How it happened
I met Vanessa over the summer on a volunteer trip to a refugee site in Calais, France. Vanessa is a founding member of Just Shelter, a community organisation in South London that focuses on helping refugees through hospitality. Aside from organising trips to Calais, they focus on helping refugees here in London. They recently partnered with another charity, Refugees at Home, and want to act as a coordinator on their behalf by raising awareness and finding potential hosts.
The TransferWise design team was looking to refresh on some of their design practices, and wanted to do so by bringing someone in to teach us by doing and by focusing on non-TransferWise problem.
Just Shelter's new project seemed like a great problem to put our time into.
We had two wonderful facilitators, Heather Taylor Portmann and Owen Thomas who we hired to teach us some new skills and to keep us on track. Just Shelter volunteers also attended, as much as they could, giving us guidance and additional context. The rest of the team was composed of TransferWiser's including 10 product designers, 2 copywriters, 1 UX researcher, 1 developer, 1 analyst, and 1 marketer.
Over two days, the team did assumption mapping, active listening practice, in depth user interviews, guerilla research, and finally sketching and prototyping. All the activities were planned by Heather and Owen.
We managed to interview someone who had been a host in the past, an existing guest, and Vanessa, a Just Shelter interview. Those interviews were conducted on the phone and in person. I was in charge of recruiting those people.
The rest of the team took to the streets to interview people, to find out how they felt about potentially hosting a refugee.
At the end of the two days, four sub teams generated a few ideas and presented to a Just Shelter volunteer and to the rest of the team. Some ideas were a video campaign featuring hosts, to creative ways of using a cafe that Just Shelter runs as a way to recruit future hosts.
We video recorded the presentations, and I created a summary document of all of our learnings to share with Just Shelter. I will continue to keep in touch with Vanessa and the rest of Just Shelter, and advise them if they decide to run with one of the ideas generated.