The Bridge project was a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded research collaboration between our research team at CU and the Denver Bridge Project. The project aimed to identify opportunities for using technology to improve health in multi-ethnic communities living in public housing neighborhoods in Denver. This multi-year project involved research from the formative and generative phase all the way through iterative design, development, and evaluation of Family Snack Buddy, a mobile application aimed at addressing some of the issues identified in our research.
Throughout the project, our research team, which included graduate and undergraduate researchers and a faculty adviser (Professor Katie Siek), used a user-centered design process and engaged participatory methods (e.g., prototyping with participants, design workshops). We also used a community-based participatory research approach where aspects of the study were co-developed with the Denver Bridge Project and with input from participants.
I entered this project during its second year and was involved in the analysis and reporting of the early generative studies, the design and conduct of the prototyping and design-oriented studies, and ultimately in the research design and conduct of an evaluative field-trial of the technology we designed through the project. Over the course of my 4 years involved with the project, I transitioned from a junior researcher role into a leadership role where I owned the project’s on-going design and implementation. I also had the opportunity to mentor a number of junior researchers during this project.