Design a solution that fits the needs of all or any of the swim lesson stakeholders (parent and caregiver, child, aquatic director, instructor)

Role: Service Designer
Project Type: Service Design
Team: Jason Lam, Erica Michie
Contribution: Interviews, observations, graphic design.
Deliverable: 26 page toolkit (indesign).


As part of the redesign for the national youth swim program, the Strategic Innovation department was looking for gaps in their programming. After extensive interviews and observations, we discovered an opportunity to improve water safety communication.  As a result, a water safety toolkit was designed to help parents with young children use experiential learning to understand safety principles.


Empathetic understanding

I started with conducting research with stakeholders and observing swim teachers at the YMCA. After talking with aquatic directors, swim teachers, and parents, I created a mind map to visualize their pain points.

Iterative design

Afterwards, I created a prototype toolkit to address their needs. In this phase, I conducted weekly feedback sessions with content experts and parents to ensure I was creating a useful product. I went through 8 iterations before I ended up with my final design – a 30 page card deck communicates the essential water safety guidelines.


learning lesson

defer to the experts

By the end of the project, I gained valuable experience on how to launch a product – Conceiving the initial idea, creating a project plan, conducting research, and designing the product. Throughout the project, I was lucky enough to work closely with my manager and learn how to collaborate with others. She often brought in subject matter experts, brainstorming partners, and other consultants to help move her project forward. While teamwork has always been a skill set I valued, I hadn’t considered that even senior designers need to bring in others to help. Understanding when another person can be helpful, and when they might slow down the process, is still an area that I struggle with and hope to get better.