning were key.

Our goal is to introduce teenage girls to tools aged between 13-17 where they are found to be open and receptive to new learning methods and yet, old enough to develop motor skills and handle basic tools. Fostering educational methods for exposure and learning were key.

Female empowerment has traditionally been a goal of the feminist and women's rights. movements but their focus has been re-educating the adult mind set and breaking taboos. Our project goals are similar but, the real battle here can be fought earlier with teenagers. Educating children to be self-reliant paves the way for independence as adults. Early education makes it possible for teenagers to develop life skills that carry on into adulthood. Our goal is to build empowerment through education.

Female empowerment has traditionally been a goal of the feminist and women's rights. movements but their focus has been
re-educating the adult mind set and breaking taboos. Our project goals are similar but, the real battle here can be fought earlier with teenagers. Educating children to be self-reliant paves the way for independence as adults. Early education makes it possible for teenagers to develop life skills that carry on into adulthood. Our goal is to build empowerment through education.

Home visits and phone interviews with several teenage girls of diverse backgrounds revealed contradictory findings about a higher awareness and exposure with tools than anticipated, but showed limited use and inclination due to lack of interest

Accumulated findings from market, demographic and user interviews showed that they firstly had the exposure, would only pick it up if it interested and entertained them, allowed for networking needs, and the tools were lighter, less noisy and easy to use.

A lot of requests for creative ideas to do up their own rooms were noted as a trend to be followed in our project ahead.

A lot of requests for creative ideas to do up their own rooms were noted as a trend to be followed in our project ahead.

For
Customer: Parent + Teen
User: Teen girl (age 13-17)
Who
Activities: DIY craft projects, room decoration, accessorize
Intent: Educate, Entertain, Empower
Need: Knowledge, Life Skills, Independence
Wants: Customization, Be connected (social networking), Entertainment
What 
Design a toolkit for teen girls enriching their lives with entertaining DIY projects that better prepare them for the real world. Achieved by the Creative Communication Infrastructure Model

basic tools like hammers and pliers have removable soft slip-proof rubber sleeves for customization.

basic tools like hammers and pliers have removable soft slip-proof rubber sleeves for customization.

custom tools like a battery operated cutter that can be operated in both directions, a hand-held power tool with different difficulty levels allow a beginner to ease in with speed and power of the tool, and a heart shaped battery station to evoke familiar imagery for the demographic. 

custom tools like a battery operated cutter that can be operated in both directions, a hand-held power tool with different difficulty levels allow a beginner to ease in with speed and power of the tool, and a heart shaped battery station to evoke familiar imagery for the demographic. 

Creation of the 'Creative Current': knowledge is generated, shared, supported
Challenge the dominant paradigm by enabling girls to push boundaries. Our goal is to use product and its service to empower
future generations of women. These serve as a tool to relay knowledge into wisdom and consequently promote independence.

A beginner tool set to get started remain essentially same except for the look and feel as they are made such that they carry forward with them into their adult life.

a light weight 12V lithium ion dremel tool with 3 difficulty levels, safety goggles and a charging station complete the kit

the final toolkit comprises of the basic starter toolkit + advanced level of power tools that seamlessly transition to adult tools . 

The box is not only a case to organize and keep her tools well, but a place to showcase her own individuality through pictures of her artwork, friends, boyfriends but also be a canvas to celebrate her completed projects.

The box is not only a case to organize and keep her tools well, but a place to showcase her own individuality through pictures of her artwork, friends, boyfriends but also be a canvas to celebrate her completed projects.

Wireframes for screens of the homepage, sign-up, 3 profiles of novice, intermediate and expert are iterated. These 3 levels create hierarchy of expertise, and also inspire playing while learning to reach a higher level. Official toolgirl experts recruited to moderate workshops, activities, tests and offer guidance to a new network. A self-sufficient knowledge infrastructure, with the experts teaching the intermediates, and the intermediates coaching the novices; sharing information to create knowledge and putting knowledge to test and turning it to wisdom.

platform2.png

A website template of ‘Toolgirl’, the backbone of the product and brand does the job of making sure they are entertained and make a tedious job of working with tools seem like play.

Social networking is the key that drives the current generation of teenagers who feel the need to connect , share and get approval from their peers. This aspect has been taken advantage by creating a platform where experiences, questions and anxieties can she shared and relieved.

This integrated support structure is sensitive to different experience levels and put them under ‘novice’, ‘intermediate’ or expert to guide them accurately with the appropriate difficulty level of tools. This too, breeds a healthy environment of competition and fun between friends!

a 5 min video encapsulates the entire process leading to the final artifact and supporting website.