DISCOVER – Understanding the problem

Because “mobility in rural America” is such a broad topic, I worked together my teammate Gloryah Allen exploring different dimensions of the problem.


Gloryah and I identified and framed three different core problems we were excited to solve. Eventually we moved forward with concept #2.


Concept 1: Civic Deserts

Problem: Millennials in rural areas are more likely to be in a “Civic Desert”, a place with few civic opportunities. As a result, it’s not surprising that millennials living in these civic deserts are not as engaged as those not in civic deserts and have fewer opinions about political issues.
What does “rural” mean for this topic? Communities with a population less than 50,000.
Primary Audience: Millennials living in these communities
Our Solution Must… motivate millennials living in rural America to actively engage in civic conversations and take advantage of political opportunities in their respective communities. Their newfound interest in politics will hopefully inspire other generations to get involved too.

Concept 2: Veteran Healthcare Access

Problem: Lack of reliable transportation combined with the closure of hospitals and practices has lead to decreased access to proper healthcare in rural communities across the nation.
What does “rural” mean for this topic? Various diverse communities
Primary Audience: Veterans
Our Solution Must… find a way for veterans to gain easier access to the VA Medical Center in their region. 25% of veterans live in rural areas, which makes it harder for them to access healthcare due to transportation limits, disability, age, etc.
Links: Health Disparities Affect Millions in Rural U.S. Communities, Strategies for Rural Patient Healthcare Access Challenges, Rural veterans face long paths to health care

Concept 3: The Digital Divide

Problem: People living in rural communities have higher rates of self employed businesses than their metropolitan counterparts, yet they do not have access to a high quality broadband network and existing improvements are out of reach financially and/or geographically.
What does “rural” mean for this topic?: (American Library Association: Source, pg. 1)

  • RURAL, FRINGE: Census-defined rural territory that is less than or equal to 5 miles from an urbanized area (a city or densely populated suburb), as well as rural territory that is less than or equal to 2.5 miles from an urban cluster (a town).

  • RURAL, DISTANT: Census-defined rural territory that is more than 5 miles but less than or equal to 25 miles from an urbanized area, as well as rural territory that is more than 2.5 miles but less than or equal to 10 miles from an urban cluster.

  • RURAL, REMOTE: Census-defined rural territory that is more than 25 miles from an urbanized area and is also more than 10 miles from an urban cluster.

Primary Audience: People in Rural Remote locations. They hold the majority for the least connectivity to a library branch.
Our Solution Must…

  1. Tech: Provide a more reliable way for people in rural america to access faster broadband and internet

  2. People: Burgeoning rural entrepreneurs + rural dwellers

  3. Place: Bring value to a secluded and remote area (defined above) within a library-oriented system
    Google Search: Most rural states


DEFINE – Identifying ways to increase rural access to healthcare

After deciding to address veteran access to healthcare, my team examined Walmart as a partnership opportunity, keeping the impending Humana merger in mind.


ARCHITECT – Creating a master veteran journey

Because we were dealing with the complex healthcare system and other numerous variables, I worked closely with Gloryah to create a map of our solution.


After interviewing several veterans, Gloryah and I created a patient persona as a reference.


DESIGN – Telling the story of our solution

Gloryah and I utilized Walmart’s brand style to show how the Walmart VRC works in a the simplest way possible: 9 animated illustrations.


Tools: Google Slides, Physical Prototyping, Sketch, Illustrator, Photoshop, Keynote