Skill Circle is a system of teachers and students within an independent living retirement community. The system incentivises the sharing of technology knowledge between peers.

Skill Circle was developed in partnership with fellow designer Horatio Han, and two members of a retirement community. 

Before starting our process, Horatio and I agreed upon a project brief:

We are interested in understanding how older adults share wisdom and experience with others to gain personal satisfaction and happiness. We are also interested in how digital technology can aid them in feeling like contributing members of a community

Entering the field with this in mind, we conducted a few empathy interviews with our two research participants and learned a lot about them as individuals. 

We noticed that one participant was very comfortable with digital technology, and the other had not yet adopted most new digital technology, but had a desire to feel more connected to her distant relatives. 

After mocking up our first set of Skill Circle booklets, Horatio and I brought them to our participants and asked our tech-savvy participant to walk her partner through the lesson. We watched as they talked to each other through turning on an iPad, opening an Internet browser, and opened an email account. We learned from this first test that the lessons needed to be broken into much smaller chunks.