Malin Hjärtström - Help Included
Malin Hjärtström - Help Included #1
Describe the idea:
With a fast-changing Swedish language and higher demands of using inclusive language, it is hard to keep up with the vocabulary. Help Included is an easy-to-use tool to make written communication more inclusive. Simply upload a text to the web page and it will mark potentially excluding words, while providing an explanation to why a certain word could be a better, more inclusive fit.
Who are you? Previous education/jobs/ experiences etc.
I grew up in an environment where language and its meaning has been of great importance since both my parents worked with the Swedish language; in teaching and in language cultivation. I’ve spent two years studying Gender Studies and Political Science, getting more and more interested in equality and how the words we use affect the world around us. Since 2016, I’m studying Biomedical Engineering at Faculty of Engineering, LTH.
What will you do during these three months? How will you spend the time?
- Further explore the market by releasing a demo version of the web page
- Continue to perform qualitative interviews with potential customer groups
- Establish contact with professionals with legitimate knowledge of inclusive language to develop the glossary
- Search for companies that are interested in the product
- Market the product in social media to further evaluate the concept
What do you expect to achieve during Leapfrogs?
- To compile the first version of the glossary
- To launch a prototype of the web page
- To have my first users and get feedback to continue to develop the web page
- To broaden my network and develop customer relations
- To evaluate the concept in general
Tell us what you have done on your projects so far during the Leapfrogs time:
In order to compile the glossary, I have been contacting communicators and gender equality officers while reading articles on inclusive communication. Meanwhile, I have released the demo version of the web page and gotten useful feedback from potential users. I have also been in contact with a few companies to explore their interest in the product and to see how to keep developing the product to fit the companies’ needs.
Has everything gone according to the plan? Has anything unexpected occurred? Has something been easier/harder than expected?
Mostly, it has gone well! The demo version is up and running and the prototype is starting to take form. The compilation process of the glossary has been easier than expected, due to the helpful replies from the professionals I have spoken to. However, as expected, during July the summer holiday has made it harder to get in contact with businesses and I am looking forward to people getting back to work in mid-August.
What will you focus on during the remaining time? Will you follow your original plan or has anything changed along the way?
I will continue to contact potential customers and keep developing the prototype. Launching the demo version took a little bit longer than expected, which has led me to readjust the time frame for developing the prototype. This will be done mainly by making the prototype even more minimalistic than previously planned. I will also continue to spread the word and keep marketing the project on social media.
How did you experience the three months?
It has been a great experience! I have been able to launch the demo version, compile the glossary and finally release the prototype, which has been very well received. My goal of number of unique users during the summer has been exceeded and therefore I have increased the goal for the end of the fall. In short, I have learnt a great deal and I am excited to see the project keep growing and developing during the following months.
What has been hardest/most enjoyable?
The most enjoyable was releasing the prototype after all the hard work. The hardest has been knowing how to prioritise my time and how to decide on the next step to take. Although, I have realised that this is often solved simply by talking to people; no matter if it is a user or a friend, I always get pushed forward by discussing the project with others.
Did it go as expected? Will you continue working on your project in the future?
Mostly, it has. Of course, there has been ups and downs, but my main goal of releasing the prototype was reached. I have applied for further funding and will keep working on the project during the fall. From now on together with a new team member, which I am very excited about!
What would you say is the most important lesson learnt while working on your project?
The importance of a team. Working with the right people makes the process much easier and more fun. Both having the necessary skills in your team and to be able to contribute with different perspectives is invaluable.
Do you have any tips to other ”new” entrepreneurs?
- Talk to people.
You always learn something new and/or get insights about your project that you had not previously thought about.
- Define your goals, plan how to reach them and work towards them.
Plan your months, weeks and days. Change your plans when needed.