lim jia sheng,

.Minor Project

task[1]: Proposal


  • Formulate idea
  • Perform contextual research
  • Perform persona research
  • Formulate problem statement
  • Determine art & functional direction
  • Create proposal deck


Contextual research

After the typical grouping, tracking, setting up, we immediately jumped into contextual research — fancy buzzword for spying on our theoretical competitors in the space. Initially, we only had Gogokids to work off of, as suggested by Mr. Damien — our """investor"""-ish — himself. Downloading & peeking around, it seemed to be exactly like what we imagined we'd be doing according to his prompt. Chugging along then, we took notes, & discussed a little with our business school collaborators about it. Parallel to all this, we also found a few similar-ish competitors in the, quickly evidently vacant, space, & did similar research on them.

🎈 Idea Tracker
After the discussion, our idea was between either, doing exactly what Gogokids was doing but better & with curation, or taking charge of the supply line & accept event hosts as ODM/OEMs onto our platform, & having them be sorta like """ghost-kitchens""", executing our curriculum/planning, under our brand.

Persona research


With initial findings & notes done, we then moved on to finding who was using the above-said competitors. After a little bouncing back & forth, our most effective avenue was through reverse searching. We'd explore people interacting with & rating our identified competitors & perform a traceback on their online presence & activity. Creepy & a little stalker-ish? Yes. Effective? Ehh, enough. Through this then, we'd collect a significant base to proceed for confirmation.

Figure 1.1.1, Initial demographic data, scraped from online presences, with identifiable information redacted, 16/9/2022

Amongst them, we found that our largest demographic was, unsurprisingly, parents. However, we also found many of them to be either teachers, or even individuals attending such events themselves as teens/tweens.



To confirm that our target demographic was who we thought they were, as well as the attributes we thought they contained, we performed a survey to really hone in on it. This survey would attempt to encapsulate every subgroup identified in the initial research — parents, teachers, & individuals. Thus, the survey would be branching, where a respondent would pick from an enumeration of choices, & the questionnaire would respond responsively.

On a side note, the process of creating the survey was quite an elaborate effort for me. Using my usual philosophy of being as terse as possible whilst capturing as many assumable points of datum, generated a few more bizarre questions, that I can explain (I swear).

  • Teacher branch
    • "5. Do you enjoy games in your free time?"
      • Infers the types of possible activities they might plan
      • Infers the relatability of them to their students
  • Individual branch
    • "3. Would you describe yourself as someone who has many hobbies?"
      • Infers the want for adventure & possible scope for variety of activities

It was also decided early on that we would need the survey to be multilingual, as the data from the initial research showed us that many people used Mandarin in their correspondence & presence online. Thus, with the questions done & the translations dusted, we started blasting it out.

Figure 1.1.2, Snapshot of the English & Chinese variants of the questionnaires, answer if you'd like to peek around, 19/9/2022

However, like many operations like this, we realised we needed some form of analytics to track which group member had received who. This would thus cause the inception of perhaps the weirdest question of all, the last one, which has no question body, just a description which reads "Referrer (Leave unchanged!)". Below it would then be a list of initials of our group members. We would then take advantage of the pre-filling function of Google Forms, & have a link for each groupmate pre-filled, to be sent to whoever & wherever we desired. The responses would then have an answer column, objectively noting down the owning person. Pretty genius if you'd ask me (::

🎈 Idea Tracker
Uh oh, someone (Mr. Damien) threw a wrench (loose particle) into the gears of our operation (a fusion reactor). Our vision of a platform connecting parents to hosts (P2H) was against his vision of a platform connecting parents to parents (P2P). He envisioned an idea emulating the likeness of Facebook & Telegram groups with added flairs of Gogokids & marketplaces, rather than something the other way round. This means we'd have to pivot, hard.


This would be the first task we'd execute following the updated vision. The interview would pin down solely homeschooling parents, as they were the group identified to need this sort of digital facility the most. Through both some of our internal connections, & some external help from Mr. Damien, we gathered 4 interviewees & tonnes of new information.


Problem statement

Yeah I wasn't there when my groupmates discussed with Mr. Mike to form such a statement, but they came up with one & it would seem to stand the test of time, even through the stormy roads & rocky seas to come.

Art direction

"Whoooshhhh, Bulubulubulubulu" — The Pacific Expressway & New Klang Valley Ocean

The art direction was a, let's say """fluid""", process. The 3 people from our group specialising in graphic design were tasked with it, going off of the points we'd have to hit, provided by Mr. Mike. The first revision of the slides produced by them contained quite a lot of, questionable, decisions, & I ended up providing plenty of feedback about possible points of contention, improvements, & gaps (including missing work). However, perhaps I wasn't clear enough with them, & that deck was never updated with the content required. Eventually, as time slowly caught up with us for the proposal, I simply found a template from Slidesgo that sorta went in line with what we'd wanted to do, & committed the suggestions myself into the branding section. For whatever was left & not done/available, it was between either me or Ellis to come up on the spot, including things like the logo.

Functional direction

Here Ellis & I discussed the main flow of actually reserving an event, including cancellations, notifications, & a little bit on posting an event. The scope was to these specific points as they were the touch points determined to be the most common as a user & most crucial to us as the platform.


Figure 1.2.1, Playplan draft proposal, 20/10/2022

Figure 1.2.2, Miro board with additional miscellaneous progression notes, n.d


ℹ️ Note
This is a mirror from our internal project document.


This first week was pretty interesting, as all students in the class were thrown a, very significant (I might add), choice right out of the gate — picking which topic we’d be working on for the rest of the semester. This I imagine was to provide a sense of democracy & ownership to each student, but I also imagine that we could’ve spent a day, or two, even a week or something, learning the ropes about the whole module itself. Nevertheless, after picking a topic basically arbitrarily, the group forming process for me went just as well as it could’ve, which was pleasant. Given the first task, under our now new, chosen task umbrella, all of us chipped away at the ice just while we discussed our next actions. We came to a conclusion to look out externally, based on what we would do if we were the, still fuzzy, target audience, & maybe research more about this “Gogokids” thing shown by Mr. Mike.


Ah yes, more competitor research, now onto who actually uses our competitors. Whilst I’ve completed my fair share of competitor research over my years, this “persona research” thing I’ve never done or thought to do. From now on though, I probably will, since the information it provides becomes invaluable down the line to align any user-facing project in the mid to long term. Actually doing it here however, was a big pain, due to the tedious nature of skimming through profiles & pages, then extracting information. In the future, given enough time & need, automation through web-scraping would probably be much better at this job, at least definitely quantitatively, than us, mere flesh structures.


The dreaded survey part of the project. I, perhaps out of subconscious self-preservation, only vaguely remember it from the first brief. I know deep down that it’s important to validate & verify our previous research, especially things deeper that can’t be done through scraping, so we can know truly what to cater for & all. However I still do despise this very helpful, very needed, very annoying process. Creating the survey itself wasn’t too bad of a time, even teaching me about “branching” surveys, where surveys through Google Forms could be responsive to a respondents personality or answers, & decide the next steps for them. After the survey was all blasted out, the analysed data truly gave some perplexing answers, that without a reasonable sample size, would be points out of reach for us.


uʍop-ǝpᴉsdn plɹoʍ ɹno pǝddᴉlɟ uǝᴉɯɐᗡ ˙ɹW 'oS Our idea was deemed to be misaligned with his vision, & thus we needed to basically go from scratch. Fortunately, we managed to keep most of everything we’d done, but additively perform tasks that would push us back, with only mild whiplash. This meant immediately following up with interviews. This meant we could get more insightful insights, with personas that would be closer to the original parent-to-parent vision of our platform. With our own connections & Mr. Damien’s help, we managed to set up enough interviews to provide us with a plethora of otherwise unattainable information. Who knew actually talking to who you’re making things for would be so useful?


As our project continues, this week was basically met with the fact of “we’re not pivoting hard enough”. Okay, if injury is what we’re looking for, whiplash, concussions, & brain damage, here we come! Now, truly committed to the idea from Mr. Damien, alongside the interviews with, above-average sentiment about the new idea, we dug into all the suggestions he gave & continued our research work. This included a whole new set of personas, which only consisted of homeschooling parents, deriving from the personalities found in the interviews. In hindsight, being able to focus on a single type, but different variants, of a group enabled us to really snipe down features & restrict the scope to be relatively attainable in one phase, compared to if we were to accommodate other demographics, such as teachers & individuals.


Our preliminary research phase seems to be coming to an end, which is a cause for celebration; huzzah! Now we’d start on our proposal, which would compile everything we’ve done so far, into a consumable bit of graphic. Proposal, pitch decks, summary slides, yada yada, they’re all difficult. I’ve done enough of them in my lifetime to know I’m not the best at consolidating information in that format, but I think this time, laying everything out on the table on the Miro, did help quite a bit, as I’d know what I had to work with from a birds eye view.


Ack, our business collaborators are out of synch. We pinged them about the changes suggested by Mr. Damien & Mr. Mike, which they responded with affirmation & that they would propagate them accordingly. We could’ve probably been a little more proactive in this regard, but we were very much swamped, especially so with the speed things were moving & breaking on our side of the project. Much changes were needed to be made to the proposal, & as well as additions to our graphic designs. Whilst I worked on the survey & interview refactor, I entrusted our brand visuals & elements to the graphic design specialising, folks. In hindsight, I probably should’ve paid more attention & care to the graphics produced, but between being torn between other modules & this one, I think I really do need a more efficient & conservative (for energy & time) way of management. I also made a few, seemingly cursed, Venn diagrams for the gaps section of our proposal, which might’ve been able to show its data clearer if done as a matrix diagram. However, given the space constraints, I think it’s still an acceptable choice, especially since we’re speaking alongside it.