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Delfee: An aggregator of the best youth employment support initiatives.

Much like the great thinkers and leaders of old visited Delphi to discover the right path from the Oracle, Delfee is a website that allows our future great thinkers and leaders find the right path to safe and fulfilling employment. The research phase of this challenge yielded so many great examples of existing youth employment support initiatives, which begged the question, why reinvent the wheel? How might we create an aggregator website, which also helps young people, and other interested parties, to understand their inner strengths and areas of improvement whilst also informing users of employment support opportunities - right on their door step. Could the platform be used to generate funding for important face-to-face support?

Photo of Daniel Kolodziej
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There are so many amazing social enterprises to help young people all over the world find support in gaining employement. The question is, what is available and relevant to the young person in question.
Much like the popularity of Buzzfeed quizzes, how might we present employment support for young people so that they can better understand their strengths and areas of improvement in order to provide them with an opportunity to be who they want to be?

Using psychology and data science, much like Visual DNA , is it possible to create a fun, engaging and ultimately helpful tool for young people and intrested parties to find the right support, for the right person, in the right area - framed in a way that resonates with the target audience.

Much like successful agrregator websites such as Techmeme or Reddit is it possible to channel the very best employment support for young people, onto a carefully curated 'One Stop Shop' website?

Progress update #1: 22/8/2014
Users and empathy mapping
We’ve completed empathy mapping for our key target users, as suggested by the challenge brief.
We focused on the following groups:
Educated & unemployed
Uneducated & unemployed
Employed, but in informal or vulnerable (unsafe) employment
Parents of the above 

The empathy mapping has helped us streamline our thinking behind what the needs and experiences of each of these groups will be and therefore how best to prototype Delfee to meet their needs. Thanks to Jordan for her input on this task! :-)
Thanks to Ryan Porter who is kindly partaking in a Skype call with me next week so that we can learn more about his invaluable experience in developing the awesome, Raise your flag.  
Thanks to Simon Blampied who suggested including parents in the user persona groups above.
OpenIDEO team member, Luisa Covaria, gave some great feedback and tips about prototyping Delfee, which has been carefully considered as we move towards our first lo-fidelity prototype. Thanks again!
Shane Zhao highlighted the Tyba personalized recruitment process which allows employers to showcase their office culture in order to attract applicants that are natural fits, whilst suggesting the inclusion of a method for employers to engage with potential young employees through the Delfee platform.

This is something I'll personally look into by approaching London-based organisations to gauge their interest once the initial prototype is ready. If anyone else can reach out to any suitable organisations, wherever they are, please feel free to get in touch! :-)
Shane’s also suggested some great resources for the prototype and feedback phase. 
Liz Duffy highlighted a great resource in terms of helping to shape the quiz, from an online Gallup test and corresponding book which aims to help users identify their top 5 strengths. I particularly liked that the archetypes suggested by the book and quiz are all positive and aimed at helping users maximise their talents. 
Geordie McClelland is contributing to the development of the quiz and particularly focusing on how to target help to disconnected young people and ensure that we’re able to offer a range of support and help for all types of people and careers. We have already learned so much through his experience with his remarkable resource for US veterans, The Things Biz. He’s also found that eHarmony (the dating site) is launching an employment matching site next year that purports to match candidates by culture and skills through questionnaires and quizzes. 

The incredibly talented Leigh Cullen and Jordan Dobin will also be helping to develop the quiz including the question flow (user experience) and the visual UI associated with that UX (along with persona illustrations).  Jordon will also be looking at ways to address the cultural stigma of some forms of employment support and career development pathways too.
Awesome!! Thanks again you to everyone that has enabled us to get this far!

NEXT STEPS: I am thinking that now that we have the empathy map completed, we could maybe look to have a vote on the empathy map content, via www., so as to gauage what we think would be the best user persona group upon to focus on, when we design and test our first prototype? Currently I am thinking that we need to consider the following factors,

1.) Should we focus on the quiz element of Delfee that is generally focussed on young people? The design of the potential partner platform integration could be a fairly standard process and design pattern, which I will be asking Ryan from Raise Your Flag about on our Skype next week too. The quiz could be the most valuable part of intelletcual property of the Delfee platform, which feeds into the business model prototype also. What does the Delfee team and OpenIDEO community think? Any feedback and insight into where we should focus our efforts would be most welcome! :-)

2.) Access to a suitable test group, in my case London. If anyone else would like to do some testing in the area that they live, that would be ace! Just give me a holla and I can invite you to our online empathy map! Being able to test the prototype may have a profound impact on how the prototype is actually designed and created?

3.) What needs of the user personas can be generally addressed by a lo-fidelity prototype, in order to glean the best and most amount of valuable feedback?

Progress update #2: 26/8/2014


So, we are just about to begin assessing the empathy map in order to help us focus on a group of users, from which we can create a prototype to test. It would be awesome if team members or any other OpenIDEO community members could get involved and vote on which user persona should be our area of focus - do let me know if you would be able and I can invite you to our account at

Also, Leigh Cullen, has created a brilliant mood board that will no doubt inspire further thinking about how the Delfee brand can be developed in such a way that it lends itself well to have an app icon, say for iPhone.

I am sure that this will also help Jordan design some persona archetypes much like the ones that I borrowed for our initial Delfee prototype. 

I am going to add Leigh's wonderful moodboard to the download area, so do feel free to check it out and provide feedback! 

Thanks everyone!

Progress update #3: 29/8/2014

With a current lack of actual prospective users, it seemed to make sense to get team members to put their empathetic shoes on and have a go at walking a mile in the mind of the initially identified user groups, which were:
Educated & unemployed 
Uneducated & unemployed 
Employed, but in informal or vulnerable (unsafe) employment 
Parents of the above  
Given the current lack of actual prospective users from which to focus upon and gain feedback; it seemed to make sense to try and highlight any areas of commonality. The commonalities across the user persona groups may help to provide some broad headings and themes from which the creation of a prototype could be started, hence saving precious time until a suitable user test group can be engaged with.
The empathy map will be further analysed by myself, and any willing and able members of the Delfee team or OpenIDEO community. This can be done via a voting function on, which should hopefully help to draw out the key, recurring themes. Everyone on the Delfee team and wider OpenIDEO community is more than welcome to join in the fun! I have actually begun the process and have drawn out some broad, recurring themes from the many post-it notes on the empathy maps. I have then began to add open, who, what, where types of questions in order to encourage information rich answers from our initial user test group.
The rough document image can be downloaded from the usual download area on the Delfee concept page. It would be ace to get some feedback on this latest activity. This should also help to provide a basic framework from which some research questions can be drawn up.
Thankfully, the Delfee team and OpenIDEO community will have a new member, Andy Hamflett. Andy has offered to help out with the youth outreach and research requirements of the concept. Andy is the former CEO of Youth Parliament and is very active and well respected in the youth, charity and digital sectors. He undoubtedly will also be able to provide invaluable insight into many other facets of the Delfee concept. Welcome, Andy!
Once we have had some level of agreement and insight from young people, via testing of the drawn out themes from the empathy mapping exercise, we will look to embed the learning’s into the platform prototype. This will also help to inform what the basic step-by-step user journey will look like.
Next steps:
  • Gain more feedback around key themes on the empathy map, by voting or gleaning feedback on what has been currently suggested.
  • Test key themes and hypotheses with an accessible group of young people.
  • Create some lo-fidelity prototypes of how the user journey could look and test with young people- refine assumptions and hypotheses.
  • Test the reiterated platform prototype and initial business model canvas with suitable youth employment organisations. 
It also seems to be a sensible idea to have an overarching framework for user testing and prototype creation, which encompasses 3 main factors,
  1. Desirability – do young people/ support organisations want this?
  2. Viability – Should we do this?
  3. Feasibility – Can we do this? 

I found a wonderful Venn diagram (Gotta love a good Venn), which shows how the 3 above factors intersect in order to create valuable design opportunity.
Current Challenges:
  • Engaging with suitable prospective users- it may be a good idea to conduct the user interviews and prototype in one go, via a workshop. 
  • Creating a prototype, which prospective partner platforms will take seriously. 
  • Consideration of a suitable blend of offline and online marketing strategy in order to create awareness of the platform and maximise user acquisition and social impact. What will the anticipated CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) be? 
  • How will the platform be made financially sustainable? 
  • Time constraints both within the challenge time scale, and available time contributions from the Delfee team and OpenIDEO community. 

Progress update #4: 16/9/2014

I have recently tested a low-fidelty prototype of the Delfee concept with some inspiring pupils from Wick High School in Scotland. I have uploaded a PDF of the lo-fi prototype, as well as a PDF document that outlines the research and its invaluable outcomes. Thanks to everyone for the help to make this happen!

Research participants: 14 x 17-18yr old young men who are studying video game design.
Location: Wick High School, Scotland. The research was conducted over Skype, via the screen share function.
Duration: 25 mins
I outlined the basic Delfee concept and then took the young people through each of the screens shots in the lo-fi prototype, trying to avoid any leading, assumptive preconceptions about the content, style or functionality. This was done in order to attempt to create a comfortable, open situation where the young people felt able to comment freely.
Delfee concept outline:
Delfee is an online aggregator of the best employment support initiatives from around the world. It allows users to take part in a simple and fun quiz that helps to explore behavioural traits, personal professional preferences, soft/hard skills assessment and current circumstances with a view to suggesting the best type of employment support – right on your door step. The employment support initiatives could take the form of MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses) Apprenticeships, career specific support groups and actual employment opportunities.
I was able to gain the following feedback,
Who would use this service?
Young people in school, university students, school leavers.
What services exist already?
My Word Of Work
Would you use it?  Emphatic yes!
Why?  “It would really help me if I was undecided in what I wanted to do as a career. I really liked how it not only gave you career choices but also linked you up with potential employers in your area.”
What did you like about it?
I liked the map of employment opportunities
Very clean & modern design
Not over-complicated.
Really liked the slider to answer the questions.
Any other comments
Does it show you the qualifications required for any opportunities it suggests?
Does it show college courses as well as job opportunities?
Is the FB link a requirement? I don’t like linking apps to my FB
Can you still unlock more quizzes without social media integration?
Prototype refinements and assumptions to test:
Social media integration is not a prerequisite for doing the quiz.
Qualifications required for any job opportunity are listed. 

College/University courses to be listed as well as MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses) Apprenticeships, career specific support groups and actual employment opportunities. 

Prototype components: I borrowed screen shots of the questions and archetype imagery. I used the wonderful UI design and layout from the job profile page on Ryan’s awesome digital platform. I used Apple Keynote and some Keynotopia web browser templates to create the lo-fi prototype. I borrowed the geographical location images from Catch 22. 

Progress update #5: 18/9/2014

Research participants: 18 x 17-18yr old young men and 1 young woman, who are studying BTEC IT at Ealing and West London College
Location: Ealing and West London College
Duration: 50 mins
I outlined the basic Delfee concept and then took the young people through each of the screens shots in the lo-fi prototype, trying to avoid any leading, assumptive preconceptions about the content, style or functionality. This was done in order to attempt to create a comfortable, open situation where the young people felt able to comment freely.
Things they liked
“It helps, if you are not sure what you want to do”
“Nice and simple design”
“The career path is good, you know what you are aiming for”
“I really like the sliders”
Suggestions & Questions
“It would be cool to compare yourself to other users and friends”
“suggest activities for improving skills”
“Could it be in different languages?”
“I would like to share my results with friends over social media”
“Ideally, the quiz would be 2-5 mins long”
“It could be like brain trainer for job skills”
“Regular updates would be good, keep it fresh”
“I would like to know what famous person I am like and what famous
person I am not like”
“I don't like Facebook, Google Login is better”
“People hate quizzes that don't show you how long it is”
“It might be nice to have multiple choice questions too, so that it makes it more varied”
“I would like to save my progress, then come back to it”
“Its wrong to always expect young people to know what they want to do”
“It would be good if you could skip questions if you don't understand them”
“Will it show what qualifications are required for a job?”
“After your GCSE’s, lots of people don't know what they want to do”
  • 14 of the 19 participants felt like that after GCSE’s was too soon to know what profession they want to pursue.
  • 70% of participants wouldn't use Facebook login, they felt it was too much data to collect. They don't seem to use, or like it. Not cool enough anymore.
  • 100% of participants said they would use Delfee.

What are the next steps for implementing this idea?

1.) Test the Lo-fidelity quiz prototype with London based young people in order to gain feedback based around its functionality and content, refine it insitu. Dates: 11/9/2014 - 18/9/2014 2.) Create, test and refine a lo-fidelity version of the partner platform area of the Delfee platform in order to gain feedback from prospective partners that have suitable youth unemployment support initiatives, who are also based in the London area. Partners identified - IVO ( and Catch 22 ( Dates:1/9/2014-24/9/2014 3.) Create a hi-fidelity prototype of quiz and partner platform area and test with both young people and potential partner initiatives: 24/9/2014-01/10/2014 4.) Refine and retest hi-fidelity prototype of quiz and partner platform. 01/10/2014- 8/10/2014 5.) Began talking and demonstrating hi-fidelity prototype and business plan to funders, such as Nominet, UnLtd, Awesome Foundation 01/10/2014- 28/11/2014 6.) Create lo-fidelity prototype of young persons Delfee profile page and test with young people, refine insitu: 01/10/2014-8/10/2014 8.) Create hi-fidelity prototype of young persons profile page and test 08/10/2014-15/10/2014 9.) Funding secured Q1 Jan 2015 10.) Q1 2015 Agile development in conjunction with young people and behavioural psychologists. TIMELINE WOULD BE REDUCED IF WORKING FULL TIME ON THE PROJECT.

Briefly describe a user scenario which illustrates the specific need that your idea is trying to solve.

A young person, 18yrs old marketing classification E "Those at lowest level of subsistence casual or lowest grade workers", is unsure as to what they should do to improve their employability skills, or indeed what they can do to improve their their current set of circumstances, traits/behaviours. They see a Facebook advert or Buzzfeed link to the Delfee quiz, where they can discover what they could possibly do and who can help them in their local geographical area.

Complete a User Experience Map. This will help you visualize how a potential end user will interact with your idea. Once you have completed it, upload it using the Upload File button at the end of this form. PDF files preferred.

  • Completed

Who does this idea benefit, who are the main players and what's in it for them?

This idea aims to benefit young people all over the world who are experiencing one of the many facets of unemployment, 1.) Educated – despite being educated, these individuals may need additional experience and/or training in order to successfully gain employment. The Delfee ‘quiz’ would aim to glean the aspirations of young people, what their current circumstances are and then suggest suitable further training or opportunities for development. This could occur by the fun, psychometric quiz, which aims to inform website users of the various options of youth employment support initiatives that are relevant to their wants, needs and personal traits - within a relevant geographical area. 2.) Uneducated – some young people simply do not have access to resources that would allow them to enjoy a level of education that suits their circumstances and aspirations. MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses) could provide young people with an opportunity to gain insight and education. I have recently come across an aggregator for MOOC’s ( which could be added to the Delfee platform by the platform curators (Vanguardians) 3.) Unsafe or vulnerable workers – Using the Delfee platform could highlight pathways to relevant job websites or local employment support initiatives that would inform workers of the options that could lead to a safer employment situation. The local Vanguradian could also be made aware of individuals that are currently in unsafe job roles. Aside from young people (Users) the Delfee platform would need to be populated with the various youth employment support initiatives that exist across the world. I.E Freeformers, Catch 22, BUILD etc. Currently I see volunteers across the world acting as curators of the platform, where they use their local knowledge of the youth sector to place online links to the aforementioned support initiatives. The actual ‘partners’ such as Freeformers, would benefit from higher levels of youth/organisational engagement down to the brand visibility of the Clinton Initiative and the OpenIDEO platform. It could potentially provide a cost saving on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and other digital marketing activities. Local economies would also benefit due to young people working towards a contribution to taxation systems, rather than earning money via informal, ‘cash in hand’ jobs.

How is your idea specifically increasing access to employment opportunities and pathways for young people?

The idea increases access to employment pathways by being making the huge amount of existing youth employment support initiatives and pathways accessible from anywhere in the world, at any given time. Delfee could aggregate the opportunities so that young people do not completely need to always consider, or be aware of their various options. Only one website would need to be marketed and used as a search engine of sorts, allowing the marketing message and activity to be more tightly focussed, with the view that Delfee becomes the ‘One Stop Shop’ for employment support opportunities. The platform could also potentially act as a revenue generation platform that could aim to fund important face-to-face outreach activity to young people who do not have easy access to the Internet. Young people and relevant organisations could also be made aware of inherent skills or knowledge that could provide value and build confidence for young people.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I plan to create an interactive PDF document of the curated Delfee platform, by using Apple Keynote, as well as creating a lightweight version of the psychology based quiz using survey monkey. I am currently reaching out to London based youth organisations to test my assumptions and hypothesis using said prototypes, as well as demonstrating the platform prototypes to London based organisations such as Freeformers. This will allow me in to gauge if the concept would provide any tangible value. The prototype engagement would also allow me to understand if youth support organisations would be willing or able to partake in any of the suggested monetisation techniques on the business model prototype canvas.

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to receive from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

Ideally, the OpenIDEO platform members could provide input and guidance in the following areas, 1.) Design • Graphic • UI/UX (User interface, User Experience) 2.) Child psychologists, for the Delfee job quiz 3.) Data scientists, for the Delfee job quiz 4.) Youth sector/volunteering expertise 5.) Linguists, for website localisation considerations 6.) Business professionals, who could input on the business model prototype 7.) Digital Marketers – is the platform currently framed in such a way that would ensure high levels of use and engagement? 8.) Legal professionals, are there any areas of risk due to the handling of young peoples personal data. Also input on data sharing and usage policies. I.E website terms and conditions, and privacy policy. 9.) SEN (Special Educational needs) advice as some users may have specific learning or safeguarding requirements.

The idea emerged from:

  • An individual

How do you envision your idea being implemented?

  • Keen to prototype it, find partners and pursue implementation
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Attachments (10)


Completed Empathy Map


Delfee brand mood board by Leigh Cullen.

Key themes and questions.png

Key themes and issues drawn out from the Empathy map.

First page.jpeg

1st page of the experience map

Step 1 & 2.jpeg

1.) Discovery (Attract) of Delfee 2.) Hitting the Delfee landing page

Step 3 & 4.jpeg

3.) Johnny does the Delfee quiz (Retain) 4.)Sharing the Delfee quiz (Convert)

Step 5 & 6.jpeg

5.) Johnny can also do.. 6.) Build a support network


Join the conversation:

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Daniel. Great project! I really like the approach you are taking - helping youth find things out about themselves and then using those insights to assist them as they search for employment. This knowledge will benefit youth in the long term as well. It will be interesting to see how Delfee develops.
Great to review the prototype you posted. I see that there was one youth that asked about the app being linked to facebook. Did he explain what his reservations are? Were there other concerns regarding Delfee and access to youth's social media?
Excited to see more prototyping! Good luck building Delfee!

Photo of Daniel Kolodziej

Hey, Bettina

Thanks for your kind words! I appreciate you checking out what we have been up to!

Alas, I was unable to get anything specific about the rationale about disliking Facebook login. However, I delved into the Facebook issue a little more in yesterdays prototype testing session. I have just uploaded a brief summary of what was talked about, here is an excerpt

"70% of participants wouldn't use Facebook login, they felt it was too much data to collect. They don't seem to use, or like it. Not cool enough anymore."

It would be ace to hear your thoughts on the latest feedback.



Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Awesome feedback! Just a quick note and I will post another one tonight. The feedback you received appears to be spontaneous and honest which is great. I wonder if several of the responses might multiple in number if you prototyped with a few hundred youth. The list you have might have a few key items that could really refine and add to your proposal.

Note on the layout of your description -
It is not easy to spot where the updates are.
Can you make the print "bold" and perhaps make it larger - the type that reads Progress Update # 5...? There is a function to make print larger on the right side of the tool bar. This way folk scan your idea they can find these prototypes easily and participate with feedback.

Facebook - What do they mean by it is too much data to collect? Is this referring to a problem with logging in? Or is this referring to the concept of Delfee collecting their data from Facebook?Is it an issue with an app tapping into their Facebook in some way and retrieving their personal info from it?

You are getting great feedback. It is fun, correct?

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