Shout Your Worth
Shout Your Worth is a game-like toolkit to help people communicate their value. It teaches the value statement format for talking about one's accomplishments, which is a proven technique taught in AAUW salary negotiation workshops.
Players craft value statements using Accomplishment, Skill, and Result cards, then share real-world experiences that illustrate those value statements.
Collaborative gameplay creates a supportive, encouraging environment for players to practice this self-advocacy skill.
A "Wicked Problem"
Our capstone class was encouraged to solve a wicked problem. We chose the gender wage gap, and found that it is mainly perpetuated at crossroads in a woman's career, like:
- First entering the workforce
- Negotiating a promotion
- Returning from a leave of absence after caring for children or family
We decided to focus our solution on the common thread of negotiation and self-advocacy.
We surveyed working professionals and fellow college students about their experiences with salary negotiation and the gender wage gap. Looking at the responses, the polarized attitude toward negotiation really stood out to us.
Those who didn't plan to negotiate said things like:
“I don’t feel like I’m qualified or confident enough.”
“…I feel like I won’t have any leverage to negotiate.”
While those who did were confident about doing so:
“I know my skills are valuable and it’s always worth asking... I don’t know why you wouldn’t negotiate.”
After researching existing solutions for teaching salary negotiation, we found a that most of them were too stuffy or business-oriented to address this confidence gap. We resolved to create a solution would meet women where they are and encourage them to practice negotiation skills in a low pressure environment — what better way to do that than a game?
Values-based Game Design
Our research inspired us to make a solution that would make people feel more confident about advocating for themselves, to help bridge the gap we saw in survey responses.
How can we create a chain reaction of education and empowerment by encouraging women to confidently discuss salary, negotiation and resources in a comfortable environment?
Following the principles of value-driven design we learned from Values at Play, we identified the key values and concepts we wanted our game to embody.
Iteration and Playtesting
We used paper prototypes to iterate quickly and get our ideas in front of players as soon as possible.
Each playtest provided feedback we used to revise the rules — from game mechanics to phrasing and format.
To appeal to our target audience of women at crossroads in their careers, we created a clean, friendly, celebratory, visual language that uses lovingly-crafted watercolor textures and patterns for a hand-crafted touch. Our team met bi-weekly to critique each others' work.
I helped design and build a marketing website to give Shout Your Worth an online presence.
Presenting at RISE
Our team had the chance to present Shout Your Worth at the RISE conference at Northeastern, which was a useful learning experience for how to pitch and present our project, and a great opportunity to showcase our work to a larger audience.