Before determining the final product, I wanted to explore different elements of threats to the LGBTQ community and get an understanding of how knowledgeable users were on the issues that faced LGBTQ Americans. For these two prototypes, I focused on stereotypes and laws.
prototype 1: stereotypes
I created a list of words that could apply to any or all of the categories (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender). I asked users to place the words into the categories with which they associated the words. I also encouraged people to create their own words to put on the board in order to create a more personalized and diverse list of results.
prototype 2: laws
I provided each group with a blank map of the United States, and a list of federal laws that affect LGBTQ people. Groups of users labelled each state with as many laws as they could - indicating, through color, if the laws were permitted or banned. I wasn't looking for the correct answer – I was moreso interested in understanding the users' assumptions around laws in each state to help me frame the extent of my audience’s knowledge about federal LGBTQ-related laws.
User research + testing:
After gathering groundwork information from the prototypes, I spent many months working directly with the intended users of the game: high school students. Early on, I gathered feedback on the overall concept level scenarios from the students, who in turn wrote their own scenarios that ultimately directly impacted the final version of the game. Later, I play-tested a higher-fidelity prototype with students, testing out the flow of the game, particularly the "health meter." I also sat in, weekly, on a high school GSA, testing the game, as well as asking questions about their experience as LGBTQ students and allies.