PROJECT TYPE Design Research Community Engagement Customer Insights Experience Design
Given dramatic demographic and economic changes in San Francisco, how might we begin to address tensions between long-time residents and newcomers to the city?
The Anchor & Plow Project (beta) is an immersive experience developed for participants to better understand the effects of incoming technology companies (and workers) in San Francisco neighborhoods.
EXPERIENCE The pilot program includes a curated, self-led footpath through four historically significant neighborhoods in San Francisco – Chinatown, Mission, SOMA, and Tenderloin – each providing a different vantage of the shifting city landscape. The experience was designed to foster discovery of historical details, cultural assets, and community resources— things often overlooked by young professionals and new residents. Over two consecutive Fridays, ten participants embarked on a multi-sensory journey that prompted them to turn off their phones, investigate deeper, and engage with community members, rediscovering San Francisco in context of critical social, cultural, and political narratives.
RESEARCH The content for the immersive experience was developed over six months through extensive research and data gathered from community leaders, local historians, long-time residents and over 25 organizations across each neighborhood. Methods: Interviews (one-on-one and group), online surveys, ethnography.
ROLES Research and Outreach Lead Experience Strategist Community Advocate Program Manager
WITH An Otherwise Co.
Participants of Anchor + Plow Pilot Project, 2015
Research : Mapping SF Tech Landscape
Research : Mapping Community Assets in Selected Neighborhoods
Research : Competitive Landscape
Experience Design : Footpath through the Mission
Experience Design : Footpath through the Tenderloin
Campaign Strategy for an Iconic Market
PROJECT TYPE Advertising Campaign Market Research Creative Strategy
The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market isn’t your average farmers market. It’s both locally-loved and world-renowned for its yummy, seasonal, high-quality products, and with outdoor stalls perched along the San Francisco bay, it offers an unforgettable shopping experience. When CUESA (the organization that runs the market) asked us to create an advertising campaign that reflected its iconic nature, we knew we had to come up with a campaign that was uniquely San Francisco – one that spoke to both locals and visitors alike. What resulted was a witty, tongue-in-cheek campaign that not only highlighted the market’s produce, but also its vibrant personality.
IMPACT The provocative campaign lit CUESA's Social Media feeds on fire with both positive and negative comments (mostly positive). While we were dismayed by some of the naysayers, CUESA was thrilled that people were tweeting about a farmers market!
ROLES Account Supervisor Strategist Researcher
WITH An Otherwise Co.
CUESA asked us to develop an ad campaign to reflect its iconic nature and vibrant personality
I developed a creative brief to outline the campaign strategy, aligning our clients with our creative team
The final campaign is a punchy and memorable expression of San Francisco's beloved farmers market
Business Strategy for Millennial Travel
PROJECT TYPE Design Research Business Model Innovation Service Design Growth Strategy
PoshPacker is a curated travel discovery and booking site that features affordable, “under-the-radar,” designer accommodations for millennial travelers. This start-up enlisted our team to develop new business strategies to help PoshPacker create, capture, and deliver value to its customers. For this project, we set out to clearly understand the key assets of PoshPacker’s current business model and thoughtfully address its challenges. Based on the insights from our customer development and research, we recommended key changes to PoshPacker’s business model and website.
IMPACT Our recommendations contributed to a 100% increase in bookings within the first month of implementation. Since the completion of the project, the Poshpacker team has also made significant updates to its website, largely informed by our initial work.
ROLES Researcher Business Strategist Content Editor Project Manager
COLLABORATORS Liz Comperchio Laurence MacSween Adam Piron
Over four months, our team worked with PoshPacker to unpack the business
Through research and customer development, we assessed PoshPacker's existing business model
We identified the key challenges we would tackle over the course of the project
One of our first steps was to redefine PoshPacker's target customers and outline their unique needs
In the end, we provided a thoughtful set of recommendations to help Poshpacker deliver value to its key customers
The PoshPacker website today
Product Strategy for Sentimentalists
PROJECT TYPE Design Research Business Strategy Product Strategy Project Management
ORY is a web and mobile platform that helps modern sentimentalists better capture, organize and rediscover the stories and memories that matter most. Through ORY’s mobile and web app, customers can quickly and easily collect memories that are then intuitively organized in a simple and elegant platform.
Documenting and accessing important memories has become increasingly challenging. All the disparate places we keep our memories makes it a chore to sift through it all. Through our research, we found that our customers – discerning parents, family archivists, and nostalgic friends – are looking for more private ways to share, simpler ways to organize years of heritage, and streamlined collaboration on projects that include multiple perspectives.
ROLES Business Strategist Researcher Project Manager
COLLABORATORS Laurence MacSween Michael O’Hagan
Identifying our target customers and their unique pains and motivations
Mapping a customer's challenges and experiences
Identifying key insights
Positioning ourselves among the competition
Designing product strategy and features to meet customer needs
Brand Strategy for VSCO
PROJECT TYPE Brand Strategy Market Research Campaign Development
Visual Supply Co. (VSCO) is an Oakland-based art and technology company empowering people everywhere to create, discover, and connect through an array of creative tools. It is most widely known for its mobile photography app, VSCO Cam. For a graduate Brand Strategy elective, I developed an integrated brand campaign to attract “the casual photographer” through engagement, experience, and education. I synthesized extensive research into a Brand Identity Planning Model, developed comprehensive and one-page creative briefs, and created a transmedia communications campaign that aligned customer needs with company values and capabilities.
ROLE Brand Strategist Researcher
Designing a brand campaign for a fast-rising art and technology company
Through extensive research, I came to understand everything about the company, its customers, and its landscape
I identified the challenges experienced by a target audience segment: casual photographers
To plan the campaign, I developed a creative brief outlining objectives and key strategies
The campaign, entitled "The Early Works," aims to celebrate the beginning of each artist's journey.
A photo contest leveraging what casual photographers already capture is key to driving engagement
Contest rewards not only incentivize the target audience, but also leverage VSCO's core strengths
Experience Research for Wellness
PROJECT TYPE Experience Research Experience Strategy
40 million people in the U.S. suffer from anxiety disorders, yet only 1 in 3 receive treatment for them. Our team talked to anxiety sufferers, health and wellness experts, and caretakers to better understand the anxiety journey, particularly for young professionals. We synthesized our insights and imagined how the anxiety sufferer’s journey might be improved or alleviated. What would be different if there were no stigma around anxiety? How might we advance the anxiety journey toward self-management through mindfulness (over medicine)?
ROLES Researcher Strategist
COLLABORATORS Rosario Estay Kat McEachern Ravi Rao Izzy Shu
Biomimicry Design for Post-Flood Transportation
PROJECT TYPE Design Research Concept Development Product Innovation Biomimicry
Global climate change has led to an alarming increase in catastrophic storms. Our team wanted to address the challenges of rescuing survivors immediately after a flood. After speaking to relief workers, flood survivors, and government and humanitarian organizations, we learned that the best point of intervention is to help rescue teams transport more people and goods in a single trip. Our solution, The LilyRaft, is a compact, lightweight, and quickly deployable addition to a rescue boat. The design is inspired by the victoria amazonica, or Giant Water Lily, which is structurally supported by a fractal geometry of hollow air tubes that allow it to carry a significant load in water.
ROLE Researcher Strategist Video Scriptwriter + Editor
Current rescue boats are bulky and only allow transportation for small groups at a time
Our nature inspiration: the hollow geometry of the giant water lily
Concept sketches and inspiration
Our solution : The LilyRaft
Initial prototype supports up to 100x its weight in water
Market Research for Goodwill
PROJECT TYPE Market Research Customer Insights Experience Strategy
How might Goodwill stay relevant in a shifting second-hand economy and emerging sharing economy? How might the company expand its audience? In this team project, we talked to Goodwill and competitor customers to understand what drives customers to shop, donate, and become a part of the Goodwill community. From our research, we identified key market segments and created a detailed marketing implementation plan to help Goodwill deliver more engaging shopping experiences to an expanded target audience of young adults (age 20-35).
ROLE Researcher Experience Strategist
COLLABORATORS David Korstad Megan Moyer Ravi Rao Akriti Vora