KP Fellow Application Personal Statement #2
Describe your most meaningful experience(s) and why they matter to you. Please limit your statement to 250 words maximum and provide your submission with a link.
“When you are taking a pregnancy test, the only people invited to that party are your two eyes and the test strip”, says Danielle. She was one of the many people we have spoken to when building apt (Accessible Pregnancy Test).
My team and I started this journey as an experiment in inclusive design because we believe that good products adapt rather than demand adaptation. The first step to inclusive design is recognizing exclusion. To do so, we spent weeks doing user research, interviewing and visiting people in the visually impaired community. We were inspired by the breadth of lives that they lead. But still, when it comes to something as private as a pregnancy test, challenges remain. The option is either to involve another person, or an electronic device. Even so, OCR readers often fall short because results can be displayed differently across brands. We prototyped, user tested, and iterated for 3 months.
Throughout our product development, we were keenly aware that many accessible products struggle to remain self-sustainable because they are so specialized. We thought about rather than building new products, can we build on existing products? Can we solve for one and extend to many? Our final design leveraged existing digital pregnancy tests and converted the electrical signal to vibrations that can be felt. It is scalable, manufacturable, and can be incorporated into an existing product.
Apt matters because scalable inclusive design is what we need to unleash the creativity and productivity of all members of society.
(Word Count: 250)