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Shipshape educational Game

I am the project manager and lead designer for ShipShape, a Luminosity Lab project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). ShipShape is a mobile game designed to teach the fundamentals of Supply Chain Management to health care workers in developing countries. Its initial deployment will occur in Ghana. 

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What is supply chain management?

Supply chain management is the discipline of deciding how goods should flow through a system. In order to communicate the fundamentals of supply chain management, the team first had to learn these fundamentals ourselves. We worked with Dr. Thomas Kull, an ASU supply chain management professor at ASU.

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Research trip to ghana

In March 2019, we visited Kumasi and Accra to do research and form local relationships. We were hosted by KNUST, a technology university in Kumasi. We visited 5 different facilities in the public and private health care supply chain to learn about their operations. Dr. Adegoke Oke, another SCM professor and a Nigerian native, helped introduce us to the culture and even coached us on our haggling skills! 

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design process

Early in the project, we worked to translate Dr. Kull’s paper “tabletop” prototypes into app wireframes. We refined these wireframes based on user testing feedback and built out the content into more complicated and advanced level structures. The design process depended heavily on intra-team communication and the ability to rapidly iterate and compare design directions.

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interdisciplinary leadership

One of the biggest challenges of this project was supporting frequent communication between the various contributors. Because the lab’s employees are students whose schedules and other commitments vary widely, the team experienced high personnel turnover, especially on the development side. With the help of frequent retrospectives, we were able to gradually improve day-to-day practices like meeting frequency and file versioning, reducing friction over time.

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learning opportunities

This was my first real project leadership role within the lab, and I found it very rewarding. As time went on, I learned more and more from the project’s developers about how UX and UI design interact with programming and how best to involve development in the design process. I also faced and learned from stakeholder management challenges. I have grown as a communicator and as a person as a result of this role. 


next steps

In October 2019, the team will return to Ghana to do a beta test of the app. The biggest goal for this deadline is to include basic math concepts to increase the sophistication and usefulness of the information taught in the game. Our hope is to eventually expand beyond Ghana to the rest of Africa if our educational strategies are successful!

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