School2 worktransition: Prototypes & Testing Process and Observations
School to Work Transition
Prototype Testing & Observations
Course: Design Thinking Action Lab, Stanford
Submited by: Sivaprasad.P
Date: August 19th
PROBLEM STATEMENT - Revisited
“ Creative, articulate, confident, a little regretful, young
media entrepreneur who found out what he really wants
to become in career at a very young age needs a way at
school so that he needs to study only those areas that
would come in useful in his career because he has not
figured it out why he needs to study certain courses like
chemistry and languages other than English like
Malayalam at school which have no use later in his
Solution 1: Inter company career change
Intend of this idea is to encourage companies to allow staff to
explore other lines of activities within the same organisation.
This will help each individual to overcome the boredom of
working in the same line for many years & to realize his/her
latent skill sets and potentials
Prototype for solution
1: Inter company
This interface as part of a company’s
website is intended to allow employees
to apply to move to other lines of
activities in the same organization by
selecting from among the
An employee cannot apply for any line
of activity. He can only select from
among the departments system
recommends based on employee’s skill
sets and new training he acquired.
Employee should give sufficient
justification why he is opting for a
career change within the organization
Employee’s request will be processed
only if certain conditions are met which
is given upfront in grey box.
Solution 2: Students create courses
Intend of this idea is to encourage students to find out what their
interests are and choose courses as per their interests and still work
out towards graduation
This factors in the scope for not licking certain by the students so
that he /she can stop taking them and start taking the courses and
trainings that interests them most
This will help them identify the career path of their choice and
prepare for it better through customizing courses that they study to
get their graduation.
Prototype for solution
2: Students create
This interface as part of a grad
school website lets students to
choose from the available list of
courses even at the stage of
applying for a graduate school
Students will have to use the
shuttle control to select and add
courses and subjects to his
selected pool of courses that he
can study along with the
mandatory courses of his major.
There should be a maximum
of courses that a student can
study independent to his major
Student request will be
accepted provided he meets
certain conditions related to
qualifications and experience
and faculty approvals etc.
Test participants & processes
• Mr.Manoj Varghese Mathew, 24, Male, Young media entrepreneur
• Mr. Binu Jose, 29, Male, UI Designer, over the mail
• Once shared followed by a walk through of the prototypes over skype to each of them.
• Prototypes were shared over email to the stakeholders
• Stakeholders were given a walk through of the prototypes over skype
• Their feedbacks captured. Concerns raised by the stakeholders are listed in the following slides.
• Also mentioned towards the end, follow up considerations based on the concerns shared by the
• “Good ! At least in prototype we have some option for the students to select whatever he wants to study” (Manoj)
• “…no way, how can we restrict a student what he wants to study ? If he wants to study something not available in
his college ?....or…if he finds the course tough, will this system let students to choose another course or fail ?”
• “ok..also I love computers and programming, but my background is in business. Some maths I learned was back
in school. Now can I study IT even If I don’t have solid maths background ?” (Manoj)
• He also wants an option by which a student should be able to study a course irrespective of his qualifications. For
example, a student of literature should be able to do a course in calculus provided he/she can prove her interest
and capabilities. (Manoj)
• “I love to be UI front end programmer. I have no opening in my office here. I cant leave Kerala (his present
location) as well” (Binu Jose)
• “Ok, If I join the team, will I be able to perform in the new team ? If I don’t, what will happen to me ? Will UI team
take me back ? I am not very sure” (Binu Jose)
• Manoj appeared satisfied with solution of selecting the courses based on interest.
• He is concerned about the situation where the student is interested in a course which is not
available in a college he is getting admitted to.
• He wants option to change the course during the course also if he finds the course not suitable or
• He also wants an option by which a student should be able to study a course irrespective of his
qualifications. For example, a student of literature should be able to do a course in calculus
provided he/she can prove her interest and capabilities.
• I evaluated the prototype 2 with Mr. Binu Jose, 29, UI designer with 10 + years of experience to
get his feedback. He is currently working in Kerala, India.
• He sounded comfortable and welcomed the idea
• He is concerned about the situation whereby the location & departments do not go hand in hand.
For example, if Binu wants to move to Database Management team and the only opening
available is in a US office ?
• He also wants an option by which he should be able to move back to the previous team if he
does not find the new role interesting.
Reflections & Further considerations…
• Regarding prototype 1, there should be a possibility to allow students to opt for courses not
available in colleges he is applying for. This will further the flexibility available for students to
persue what they like most
• To allow students to change course during the course years. This will mean additional work for
the student to make up the lost time. How should we include that into the process ?
• Option for students to take up any course irrespective of the qualifications. This means a
measure, against which a students eligibility to attend a course, needs to be created. This will
also mean students are likely to jump inconsistently between the courses and then end up failing
to complete graduation. So there should be a process to evaluate situations like these.
Reflections & Further considerations…
• Regarding prototype 2, the stakeholder requires an option to move between countries as such to
join a different team. This will mean an employee coming under multi-country policies operational
in an organisation and its intricacies and the cost factors like salary calculation etc. So another
restrictive mobility seems to be the only way out.
• Will the option to allow employees to return to the previous department if he does not find the
new role unattractive, be always feasible ? What happens if the opening is filled by the previous
department ? Should the department force open a slot to accommodate him/her?
• Will this not lead to an erratic movement of employees between the department if they find any
activities boring or tough ? The feasible solution seems to be putting a restriction related to the
number of times an employee can shift between departments in a specified period of time ?
However, will this solve the problem of force creation of slot for a returning employee ?
Observations & Learnings
• There is great difference between a designers thinking and the mental models of the users. The
challenge would be to bridge the gap as intuitively as possible so that users get to interact with
interfaces/prototypes that satisfy their mental models. In short a designer is not creating a
solution for himself but for the user.
• Testing revealed more ideas than the previous stages of interviews done to create empathy map.
• Testing of the prototypes revealed serious inadequacies of the first prototypes like how to
address the problem of frequent employee shifting back and forth between departments leading
to fall in employee productivity. This scenario has forced me to think in lines of bringing
restrictions to the number of times an employee can shift between departments.
• Designing solutions is a iterative & collaborative process. Effective solutions to problems can be
arrived only through iterative rounds of prototyping, testing, feedback gathering loop.
• Requirements of users can be never ending. So the better approach to solving a problem would
be to understand why the problem is there in the first place and then build on it and not finding
problems on the periphery.
Email: sivaprasad2020 at gmail dot com