Identifying the Problem


After learning more about the human-centered design process and reading the case study about IDEO’s Ghana Clean Team project, we set off to embark on our problem solving journey.

The Problem: The Bathrooms 

The Situation: Very Scary

The odor, the sinks, and the soap that runs dry…
Number 1s, 2s, and 3s in places they shouldn’t be…


Yikes Houston, we have a problem. Luckily, we are ready to get to the bottom of it to transform those stalls of horror so we can make the bathrooms great again.

Here’s all the issues we identified (shout-out to Kam for capturing these!)

Boys’ Bathroom:

  • Occasional incidents of poop on the ground
  • Paper towels on the ceiling & walls
  • Locks on doors don’t work
  • Broken faucets
  • Broken toilet seats/bases
  • Clogged toilets…that stay clogged
  • Writing on the walls
  • Stains on the floors (?)
  • Smell can be rancid
  • Soap and water all over the counters
  • Waste bins always full
  • Note: 3 very sweet, female janitors have to clean this poopy, soapy, paper-towel-on-the-ceiling mess

Girls’ Bathroom:

  • Overcrowded–need to wait in lines during passing periods
  • Girls trying to do their makeup in the mirrors and then there is no room!
  • Issues with feminine products in the waste bins that do not have lids
  • Open waste bins make it smell awful
  • Doors do not lock (students have walked in on students & teachers in stalls)
  • Many students try to avoid going to the bathroom during the school day
  • Drawing on the walls and sink
  • Need air fresheners
  • Issues with no soap

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