Vida Verde: DiscoTech Update & Case Study Links

Team VV had a great time at the DiscoTech on Sunday! We had a ‘Make your own glass cleaner’ station, told a whole bunch of people about how wonderful Vida Verde is, and did some additional user testing on our instant quote widget! We were especially excited that several people approached the table to inquire about potentially hiring Vida Verde and/or referring them to a friend. All around, we were pleased with how things turned out. At the very least, we had a lot of fun making and filling our mini bottles (photo credit: Sasha):


Our case study draft can be found HERE. It is definitely a work in progress, but we think that we have a solid foundation so far and are looking forward to iterating on it over the next couple of weeks. The working title of our case study is ‘Vida Verde: Streamlining Workflows’, since we felt that this was a succinct way of summing up the various projects and products we assembled for the co-op this semester. Our title image is currently Vida Verde’s logo, but we will likely switch that out for a screenshot of the completed quote widget once all of the updates have been pushed and it has been integrated into the co-op’s upgraded website:

The current version of our abstract can be found below:

During the spring semester of 2016, the MIT Collaborative Design Studio partnered with local worker-owned cooperatives to create civic media projects grounded in real-world community needs. Three MIT students partnered with a staff member from the MIT Media Lab to work with a cooperative of Brazilian housecleaners called Vida Verde. Over the course of several months, we worked together to develop technology products to streamline the organization’s operations and communications.

More specifically, the goal of the project was to alter some of Vida Verde’s systems in order to reduce the coordinator’s workload; to improve communication between the coordinator, cleaners, and clients; and to automate tedious steps of existing processes. While we briefly entertained the idea of creating a standalone product that would solve all of the coordination issues Vida Verde was facing, we ultimately elected to use open-source platforms like Google Calendar and free translation apps. By choosing this route rather than building something out from scratch, Vida Verde is now able to fully manage and maintain their technology without relying on an outside team for all of their business communications.

The collaboration between Vida Verde and the MIT Codesign Studio resulted in two projects: 1. an online price quote calculator for the Vida Verde website, and 2. a new internal calendar system for scheduling cleanings. We also upgraded the cooperative’s website to make it more easily navigable, and did some basic search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure that the website shows up easily in Google searches.

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