Winner at the LA Service Design Jam, 2016: "Best Service Design"

The Project

Designed in under 48 hours, this project was the collaborative effort of 5 persons - including myself, a strategist, another UX designer, a developer and a TV editor.

We met at the jam and coalesced around the topic of Children/Education. Our goal evolved around the following statement: “What if we can instill empathy in children?”

We developed a prototype and presented it to an audience of 100+ persons. We were voted the best service design by the judges and attendees.


The Process


We designed personas: children in 2nd/3rd grade were our key persona. Teachers were secondary. Parents were tertiary personas.

We collaborated on a script, then went into the field to gather interviews. We broke off into a teams and collectively gathered about 10 interviews.

To synthesize our divide-and-conquer research, we:
1) unpacked our information to unearth problems we’d discovered, and
2) sought to understand where a product or service would fit in to solve these problems.



  • Whiteboard and use stickies to find affinity with ideas.
  • Create a Ven diagram to visualize our problem.
  • Prototype using crafts - from Barbie Dolls to note cards to improvisational acting exercises.

Build and Test

  • Within hours of identifying our product - the Magic Empathy Booth - we began testing our prototype.
    • Did users agree that we were succeeding in iliciting empathy?
    • Was our model scaleable?
    • Would children and/or parents find our prototype effective and enjoyable?



We designed a service that contained a gameified solution. Students would not know whom they were communicating with while inside the booth, as their voices would be masked; and their personas would be reflected as an avatar to the other person in the booth.

We focused on touchpoints, such as identifying a need, seeing an advertisement and having a follow-up activity after exiting the booth.


The prototype was award winning because we user tested throughout its entire lifecycle; and incorporated the feedback into each iteration. But our success would not have been possible if we had not worked so well together as a team. We each took turns pushing agendas; but also compromising. Lastly, we had fun!