An examination of how avenues for young women to access and share information about reproductive health are designed.

Student Project: Technologies for Designing Change Course, MFA in Design for Social Innovation

Team: Laura Kadamus, Rhea Rakshit, Elizabeth Abernethy

Role: Design research, strategy

Year: March – April 2014


How can new ways to access complete information re-frame the way women make choices about reproductive health throughout their whole reproductive lives? As part of our course on Human Centered Design, we worked in groups exploring different topics areas around fertility and reproductive health.


Our starting point was a collective realization of how little we all actively learned about reproductive health. We suspected this reflected a larger trend in information gaps on this issue for women in their mid-twenties. Through interviews and surveys we confirmed our hunch that women in this age group don’t prioritize information about fertility, even though they plan to have children in just a few years. The data also reflected that their priorities shift within five years, while those of men the same age do not.


Using a mix of ethnographic and quantitative research methods, my team explored what current “family planning” narratives were missing for both liberal and conservative young women in their 20s and 30s.


We found there is a lack of any kind of intentionally designed experience that allows women, particularly between the ages 25 to 30, to privately access, share and compare information about fertility and reproductive health from trustworthy sources, quickly and easily. We proposed a solution in the form of a dashboard app for women to share and access information through their peers. Our research also informed the outputs of 2 other teams: team Roar! who designed a mobile library as a space for women to have better conversations about reproductive health; and team Tough Stuff who designed a fitness based campaign and toolkit to include men in the conversation.

For more information on the projects, visit the class website