“I-Manifest empowers underprivileged and rural teenagers by exposing them to a realistic future in creative industries.” - I-Manifest

When Makisa and I first heard Joanna Pretyman speak at Vivid Sydney about the not-for-profit organisation she and Kay Walker founded, we knew we wanted to get involved.  Since many people, both young and old, are unfamiliar with the term User Experience Design, we figured this was a great opportunity to introduce some newbies to the creativity that lies within the web.

In conjunction with I-Manifest, we organised for Cameron, Jesse, Liam, Lilly, Samantha, and Princess to spend a day at Boomworks headquarters. I’m not going to lie, the idea of keeping 15-year-olds interested for a full day was a bit intimidating; but we worked up an agenda that aimed to get them involved and engaged:

  • Meet & greet: How does Boomworks create magic, and who are the peeps behind the curtain
  • Icebreaker: Interview and introduce your new friend to the group
  • Project: What is it, what’s already been done, and what problems still need to be solved
  • Baseline testing: One person in the lab, the rest behind the glass.  Let’s see what’s working and what’s not with the current design
  • Brain dump: What did we learn from testing, what do we know so far, who are our competitors and what are they doing?
  • Collaborate: Let’s work together and sketch out some awesomeness on the windows, walls, and paper!
  • Critique: Talk through the brilliance of your designs with your peers and receive feedback
  • Client presentation: Bring the ‘client’ back into the room and present
  • Now what: Hand out visuals of the designs to take home and info about free web design training/seminars coming up

I’m happy to report that at the end of the day we actually heard the following:

“Boomworks is awesome.  I was thinking about studying IT before, but now I know I’m really interested in it.”

Ten points awarded to us!  We’re looking forward to our next workshop with the fabulous folks at I-Manifest.

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