Extreme Users

The daily lives of caregivers is an obstacle in engaging in student learning.

Photo of Michael Schurr
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At a recent Teachers Guild event, I had the pleasure of meeting Kate. During our conversation, she showed me her work badge as an artifact to spark conversation about working parents and caregivers.  As we talked, I realized that most events we offer at my school for parents or caregivers are either in the evening or during the school day. Only offering events during these times posses an immediate barrier for some families. My key insight from Kate was that one of the biggest obstacles we face as educators is navigating the lives of parents and caregivers in order to get them in the doors or our schools.  But parents and caregivers lives are so more complex than their jobs.

This got me thinking, about extreme users.  Who are the voices that are not represented?  What about single parents? What about a parent who works a night shift? Two or Three jobs? Unemployed? Those with no access to transportation? Those who do not speak english as their primary language? Illiterate? Dyslexic? Foster home? Children at different schools?

My goal is to find an extreme user and conduct an empathy interview to gain deeper insights into some of the challenges we face in sharing student learning. 


[Optional] Synthesize a little! In one sentence, describe something you learned from your empathy exercises or analogous research.

As we design solutions, we need to make sure we are designing for all kinds of caregivers, not just the typical 9-5 working parents.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Clint Heitz

Michael - As the man who got me started, I'm hoping you'll please support Guideposts to Success on this round in the evaluation stage!

Photo of Ellen Deutscher

Michael, I love that you are digging deeper on this extreme user.  Did you find someone to interview yet?  Let me know, I have a few people in mind if you are looking for folks. Also thinking about parents where transportation to school is also a barrier.  

Photo of Michael Schurr

Ellen Deutscher yes please, I would love for you to connect me to someone.  I've had a hard time connecting with someone I would consider an extreme user.

Photo of Ryan Smith

See a great opportunity for using Hangouts and/or Skype for these connections. Allow teacher to flex their work day so they can jump on a video call during the evening.

Photo of Michael Schurr

hmmm, interesting. That could remove a lot of barriers.  What about families with limited access to tech or internet? 

Photo of Molly McMahon

Oh man... I can't wait for your extreme user interview. Definitely the right questions to be asking. I keep thinking, how might we meet parents where they are at - physically and emotionally? Good stuff Miguel.