research on employment in Princeton area

sociological research before the UX

There is a blackbox that needed to be unearthed before the job search app began. It came out of the user need to fill the gap for the low-wage work force in Princeton. Combining the various disparate elements of the ongoing employment efforts underway by many agencies in the area was a task in itself. Some of the work that is happening on unemployment, job-search and job readiness around town is listed below.

First is the summary of the meeting I had with Elisa Niera of Princeton Township Human Services. The work seems to dissect across income boundaries. She was the key figure providing all the following details.
1. Latinos in Progress (POC: Nina Lavado) – no website to get more details.
2. Committed and Faithful Princetonians (YMCA) (POC: Larry Sprull and Fern Sprull), mostly work is with African American populace.
3. Elisa Niera working with Stonehill Church- a non-denominational church with skilled patrons who are participating in a mentoring pilot program for job-readiness. December 19 is the 1:1 workshop/pilot and it caters to skilled workers. Niera works with GA (general assistance) and TANF (temporary assistance to needy families) folks to bring them into the workforce.
4. Library itself has programs for employment in terms of resume building, interview prep and mostly catering to white collar jobs.
5. Princeton University- POC is Christine Applegate is the Director of Community and Regional Affairs. She is always looking to engage with the community and this might be something that the university might be willing to take on. Continue reading “research on employment in Princeton area”

ux research for bike view: new jersey dot crash data

The Bike View website/app came out of data analysis work at Code for Princeton on New Jersey Department of Transportation Crash Data. In order to use the data further, the Princeton Bike and Pedestrian Alliance member came forward with an idea to use Bike Crash data. Experienced bikers in the Princeton area were able to help out. The user stories are structured around the following questions that users were queried around.

  1. What kind of App do you want? What feature is most important to the bicyclists?
  2. As a bicyclist, what problem do you want addressed? What is your main concern?
  3. What process or program can be made better with technology?
  4. What do you currently use in terms of an app or a website?

Users can be put into two categories from our sample- all weather bicyclists and those who bike only in warm weather. The ones who bike in all weathers know all the rules and bike on pretty much all lanes- even Rt. 206. Those who bike in warm weather do so on the safe routes that they have explored- which is all roads away from Nassau Street. Following are the user feedback: Continue reading “ux research for bike view: new jersey dot crash data”

persona: users, consumers, customers, clients and humans!

In any order you see it, the common element in the above categories are the stories we hear from each of these people and are of value. Each one has a context and each serves a different purpose and has a story. Woven together for value- the stories serve a market.

The contexts of these users bring together the larger value in today’s world of marketing and micro moments. Increasingly, it is the context that connects the short moments of demand in the economy. Connecting the service or the product to the consumer in a short span of time is the great benefit of “Personas”. Continue reading “persona: users, consumers, customers, clients and humans!”

affordable housing calculator: expert input and community engagement

Expert input and team engagement: Bringing the affordable housing technology leads, coordinators, stakeholders and municipal liaisons to communicate to enable better product design was the goal for this effort.

Research Methods used: Interviews, heuristic review of current affordable housing websites, community discussion, developers’ feedback.

Communication for a team of people with disparate backgrounds is a challenge when you have to code and build something together that serves a third party- here the public at large. It is furthermore a challenge when the task is a volunteer effort for some and is a job for some others on the team. The key stakeholders are the public, the users who need the technology to better their lives. This disparate team sometimes is speaking different languages- which for all purposes they will, since they have become experts in their chosen fields. But in order to innovate successfully, this team needs to talk to each other and communicate well. Continue reading “affordable housing calculator: expert input and community engagement”

ethnographic interviews

Ethnographic Interviews: Consumer Negotiations

 

The Urban Indian middle class in India has undergone tremendous changes in their lives due to the simple fact of increased income levels and thereby increases in disposable incomes. One way to look at this change would be to look at economic data and another one is to look at it from a qualitative standpoint and see what is happening in people’s lives. People make negotiations on an everyday basis with this new disposable income as they utilize it in a market place. I looked at how a citizen focused middle class slowly took on the shape of a consumer focused middle class.

Ethnographic interviews utilized for this purpose brought in interesting concepts that weave through the process of negotiations and bring in some interesting insights using consumption theory. The research methods used were interviews based on a uniform question bank that was utilized throughout the research process.

The research was conducted as part of the doctoral thesis with 150+ interviews audio recorded, transcribed and coded for analysis based on theory.

Picture Courtesy: The Hindu