High school students are joining Chi Hack Night to train in user experience & design

Published on Aug 26, 2016 by Eve Tulbert

CPS students at Chi Hack Night
CPS students at Chi Hack Night

This Fall, Mikva Challenge and Mumkin Studio will partner to kick-off a program for teen user experience design interns at Chi Hack Night.

Four Chicago Public High School students will work with Chi Hack Night during the fall quarter. They’ll design, implement, and evaluate user experience for the Chi Hack Night project Edumap, a tool for finding computer science curriculum to assist with Chicago Public Schools Computer Science for All (CS4All) initiative.

The program is sponsored by a Spark grant from Mozilla Hive Chicago.

Teen civic tech interns will be tasked with finding out what tweaks and toggles will benefit the capp development process. They will also use their own networks to find interviewees, collect at least 20 interviews from users in situ, and put together a design brief to outline changes and new functionality.

“This is exciting because we’re figuring out how to teach user experience research as a core civic process to teens,” says Eve Tulbert from Mumkin Studio, program teacher and Teach Tech Task Force member. “If we can teach teens to use UX research to improve tech, we can also help them to apply those skills to government systems and services–even their own school experience.”

The youth interns will get their hands dirty with the work of UX research, applying basic strategies for usability testing in the field. They will also learn tools from participatory action research in order to re-think the systems that civic tech seeks to improve.

“Civic tech projects are an exciting way to tackle community issues,” says Lisa Kim, Youth Commission Director at Mikva Challenge and program co-teacher. “it’s important for young Chicagoans to be active authors in this process, because tech that’s meant to serve youth should also be made by youth!”

Students will start attending Chi Hack Nights in November and December. Come meet them and share your ideas about what makes a successful UX project!

On Tuesday, December 6th, these students, along with their teaching team, will present their findings to Chi Hack Night. This day will also be a book launch for The Youth UX Field guide, a guidebook for engaging youth UX teams in civics and civic tech research.

About the author

Eve Tulbert

Eve Tulbert
Eve Tulbert is a teacher and learning researcher who is co-founding a learning design studio (mumkin.studio, as of Sept 1).