Project Context
This project began as a proposal for a business model competition in 2018 and quickly became a passion project. My team started with a big problem, on average 22 military veterans per day take their own lives in the United States. 

Through our iterative process, we discovered that this issue was not for lack of resources available to this community, but rather an underutilization of available resources. 

Our design question became: "How can we help connect Military Veterans to the resources that are already available all around them?"
Process Overview
We followed an iterative, user-centric design process to determine how we might best serve our target users, the veteran community. Using our research as a guide, we developed several divergent potential solutions. We then presented our ideas to our users in a non-leading fashion and gathered feedback. After digesting the feedback and carefully considering all of our research we decided on a final concept. We then developed a high-fidelity prototype of the final concept to utilize for presentation and testing purposes.
Competitive Landscape
As we began to explore the landscape of the veteran services space we found that there is a wide array of services ranging across both the private and government sectors. We started by analyzing 4 different organizations (RallyPoint, Team RWB, Hire a Hero, and the VA) 

We learned that:
RallyPoint is a social media platform that caters specifically to the veteran community, It is laid out similarly to Linkedin and focuses mainly on professional networking but also has features for mentoring and social connection. 
Hire A Hero is a Job board website specifically for military veterans. It does not have social features.
Team RWB is a health and wellness-based community for veterans. They sponsor events and have chapters across the nation that meet periodically for events such as running or yoga. 
The VA is a government organization that offers a plethora of benefits and resources for military veterans, although many veterans find their services challenging to navigate. 
Customer Discovery
The interview Phase
We got out and got involved with the community to observe and establish relationships with members of our target demographic. 
We conducted 132 total interviews including 96 military veterans, 25 veteran services professionals, and 11 non-veteran supporters (family members).
What we discovered
Many veterans are resistant to seeking help for themselves, but will have their fellow veterans' backs unconditionally:
“Veterans understand each other. My husband will be there for his friends, to help them with any issues they have. They are used to having each other's backs.”

“It is easy to get stuck in your own head, there are plenty of valuable resources but so many guys don't even take the time to read about what is available to them.”

It is difficult for most veterans to condition themselves back into the civilian world:
“When people are in the military, it is a structured world, there is discipline and a feeling of safety. To survive there is a strict and resolute social hierarchy of command and many people who join love this.”

“Transition teams don't know how to relate well enough to those leaving the military, plus they spend 3 months conditioning us to join the military but then only a week teaching us how to survive back in the civilian world….think about that”

“Military helps you to get in, but doesn’t help you at all to get out.”
Concept Development 
We knew we wanted to build a product that would encourage interpersonal connection and connect veterans with their local support networks. Several ideas emerged in the early phases of ideation and product development.

The "Smart DogTag"
One notable Idea was an app-connected wearable device that would monitor stress signals and notify an assigned supporter if stress levels were peaking.

After prototyping this concept, we showed it to some of our potential users and while they thought it was a really cool idea, we discovered that veterans answered no overwhelmingly when asked if they would utilize such a device. 
The OpSiix App
we decided to ditch the wearable concept and focus on building a mobile platform that would 
Concept Refinement  
Concept Refinement Copy
Prototype copy
Brand Identity Design 
Brand identity Copy
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