A group of students ventured out to Toronto for the Rotman Business Design Challenge on March 25-26. Below, first-year student Sarah Koo shares the team’s process from problem, ideation, to final concept.
With healthcare selected as the problem space, we were asked to target a segment audience and identify a solution that the Mayo Clinic could implement. Competing against 11 Rotman teams, three MBA and a few other MFA teams, Rotman BDC was definitely a testing ground for the critical thinking skills and ideation approaches we’ve acquired during our time at SVA.
The case study was incrementally disseminated over the course of three weeks, with just ten minutes alloted for our pitch to a panel of judges. Having been exposed to the rhythm of rapid iterations and, of course, the ten minute pitch in our coursework at SVA, we ideated our way through. Our classmates probably wondered what had come over us as we took over the whiteboards to strategize our process, identify the core problem, gather insights, and organically explore possible solutions.
Our target? Hyper-connected users between the ages of 18 and 35 who use technology to maintain social networks and track lifestyle data, but are disconnected from health care professionals, medical records, or sufficient knowledge about preventative health measures. There was something about the dichotomy of the users’ social connectedness yet obvious disconnect with health that we wanted to address. Having found that our users like to rely on friends and family for advice and support, we felt that tapping into their existing habits and support networks would be a key way to motivate sustainable behavioral change.
And that brings us to “Help Me Help You.”
Help Me Help You is an online health and wellness community for young adults that offers discounts for collective participation in health challenges. With a unique combination of community support and monthly rewards, Help Me Help You encourages its members to be proactive about all aspects of their health on both mobile and web platforms.
While we didn’t make it to the finals, our entire team agrees that this was a formative experience. It turns out that this competition was about more than just coming up with a winning solution. It was about learning how to work cohesively while balancing other obligations and time constraints, stand firmly behind our iterative approach and subsequent insights, and put our collective skill sets to the test. And as MFAs equally pitted with the MBAs, we were proud to realize that while our methods and values as designers may still be questioned at times, we can definitely compete on par.
–Sarah Koo, Class of 2012