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FAvor link
with Jennifer Bove, at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea

We started by mapping a day in the life of a working mother; how she divided their time between home, work, family, friends, and time for herself. We tried to put ourselves in the shoes of a working mom, and assume all her tasks and responsibilities. We were amazed by the multitude of things she needs to take care of and how little time she has for herself.

user research

We then move to interviews and user research. We talked to working mothers in the Interaction-Ivrea community. We asked them about their home lives, their jobs, their social lives, and their kids.

• We found them all to be very busy women. (not a big surprise), who can rely on a small support network – husband, mother, a couple of friends.
• We found they have similar needs: help with driving, groceries, laundry, babysitting.
• We also saw their schedules overlapped, in terms of the errands that they usually run and the kinds of places they go every day.
These interviews led us to the main premise for Favor Link.

If moms have similar routines and overlapping schedules, wouldn’t these moms be best fit to support each other?


We went through a first round of iterations and build the FL system by using:

• Scenarios
• Sketches

We went back to our mothers to find out what they thought of our service. We were happy to hear that most of them liked the idea of enlarging their support network. Talking to the mothers again reinforced our assumption that being a part of a service would make mothers feel entitled to ask favors from other mothers. Moreover, since mothers can empathize with one another, they might feel more comfortable asking favors from one other, in the context provided by the service.


The path we took after our first sketches was a rapid iteration of inquiry, design, prototyping and testing. We used tools such as:

• Sketches
• Wireframes
• User pathways
• Scenarios

After a tortuous process, we figured out different aspects of the system. At all times, we would go back to our mothers to reinforce our design assumption

How our idea grew:

• We made the system more active, removed the burden from the user
• We tailored the system to fit the user's needs (preferences )
• We defined standard favors and incorporating the ability to make new ones
• We introduced dynamic content changes depending on the current situation + a smart system: uses data to make suggestions


We made paper cutouts and we took them back to our interviewees. We asked them to read them in sequence and role play.

We found:

• We should customize as much as possible through preferences so that the user controls the experience
• Alerts work as long as they can be turned off
• People have different communication styles – incorporate chat, sms and call options
• We should look at personalizing communication from within favor link – icons and ringtones
• User testing helped us refine the language and the navigation flow and it also showed us that relying on user input was too ambitious