Since our last Monday lab, our group has completed our project scope of work and met with one of our Tsinghua collaborators, Sean. We met as a group on Tuesday (we have set Tuesday afternoons as our weekly meeting time) and completed the scope of work as we discussed our visions and goals for the project. Our project and work for the rest of the quarter will be centered on the continuation of the research that Sean and Coco have started in Asia, based on our own survey and more detailed interviews.
Regarding communication with our Tsingua team members, Coco sent us the translated survey questions and results, which were very helpful in understanding where they intend for the research to go. Our communication has improved a lot - because we are all in a WeChat group, and have been sharing our documents such as the project scope of work.
Most importantly, though, we were able to meet with Sean in person! He was in the Bay Area visiting Berkeley and Stanford on a tour of schools and businesses with other Chinese students. We met with him at the StartX offices, and were finally able to get a better grasp of what Sean and Coco want help with, and their ideas for how the research will be applied to their Lofter app and Pathbook project. Sean told us that their main idea for this quarter is for us to expand their research to a broader demographic (not just those traveling within Asia) and gather as much information about youth hostels as possible. He was really enthusiastic about our research ideas and plans. There was a language barrier, as is expected, but it was a great experience for us to meet and make the project more personal.
Our goal for this week is to develop survey and interview questions that we will use in our research, so we can get started on collecting results as soon as possible.
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We met with Ray today and discussed the progress report, attached below. We expect the video to be done by May 21st. As we want to have a more tangible impact than just a video/presentation, and since the Stanford partners haven't been able to contribute very much to the video (as the Tsinghua students are more savvy with Chinese culture/video design), we agreed that Christina and I could start working on a publicity model to spread the video. Ray suggested looking at past successes in the viral video realm, such as Gangnam Style. She noted that in one of media classes, the professor discussed the science behind what differentiates a viral video between an invisible one. Speaking of invisible, I noted the famous "Invisible Children" video that not only garnered millions of views, but was also uncharacteristically long and focused on social impact. I believe there is something we can note from the success of that video.
Our next steps will be to finish up on refining our research of US Freight Efficiency (specifically focusing on impact) and researching media dissemination in China. We will use design thinking to come up with an apt publicity model.
Walk!man Project Update
Geena: Last Monday we had a 45 minute Skype session with our partners. It was the first time our whole group gathered to talk. Yari and I went in with a long list of questions that came from gaps in our Scope of Work, and we got to clarify a lot of the project goals. Our partners asked us for feedback on what they'd currently done. We all agreed that Yari and I could contribute mostly on the research end of things, by conducting lit reviews both on walkability and on walking in Chinese cities and by conducting interviews in focus groups. One specific question our partners asked us to investigate was how to make their walkability app scalable to all Chinese cities despite the variable terrain and walkability factors in each city.
Yari: I feel like we made a lot of progress this week, and I feel like Geena and I are gaining more ownership of the project and are really helping guide its direction. Through our literature review we found several interesting things, but the one that is guiding our decisions right now is that in order to make the game in our app effective, it needs to guide the user through their impressions of the walk, and help them brainstorm and think critically about the solutions. So we've set up survey questions to try to target categories of impressions that people might feel on different walks, and then begin to figure out which aspects of walks give those impressions.
BreatheChina (Casey + Noelle)
As mentioned in our last update, we Skyped with both our Tsinghua collaborators and were introduced to our community partner, Green Map. We spent the majority of last week polishing up our project scope of work in order to better reflect what we discussed in the Skype sessions. We began some preliminary explorations of similar apps and started thinking about possible sources to explore for researching pollution metrics and indicators.
Our main goal for this week is to talk to people in the Civil & Environmental Engineering Dept about pollutions metrics, why certain ones are measured and why, etc.
Green Cloud (Caroline & Laura)
Last week Caroline and I had a facetime call set up with our Tsinghua teammates, but it turned out that they were on vacation, so we did not have our usual formal weekly call. However, we were able to get a hold of them via WeChat. We decided to give them a list of questions to ask in field interviews, as well as d. school interview tips such as asking open-ended questions, leaving time for interviewees to ramble, and making interviewees feel comfortable rather than judged. Our Tsinghua teammates also told us that they are having trouble recruiting people to help out with the interviews, so we decided to reach out the Stanford in Beijing students in UrbanSt 102 to see if they would help. Deland and Kevin have forwarded the information about it to that class, and hopefully some more Stanford-Tsinghua collaboration will take place to help us out with our project. We plan to speak with our teammates again this week at our usual time because their vacation will be over.