Instituto Co-Design Project Brief

Context, Outputs of listening methods

Existing web platform

The current website platform uses a WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) visual editor. That makes it very user friendly for the staff, while limiting layout options, interaction possibilities, etc. It also includes features to schedule, make plans, and other procedural tasks common in the education sector. It also includes a built-in form creator, and response collection platform.

Existing success stories

Existing documented success stories have been collected largely for the purposes of annual reports. There are a few in the form of a paragraph-long third-person narrative and picture of someone who went through a program, alongside some statistics about that program as a whole. Others are a page long with an accompanying photo. These stories are all in English, and are not shared out with the community in a systematic way.

Examples from other community organizations

I looked at three organizations’ online presence to get an idea of how other organizations serving a Spanish- and English-speaking population share their work online. There were some useful ideas, but nothing that addressed the challenges in an ideal way. I might need to ask more people for resources/models to take inspiration from.

Literature Search

A Pew survey of US Latino news media sources suggests that using online methods might be a good way of reaching Millenials and Gen X Latino populations, with a lower share of Baby Boomers (though still a significant amount). That same survey also suggests that we should put materials online in Spanish to reach a foreign-born population, which community partners noted in observations of response when material is put online in Spanish.

current work process

The current process to collect success stories is pretty involved. It involves connecting with clients via program staff, interviewing the clients, asking for a photo submission, and writing it up to varying lengths for use in materials like an annual report.

Ecosystem Map

Highest priority personas

In thinking about this design project, it is helpful to think about a few key personas that we can imagine interacting with our design in some way. For this design, we are focusing on communications staff, Spanish-speaking clients, and funders.

Anticipated Challenges


One key challenge is that templates, workflows, solutions must be able to stand on their own. Ideally they won’t even require new accounts for free online services. Money, time, and energy are all valuable resources and the best effort needs to be made to conserve time and energy in a project without a budget.

Multiple Audiences

I have a sense of a tension between wanting to give funders a clearer idea of what Instituto does, as well as giving local community members a better idea of what Instituto does. The messages we would want to send to both groups come from the same place, but might need to emphasize different things or take different forms. I think a significant challenge will be coming up with a process that can either speak to both at the same time, or easily enough lead to multiple outputs from the same source material.

Next steps

  • Talk with other people doing communications work within my networks.
  • Create lo-fi prototypes for more concrete feedback from others at Instituto. None of the items mentioned above takes that much effort for me to produce an unpolished version with existing materials or placeholder text/media.

Questions for the class

  • Have you seen any community organizations taking a bilingual approach to online communication, which could serve as a model?
  • Do you have any ideas about how to make this process/outputs more relevant to educational programs and participants themselves?
  • I feel like I’m a little too limited in my thinking right now. What are some wild ideas you have about this communication topic, without any regard to feasibility? I could use some out-there inspiration.