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Usinisunde Nichapie

Field Work/Human-Centered Design/Education



HMW. . . (how might we) improve adolescents' access to sexual reproductive information and services.


Partnered with the Nairobi Design Institute, and worked with a team of international engineers and designers, through ideation, concept, design development, and final design assets. Designed a service to increase access and engagement with reproductive health services for young adults.


This is a collaborative project with Hugo Richards, Khulood Alawadi, Wei Haw Huang, James Maina and Jerry Santo done in Nairobi Kenya. 


Design Researcher

  • Interviewed young adults and practitioners about reproductive health, and utilised insight to steer design direction

  • Hosted co-creator workshops to involve the community in design evolutions

  • Created a suite of user research tools that improved insight capture




Intro: Usinisunde Nichapie

Intro: Usinisunde Nichapie

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Usinisunde Nichapie, is swahili for "Don't hide from me, tell me." It seeks to increase and encourage access to existing reproductive health services. We utilized human centred design techniques, such as fieldwork interviews, ecosystem maps, user journeys, and our own bespoke tools. We interviewed health care professionals and young adults to identify the barriers and merits of existing services. We synthesized these experiments into quantitative and qualitative data to drive the projects forward. We co-wrote a romantic play and designed a workbook to create a relaxed environment for sparking candid discussions around sexuality and consequences. This process required agile research techniques with limited time to create a deliverable within 3 weeks


Design Brief


The Nairobi Design Institute worked for three weeks doing field research, arranging partnerships, scheduling interviews, and constructing a research plan. 

From their research, they kicked of our collaboration with a presentation on their research, and a research question. More than half (51%) of all new HIV infections in Kenya in 2015 occurred among adolescents and young people (aged 15-24 years). (1)


HMW. . . (how might we) improve adolescent's access to sexual reproductive information and services.



In 2015, 51% of all new HIV infections in Kenya occurred among adolescents and young people aged 15-24 years.  (2)


Teenage Pregnancy

According to the last Kenyan government health survey from 2014,18% of women aged between 15 and 19 were mothers or pregnant with their first child. Teenages are more likely to die from pregnancy related health complications than women in their 20’s, and are more likely to drop out of school. (2)


Low Use of Protection

There is a low usage of protection.

In 2014,  only  32% or urban women were using condoms regularly.  In rural settings, only 21% of young women used condoms




Our research began by speaking to clinicians, healthcare providers and adolescents to identify barriers preventing youth from accessing Sexual health facilities. ​The interviews were primarily conducted in English, with some Swahili. The interviews focused around Nairobits centres that served as young adult centres offering football fields and reproductive health clinics. 

Our research tools included:

  • constructing discussion guides for clinicians and young adults

  • eco-system maps

  • planned group and individual interviews

  • unplanned "guerrilla interviews" in markets

  • card sorting

  • co-creation workshops

  • user journeys

  • service journey

  • insight grouping 

  • Conducting Workshops: Writing and performing skits around sexual reproductive health.


We conducted "guerrilla," (unplanned) interviews at a local market frequented by local university students to get a broader understanding with a larger demographic of young adults. ​

  • We presented three sceneries for possible venues, as a aid to learn about preferences and difficulties around sexual health clinics. 

Field Test

We took copious notes during each interview, always interviewing with at least one person taking notes. This allowed us to pull out quotes, insights, identities, attitudes, beliefs, and new questions from each interview. We then grouped the key takeaways from each interview into   categories to identify themes. ​

Grouped Insights:

  • Identities 

  • Experiences from Services

  • Trust

  • Stigma

  • Delivery of Information

  • Motivations

Co Creation

We went to a high school in Kibera to run a workshops with young adults to  Write and perform skits around sexual reproductive health.

Workshop Structure:

  • Instructions about who we are

  • Warm up Game: we stood in a circle, and each person said one word to create a (funny) story.

  • We designed cards with quotes from our previous interviews, to serve as writing prompts. 

  • We prepared and performed a short example skit

  • They broke into pairs to write skits

  • A few groups performed their skit wonderful skits!

  • We wrapped up with a discussion