The seven teams participating in the New Venture Design Experience went out to the real world and conducted more than 140 interviews to investigate and validate their design challenges. These interviews included not only individual observations, but techniques learned in class such as expert interviews, self-immersion, self-documentation, and so on. The teams created their own set of questions using the method of “Open Specific – Go Broad – Probe Deep” for which they adapted what they wanted to learn regarding their design challenge. The participants presented their most relevant observations together with examples of how they conducted their interviews and their experiences doing them.
The first team explored the area of improving the lifestyles of the ADD community. They conducted small experiments within themselves where they tried to focus in one task while being distracted, so they could feel similar to a person diagnosed with ADD. The second team investigated how to motivate individuals to learn how to harvest their own food. The third team focused on looking for ways Puerto Ricans can buy more local products. They investigated the existent local products and their availability in supermarkets. The forth team explored how they can improve local tourism and motivate people to explore more of what the island has to offer. The fifth team investigated a way to improve the communication between the deaf community and health care professionals. The sixth team intends to improve the transportation inside the university. They observed and used current methods such as bicycle, trollies, and others to understand from a first person perspective the current challenges. The seventh team investigated how they can make elderly citizens feel more productive. This “Out of the Building” experience does not end here; it is just beginning. But now that the teams have real life information, they are ready to start classifying their findings and brainstorm for new and innovative solutions.