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College Initiative Toolbox

PROJECT: User Experience Design · platform development
SUBJECT: education · Criminal justice

College Initiative is a New York based CBO consisted of students, alumni and staff dedicated to creating pathways from criminal justice involvement to college education and beyond toward building a career.

Over 12 years, CI has developed many specialized tools and techniques for communicating who they are and facilitating what they do. The toolbox is intended to leverage the value of these materials by providing technical support to partner and stuff, in collaboration with other organizations. 



Project lead, service design / user experience research, content strategy, information architecture, co-design planning and facilitation, design and production of the web based platform. 



The College Initiative Toolbox was developed through a participatory service design process, intended to explore the different ways in which our students, partners and staff interact with our tools and engage with our work. This process included in three phases: DISCOVERY, CO-DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT.

In the Discovery phase, we interviewed core staff and key stakeholders, observed internal activities and external interactions and reviewed our existing tools and platforms in order to understand the main contents and requirements of the Toolbox and the cultural context in which it would exist.

In the Co-design phase, we reengaged with stakeholders and staff in a workshop designed to examine specific use-cases and imagine potential features of the Toolbox. This co-creative session informed the language and architecture of the Toolbox by showing us how users contextualize and understand our tools.

In the Development phase, we synthesized our insights and findings into a series of working prototypes of the toolbox, which would accommodate different user requirements and interactions, while utilizing simple web tools and platforms that would be easy for our staff to manage and maintain.