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Portfolio of Allison V. Leach, a San Francisco User Experience Researcher and Strategist

Graduate Blog

Graduate Design Portfolio

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spark! Culture Cave

Allison V. Leach


(please view on SlideShare's website for higher quality)

spark! Culture Cave Business Plan

Throughout my Business of Design class, I worked with three classmates to develop an in-depth proposal for a start-up. Our business, called spark!, is a manufacturer of a children’s cultural education product called Culture Cave. On this team, I supported graphic design, research, and writing tasks.

After three months of hard work and dedication, we summarized our project in a detailed business plan.

The spark! Culture Cave is a cultural immersion experience for kids between the ages of 6 and 10.

At the core of this idea is:

• an iPad app that features a new traditional story each month. the culturally-rich story provides context for a wealth of ancillary information, games, and activities included in each app.

• a sound-equipped tent with velcro walls that kids can decorate with a world map, architectural cut-outs, and other country kit materials. this is a place a child can claim as a kids-only cool hangout.

• monthly country-specific activity kits filled with open-ended, and hands-on activities that a child will look forward to

We at spark! believe that the best way to teach kids about culture is through traditional stories enhanced by interactive, open-ended, and hands-on activities that spring from that narrative.

Garmin: Research Insights

Allison V. Leach

As part of our Design Research class, Janette Song, Bill Rihn, Lisa Woods and I were presented with the task of investigating how people navigate using cues from the natural world.

Acting as the research firm Calicocho with Garmin as our prospective client, we spent the semester conducting in-depth studies on navigation - including behavioral research, conversations with industry experts, field intercept interviews, and qualitative interviews with users of varying GPS technology familiarity.

Here is the slideshow of our final insights, presented to the CCA community.

Express Yourself Education

Allison V. Leach

Working with Interaction Theory classmates Kelly Green and Shayna Proctor, I helped to develop a concept for a start-up business that promotes social education for high school students called Express Yourself. On this project, I served as the lead writer and strategist.

Express Yourself is a curriculum designed for twelve to sixteen-year-old girls who would benefit from guidance to feel more confident as they grow up. Express Yourself is a participatory experience that empowers girls to be proud of themselves and to feel like they can assume a meaningful role in a larger social culture.

Our product is a boxed game-like lesson introduced in Health classes in public schools throughout the country. It is a 2-4 week program that is taught by a team of strong and successful local women volunteers. Lessons take place in the form of team building exercises, card games, and discussions on relevant student-chosen topics. The curriculum is supplemented by a safe online space featuring a public forum and a private journal.

Our preventative-measures program ultimately aims to reduce populations of at-risk youth - making for an overall happier and healthier society.

Sunday Review for NYTTV

Allison V. Leach

nyttv still

How might the New York Times introduce another touchpoint for its readers?

Working with CCA Design peers Kathleen Moynahan and Jason Harrow, we came up with a concept called the Sunday Review - a program to be aired on a new television station called New York Times Television (NYTTV).

This platform would add a new dimension to the paper’s most prominent writers by airing their live discussions of pressing topics. Furthermore, NYTTV would allow readers to join the conversation with real-time social media commenting.