Designing Better Solutions for Adolescent Girls in Pakistan

Designing Better Solutions for Adolescent Girls in Pakistan

White Rice x SPRING Accelerator x Proportion



In the past, life-enhancing products and services focusing on uplifting communities have ended up being most usable and accessible to men. One reason for this is that few services and products are designed that seek insights from girls or women directly and address their challenges in adopting new behaviors and their interactions with products and services.


Focusing on 7 diverse businesses with the goals of achieving impact for girls through commercial products and services, our team conducted Human-centered design (HCD) research to connect user insights and needs with the business’ design process. The analysis yielded critical insights for each business to optimize their product and inform their marketing strategy.

White Rice partnered with Proportion, Netherlands, as part of a 4 country research, funded by USAID’s SPRING Accelerator. SPRING is an accelerator working with growth-oriented businesses on innovations that can transform the lives of adolescent girls aged 10-19, living across East Africa and South Asia.

White Rice conducted five research sessions per business. The research was tailored to explore the particular challenges faced by each business and took on the shape of individual interviews, observation sessions, and focus groups.

The techniques we applied in the interviews and focus groups included:

User-journeys mapped out the girls’ experiences with the products and how to improve overall customer experience and increase usability. By mapping out the journey, we were able to identify challenges and opportunities in the total user experience of the product.

2. Live demonstrations and observations of products were carried out, and the user’s engagement with products was observed in real-time to gather observational insights about user experience.

3. Co-created solutions with young girls to innovate user-driven ideal solutions so that users can exert agency over the solutions and products that concern them.

4. Prioritization exercises were used to sort the desired features or characteristics of the products/services.

5. Comparing and contrasting activities to select desirable value propositions or compare packages.

6. Aspiration exploring activities were held to identify the girls’ goals in life and desired identities.

7. Mock marketplace activities to gather insights about desired products from a variety of options.

8. Topical conversations about attitudes and perceptions on various relevant topics to empathize with user perceptions, experiences, and self-efficacy.


The final research insights aided the businesses in refining their products/services and informed their marketing strategies. White Rice worked with businesses like Sabaq, Rizq, Learnobots, WonderTree, Edkasa, and EjadTech on their business models.

The research findings aided businesses in making innovative and commercially viable solutions that both include and empower girls. Insights helped improve the interface of digital products, acceptable payment systems, value propositions for different segments, and offered comprehensive ideas on the needs and barriers of the target audiences.

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