Claro que Sí – Case Study

Hi gang,

As Birkan said, it was awesome to see the work everybody has done.


In January, we are going to continue our work with REV- and BIC. Please feel free to test our hotline  617-702-2395. Any comments are much appreciated!

You will find below our case study (and also our final presentation).


This project was born as a response to the deliberate legal exclusion of domestic workers from basic government oversight and protection.  Building from the previously successful, New Day New Standard project by REV- in New York State, we hoped to use the principles of co-design to (1) simplify hotline navigation and (2) implement an additional SMS subscription service for more effective communication.

Case Study:

Our presentation today:

REV- / BIC “Claro Que Si!” Update

After reviewing our presentation feedback our team has decided to change some things to make our Co-Design process more transparent. We realized this was an issue since there are many partners helping out in this project and it was hard to make clear who was doing what.

We have not documented the process as well as possible to show exactly how we are interacting and including domestic workers in our project. Mostly since REV- is the only part of the team that has had the time to meet with domestic workers in person. This project is following the Co-Design process, it just takes a lot of intermediaries to close the feedback loop.

An example of how our process works, which wasn’t explained well during our presentation, is how our characters for our hotline are being designed. After holding ideation sessions with both domestic workers and all project partners (NEU, MIT Students and REV-) we collected sketches and compiled them.



I made vectors out of the sketches which REV- took back to show domestic workers at BIC.

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 12.44.49 AM

With that feedback from those sessions I am now currently redesigning the characters. This closes the loop of communication. Once I make edits they will again be given to REV- which will share them with domestic workers for final approval.

Christian Landeros will be in charge of starting and maintaining the documentation of our project. I will continue to design the graphics for our campaign as well as begin our tumblr based website. Alexandre Goncalves (as well as the rest of the MIT Co-Design Team) will be ensuring that we can start user testing our hotline as soon as possible in the next two weeks.





Some updates and our presentation

Following one of the suggestions after our project proposal, we tried to simplify the logic tree of our hotline. The main idea is to eliminate any unnecessary complexity and focus on the messages we want to convey.

Douglas has done some draft drawings that will be part of the visual identity of our project. We also talked to our developers at TerraVoz in order to get their feedback on the project specifications.

This week will be busy!

Tomorrow, we are going to present the evolution of our project so far. You can check our presentation here:

We will probably tweak the slides before the Codesign Studio class but the main ideas are there.

Our NuLawLab partners will have their final official session on Wednesday at 6 pm at Northeastern University. They will be presenting their research on domestic workers’ rights and some new material related to the MA Bill of Rights.

On Thursday, we are going to record some sample episodes at Brazilian Immigrant Center (BIC) with a small group of domestic workers.

Reflections, and Moving Forward

Based on comments we have received following our first product iteration. We have compiled a list of the three most important and general issues for us to consider in developing our 2nd iteration:

1. Which parts of our proposal we will pursue in the time period of this class? Who will be collaborating, and how will each partner contribute (what inputs will be provided by who?)

2. How will this be promoted?

3. Logic Tree complexity

After some initial discussion, though still not completely solidified, we have concluded that we will be aiming to produce 3 final products: A logic tree to be used in the implementation of the hotline, the characters and episode content for the hotline, and corresponding SMS message updates for subscribed users.  We will not, however, be focusing on the promotion and implementation of the hotline, as that would be project outside the scope of this class.  Lastly, one of our main goals in regards to  the hotline logic tree is to maximize simplicity. Through integration with SMS message updates, we hope to significantly remove any unnecessary confusion and complexity from the system.


From reflections on possible paths toward failure. We have also come across issues involving confusion, offensiveness, relatability,  skepticism, in regards to our episodes and characters.  Hopefully, through collaboration with BIC and from user input we will eliminate these possible breaking points.  Overall, we felt this exercise was very enlightening, as it’s  easy to forget or ignore problems in each other’s designs, and being forced to acknowledge them will really help us create a sturdy and well thought-out product.

BIC/REV- First iteration

It is difficult to imagine a more diverse group than ours. Law, design, community organizing, development, storytelling… Our large team gathers all expertises! As my colleague Christian said in a previous post, we do not have one partner. We have four: Brazilian Immigrant Center, REV-, The NuLawLab at Northeastern University, and TerraVoz.

Naturally, it is awesome to count on such a rich set of skills. Nevertheless, it is an enormous challenge to coordinate all efforts. I am sure Marisa feels sometimes that she is herding cats. So far, I tell you, she has been successful!

Our project proposal has also helped us to figure out our roles in this project. On Saturday, we received useful advice from Sasha/Codesign team to improve our proposal. One of the suggestions was to assign more specific tasks to each member. Thus, we can have a clearer idea of everybody’s responsibilities. An ongoing updated version of our project proposal can be found here:

Another advice was the need of bringing all community partners together to discuss the design of our hotline. In fact, we have been talking a lot about this topic in our meetings. This drawing (by Marisa), for instance, illustrates the concept of “audio postcard” that we invented and that will be used in our project:


We also got inspiration from New Day New Standard Logic Tree:


We already have a rough draft of our voice tree:

It is one of the outcomes from our first project iteration. However, we know that it is not good yet. We need more meetings with our community partners to discuss it (and improve it).

Another outcome from this first iteration was a group of characters and stories that are going to be used to convey our messages on safety and environmental issues to housecleaners. Marisa and Anjum organized an amazing collaborative storytelling session! First, we had to invent characters for the stories. The idea was: the funnier, the better. We drew our ideas and presented them to the group. After that, we began to create stories… with the characters that other members of the group invented. At first, such approach seemed a bit chaotic… but after some time the convergence of ideas was astonishing!

Finally, we started a research on safety, health, historical and legal issues related to domestic house cleaners in Massachusetts and elsewhere. That research inspired many discussions in our meetings and will provide the theoretical background for the messages we are going to convey.

REV/BIC: Site Visit

A bit late, but a visit well worth the wait: on Wednesday of last week the REV/BIC team came together at the Brazilian Immigrant Center located across the river in Allston.  At around 6PM, the members of our team started to trickle into the second floor of BIC.  We, the MIT team, got to meet our Northeastern NuLawLab counterparts for the first time, and they even brought us pizza!  It was clear that they were all just as excited to be a part of this project as we were.

After some introductions from each of our members, we got right to work with presentations from REV and BIC.  REV presented previous and current work, including Nanny Van and El Bibliobandido, both of which served as inspiration for how the careful intertwining of art, technology, design, and social change can lead to incredible success.  Natalicia Tracy, executive director of BIC, followed, and she explained to us how BIC arrived at its involvement in the Massachusetts movement for domestic worker rights.

Naturally, after so much inspiration, the team had many questions.  We decided to write them all down on post-it notes, and place them on a wall :

– Are we working on one project? Or several related projects?

– What are the most immediate steps to make?

– How do NuLawLab/MIT/domestic workers play a role in the design progress?

– Where is there the most room for creativity?

While going through each question, we were able to clarify our goals both in concrete product form and in an idealogical sense.

As a collaboration we wanted to mimic the success of domestic worker hotline in New York, which created characters and used voice recordings to educate workers on their new rights.   The process in New York went a little like this:

In a /very/ simplified nutshell

In a /very/ simplified nutshell

Domestic workers (DWs) worked with REV to create “episodes” based on the new Bill of Rights (B.O.R.).  After some collaborative and iterative redacting, the audio pieces were recorded and the logic tree for the hotline was designed.  At MIT, the technology was finally implemented into a hotline!

As a collaborative group we wanted to work on a similar product that would work towards a few main goals:

  • advancing domestic worker health and safety by both gathering and providing relevant information
  • engourage base-building and membership mobilizing
  • creating a detailed and malleable framework capable of producing and sustaining future projects elsewhere in the country
  • to galvanize new audiences and accelerate the growing movement for workers’ rights in MA and elsewhere

Among the ideas thrown around during this meeting were:

  1. A Boston-based hotline that would help to spread safety information given to BIC by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
  2. A “Guide to Culturally-Relevant Spread of Information”
  3. Video clips to accompany OSHA safety guidelines
  4. An interactive SMS component

Of course, time did not let us fully develop each idea but I’m sure that with such a diverse group, they will solidify, consolidate, and strengthen organically over the coming weeks!

DA Questionnaire

If anyone has suggestions, questions or general comments, please reply!