Client: Career Girls
Category: Mentoring and Career Inspiration for Girls
Scope: app design, UI/UX, user research/testing, messaging, content creation
Project Objectives: Career Girls provides career inspiration to girls and mentors (teachers and parents) through role models and curriculum materials. While the Career Girls website is a great resource for girls, teachers, and parents, the team felt it was time to inspire girls where they are—on their phones. This mobile app provides girls with access to STEAM career inspiration and resources—right at their fingertips.
This mobile app is specifically geared to girls. Inside the app, girls can explore careers, create avatars, earn achievements, and journal about their career exploration while closing the imagination gap for girls everywhere.
I have known and worked with Roberta on various design projects for the past 16 years. In addition to her training as an artist, she has uncanny vision and judgment about her designs. From the very first time she designed a piece for me, I was amazed at how she can create the perfect vision from my vague or inarticulate description of what’s needed and come up with something that blows me away. I don’t know how she does it but I am always grateful to have use her talents and smarts on my projects.
To recap, she is smart, creative, talented, professional and easy to work with. She is always the first person I think of when I need a visual design.
— Linda Calhoun, Executive Producer at Career Girls
To fund the coding of the app, ’Berta and the Career Girls team applied for an Aquent Design for Good grant. ’Berta starred in the video and pitched the app project. The result? Career Girls was awarded the grant! Apparently, when the President of Aquent saw the clip, she actually got emotional. She really resonated with proposal since her own daughter is the target age of girls who will use the app. ’Berta’s sparkling personality—and little jig— probably didn’t hurt! Watch the grant submission video here.
Working with Career Girls and Black Girls Code, ’Berta:
- met with the team to brainstorm their needs, channel their experiences with users, and get a better sense of the content to be delivered.
- submitted a grant proposal for the Aquent Designing for Good awards, which provides funding to deserving nonprofits to move projects forward. Career Girls as one of five 2018 grant recipients.
- worked with the teams to conduct and analyze research, concluding that there aren’t really any similar apps available for girls.
- created sketches, wireframes, and prototypes, iterating through the process to solidify the hero flow and deliverables.
- as the Project Manager, provided strategy, process guidance, and set and coordinated checkins and schedules.
- provided final assets and style definitions to the coding team.
Identifying the Target Audience
Demographics: girls 8–12 years old (skew younger) with a more abstract notion of “When I grow up I want to be . . .”
Context: Content accessed through a mobile phone app, anywhere girls would have connectivity such as home, school, or group activities or events (i.e. Girl Scouts)
Goal(s): Explore careers and get life advice through different paths while achieving career exploration goals
Priorities/Pain Points: Creating an easy-to-use app to make career exploration FUN without being overwhelming, so girls can gain more access to career inspiration and exploration (stem the drop off of girls in STEM).
Determining MVP Release Features
- Onboarding survey: no more than 5-6 questions
- Filtered video results based on survey: grid of role model clips (60 second intros) through YouTube embedded links
- Girls can explore as many career paths as they want
- Ability to save favorite clips and journal about what they’ve seen
- Video, activity, reward
- Ability to do basic exploration and activities with no account (won’t save info)
- Optional features for initial release:
- Overview welcome/tutorial clip: on first use (no longer than 1:30 or shorter)
- Avatar creation
- Integration with social media sharing (optional)
Final Results and Deliverables
This project is nearing completion! Once again, the Black Girls Code team, with the help of their Apple mentor, are working to complete the coding of features, test, and launch a beta version of the app. The timeline for launch is May 2021.
During Phase 2, the Black Girls Code team, along with their Apple and Pinterest mentors:
- created backend database coding functionality including account creation and login.
- worked on the Android version as well as updating the iOS version of the app.
- showed the YouTube integration into the app.
During Phase 1, the Black Girls Code team worked with their Apple mentor to:
- create the login page/functionality look and feel.
- create the onboarding survey.
- create the dashboard (i.e. video filter page), which is currently populated through YouTube links. The app opens YouTube and then the user closes the window after watching the video.
- start the Career Journal functionality.
A great experience, the Black Girls Code teams have learned valuable, real life coding skills they can use in their careers moving forward. The app is being coded by girls for girls—squarely in keeping with Career Girls’ mission. Phase 3 is already underway with the identification of two new girls, and the same two mentors (iOS and Android). Work will begin in the next few weeks to review the progress that’s been made (in conversation with the previous team), and will involve fleshing out the remaining functionality, and posting a beta release for girls to test out by late spring of 2020. Shortly after Phase 3 is complete, testing, refinements and bug fixes will begin. Stay tuned for updates!