Speak Now or Eat Garbage

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During Bring Your Kids to Work Day last month, we asked our team members’ children to help us with a research project that attempted to solve the following problem: What should we order for lunch for our next staff meeting?

We had 12 amazing kids come and hang with us for the day, and a smaller group of 8 (including my niece!) helped us with this specific project.

The kids were between the ages of 8 and 16 and worked with research team members Nidhi Jalwal and Meghan Plank to design a five-question survey rating local foods on a scale from “Garbage” to “Crazy Good.” Employees were polled through an online survey that the kids created themselves and included both qualitative and quantitative questions.

Employees were asked to complete the survey within 15 minutes after it was posted. During this time, our office exploded with activity. Some of our budding staff attempted to influence the results by walking around with campaign posters featuring slogans such as “Vote for Pizza.” On our internal messaging system, a few employees started their own campaigns, trying to influence others to add “write-in” candidates, such as burritos.

We had 38 respondents, and while 73% of our staff had no food restrictions, we did have to keep in mind some with tree nut allergies—and a bunch of vegetarians!

One of the key findings was that employees are bored with the usual fare and wanted new options, like pierogis. The group thought together about how best to visualize their findings, facilitated by design team member Sloane Stradley. We thought about tally charts, pie charts and donut charts—all sorts of charts. (But we ended up spending the time sketching out our favorite foods instead!)

Finally, John Blazek and Ryan Dudek from our development team helped show the group how to make edits to blog post content, and how to upload graphics and then push it all into to production and onto the We See blog you’re reading now!

In the end, sushi and pierogis were the top choices for the next staff meeting lunch. (Many respondents were “sick of pizza,” citing that we had it all too often.) A fantastic day was had by kids and parents alike. That evening on the car ride home, my niece told me she had a ton of fun, and that when her mom brings her to work she only gets to shred paper all day. I’d say that’s a win for Aunt Jess and for the future of UX research, design and development.

Photography by Matt Lewis

The author

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Jess Davis

People Consultant