In response to increasing knowledge of racial trauma and police brutality in the United States, many companies found themselves having to make public statements about Black Lives Matter (BLM).

Once considered controversial to support, the organization became a declaration of morality and political alignment in mid-2020.

The inequitable power structures that actively harm and disadvantage entire groups of people in society lay exposed more than ever through social media, but these structure are not new.

The deeply embedded history of racist systems in the Western context is one that can no longer be brushed aside and must be openly discussed outside of the Human Resources department.
When the biggest names in the tech industry like Google, Facebook, and Amazon came to SCADpro to research and create another one, our team was confused.

We really spent time ripping the brief apart, asking why are their current design processes not equitable when they set the standards? Why would they choose to come to a bunch of students to solve this Wicked Problem?

After interviewing 67 employees across the Black and African diaspora, we quickly learned the basis of the problem.

The tech industry is notoriously fast-paced, design sprints happen within a week.

No one we interviewed felt like time was being made for equity.

Equity Pauses influenced our direction as a team, because while it was thorough and valuable, no student on our own team even had time to complete the course.

How might we better incorporate equitable mindsets into existing processes?
This is one of those projects that speaks for itself pretty well, so I’m going to focus on my contributions behind the scenes as a leader.

To learn more about our team and explore the whole system please click here.
There were three project managers in total and we each utilized our strengths as leads in different areas (User Experience Design, Systems, and Marketing).

I served as the Service Design Lead, which meant much of my time was being facilitator to the design processes that were happening concurrently and rapidly.
Uncertainty is terrifying, not many people are comfortable going into a project without knowing the final result.

But the design process is ambiguous, especially in the beginning research and ideation phases. I spent much of my time guiding the team through the uncertainty as the project progressed.
From French mise en place translates to “everything in its place” in English. It is the practice of all great chefs.

It includes knowing your recipe, the ingredients, preparing them, and measuring everything before cooking. This creates a less stressful environment for the kitchen.

Marta Rose of Divergent Design Studios introduced the concept of incorporating the principles of mise en place to the design process.

In Service Design it is especially helpful as a process to provide a foundation for intangible and complex concepts.

For Equity Beats, there were three areas I focused on setting up: Academic Literature, Collaborative Success, & Digital Whiteboards.