Boys & Girls Club
UX Researcher & Designer
Boys & Girls Club
Project Brief
Define functional specifications for a Learning Management System and conduct an analysis of potential software solutions.
Boys & Girls Club has long provided a vast array of programming for Teens to acquire the knowledge and preparedness necessary for their futures beyond the Club. However, the majority of this curriculum is non-digital and paper-based creating a slew of issues for the four primary stakeholders: Teens, Parents, Club Staff, and Administrative Staff.

Key Issues:

Teens find it difficult to keep track of all their learning and development activities. 
Teens are unmotivated to complete tasks with a sense of urgency and excellence.
Teens also do not understand why tasks are relevant for their future. 
Parents lack visibility into the types of programming their children are participating in. 
Parents aren't aware of skillsets they can continue to help teach their kids at home. 
Club Staff are unable to track the completion of program tasks by student. 
Club and Administrative Staff were not able to compare and contrast the progress between students.
Administrative Staff are unable to assess the effectiveness of programming at a level through Club locations.

As an Interaction Designer, I sought to envision how Teens, Parents, and Staff could experience a centralized Learning Development Platform in a way that felt purposeful and intuitive, all while inspiring kids to learn and grow.
Intentionally facilitating several design thinking sessions tailored for both adults as well as children to solicit requirements for the platform. 
Crafting a solution that was unique enough for the needs of BGC, yet generic enough to avoid a completely custom solution.
• Lack of product definition and feature prioritization when setting initial project scope.
• Facilitating several design thinking sessions that needed to be uniquely crafted for a wide range of audiences (from 6th graders to Group Directors) in order to effectively solicit insights.
• Defining requirements for a platform that was conducive to the particular needs of BGC, yet generic enough to avoid the development of totally custom solution.
Organization Type
National Non-Profit Organization
Functional Specifications
Program Assessment & Gap Analysis
Software Analysis
Wireframes & Prototype
Boys & Girls Club
4 months
Atlanta, GA
A platform of this scale can prove to be difficult to scope, irrespective of the organization, Boys & Girls Club was no different. In order to aid in the product definition, I led stakeholders through a series of whiteboarding sessions where we jointly rapid prototyped preliminary screens that would inevitably serve as the foundation for the future learning system.

As an output from these sessions, stakeholders and I were able to solidify a new underlying purpose for the system:

To define a digital platform that sequentially tracks each teen progress through various programs/initiatives and ultimately connects teens with opportunities based on their achievements.

With this scope in mind, I conducted further research through a series of workshops and interviews.

Design Thinking Workshops
A human-centered approach to innovation, I executed several Design Thinking Workshops with the intention of drawing out the inner designer in each stakeholder. From sessions including the CEO at HQ to those engaging middle and high schoolers in the Clubs, I devised a series of experiential research workshops aimed at gaining deeper insight into the desires of end users. (See III)

Stakeholder Interviews

Boys & Girls Club is fortunate to have Admin and Club Staff members who have worked within the organization for 20+ years. They are keen on the pain points of the organization and had the deepest knowledge regarding the stakeholder groups the platform was meant to serve. Within these one-on-one interviews, I formulated open-ended yet directed questions to understand primary issues that could be solved for within the new platform. In addition, I engaged these stakeholders in regular review sessions to assist with the prioritization of features and prior to finalizing design decisions.
Maintaining a high engagement rate from Users stemming primarily from social media(Instagram, Pinterest) by optimizing the UX for quick and simple use on a mobile breakpoint.
Functional Specifications

Through collaboration with business stakeholders and prioritization from leadership, I delivered documentation of comprehensive functionality required to bring the Boys & Girls Club Learning Development Platform to life, inclusive of:
• 21 Key Epics
• 250+ User Stories 

Program Assessment & Gap Analysis

A thorough assessment of the current state of BGC programming led to the meticulous detailing of the skillsets taught in each program, as well as highlighting gaps and opportunities aimed at generating curriculum that is relevant for Gen-Z youth.

Software Analysis

Using the captured requirements as a guide, I assessed a wide variety of Learning Management Systems and proposed a series of solutions ranging from out-of-the box to full custom.
"As a kid, being able to help design technology for other kids is awesome. It's good to know that things that are really important to us could be included... or turned into a 'requirement'. I've never participated in something like this, but I'm excited to tell all my friends about the new app when it's all done. I'll tell them that I helped make that!"
UserExperience Design, Responsive Design, Iconography, Illustration, VisualCommunication, Google Analytics, Web Development, Moderated Usability Testing
Cuba,Peru, Thailand, Singapore, Bali, Costa Rica, India
To define a digital platform that sequentially tracks each teen progress through various programs/initiatives and ultimately connects teens with opportunities based on their achievements.
"I've never participated in something like this, but I'm excited to tell all my friends about the new app when it's all done. I'll tell them that I helped make that!"
-BGC Teen
"Our customers have a strong affinity for our brand and the creation of a brand book is the perfect gift or coffee table decoration that tells our story."
Shade Bakare
Hey, I'm Shade Bakare. An Atlanta-based Product Designer + digital nomad with a passion for curating relevant digital experiences at the intersection of simplicity and authenticity. I partner with my clients to draw the connections between who they are, why they are, and what they do to strategically position them to stand out in a sea of cookie-cutter digital experiences.
Is your name really pronounced "Shade"?
Nope. It's pronounced "shah-day". Exactly like the British-Pop singer Sade Adu. Haven't heard of her? Click here. Thank me later :)
Quick facts
1. I am a "full-stack" Product Designer with 5+ years of experience across Research, Interaction/Visual Design, and a sprinkle of FED.

2. I spent a little over 3 years as a Digital Product Designer and Strategist for the global consulting firm, Accenture Interactive, where I led efforts to transform and revitalize digital experiences for some of the world’s largest companies.

3. Traveling the world and experiencing new cultures is a huge passion of mine! I take great pride in my carefully manicured Instagram profile @fola.shade.

4. I think yoga, meditation, and all things mindfulness are the bomb. Digital Minimalism is the new wave I can't get enough of.

5. I'm the oldest of 3 and first-generation Nigerian-American. My parents are my inspiration and my siblings are the coolest kids around. #TheBakareBunch

Why I do this work
I believe that everyone has a story. A valid one. One that should be considered, valued, respected, and most importantly, designed for. With each individual comes a unique background that shapes perspective & fuels motivation. Therein lies an opportunity for designers.

Over the past three years while working at Accenture, I simultaneously built an ethos-driven digital studio where I execute Brand/Business Strategy and Product Design & Development for a wide array of clients in order to further define their missions and achieve their goals. 

This work means a lot to me. I get to be the bridge between an idea and a tangible product. The catalyst between a dream and a purpose driven life. I don't take this work lightly as it is my way of utilizing my professional talents to make an impact on my clients, and their ability to leave their marks on the world.
What I am curious about
I am most interested in developing solutions that democratize access to technology and address the inefficiencies that line the underbelly of societies in emerging markets. An enormous opportunity exists in utilizing inclusive design to develop new platforms that create culturally relevant technologies that both deliver impact and generate revenue. More specifically, I am eager to be a part of how newer innovations in AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Robotics can be leveraged to reach not only the saturated markets of the western world but the next billion users in developing countries around the globe.
My Four [Design] Agreements
1. Connect to the ethos. Find the ‘why’.
2. Never make assumptions.
3. It can always be better.
4. Design... Iterate. Iterate. Iterate.