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Jad is an artist and maker. He has a background in sculpture and over the last two years has gotten into 3D printing. Jad received his 3D printing certification from his public library, has taken a number of workshops and collaborated on a few projects at his local maker space. Jad wants to use P4A to find individuals for whom he can build custom prosthetics. He is interested in the idea of making voice activated prosthetics that could perform commands but doesn’t know how to go about creating something like that. He wants to talk to programmers who would be interested in working with him to develop his idea and learn more about what has been accomplished in the field. Jad has experienced several depressive episodes in the last decade. His therapist noticed that these are typically triggered by intense stress. To avoid triggering his depression, Jad likes to work from home at his own pace and prefers to spend most of his time working alone. He enjoys interacting with people online to talk about his interests and his work.



Jad creates a profile on P4A. He enters his name and adds details about what he can contribute to the community.  He indicates that he has a background in sculpture, is proficient in 3D printing, has experience with photography, and has strong visual communication abilities. Jad notices that he can add badges to his profile. He doesn’t have any but wonders if he could include his 3D certification from the public library as a badge. Jad adds a few photos of work samples he has done and a link to his website. Jad notices the ‘products and services’ section on his page. He checks the ‘about’ section and finds out that this is the section through which he can find consumers for his work. He adds ‘3D printing, prosthetics, photography, sculpture’ to his products and services section and selects his compensation. He choses an hourly rate. Jad has the option to create an individual page for each of his products and services but chooses to the keep them as list items for now. He hopes to eventually create a product page for his custom prosthetics.


After he finishes creating his profile he spends about 15 minutes browsing the site. He notices the groups section and explores further. He uses the search term ‘prosthetics’ and finds two groups. The first is a group focused on materials, the second is a group of people who use prosthetics where people discuss their experiences and products that they are looking for.


Jad enters the second group and posts on the group home page. He introduces himself and indicates that he makes prosthetics. He asks if anyone in the group uses voice-activated prosthetics. He then decides that it might be worthwhile to see if the discussion section has something on the topic.


He looks for ‘voice activation’ in the discussion but doesn’t find anything. He creates his own discussion topic with the title ‘voice-activated prosthetics’. He writes a paragraph about his work and how he wants to learn more about making voice activated custom prosthetics.


Four days later Jad receives notification that someone has responded to his post in the prosthetic wearers group. He goes to the website and finds that someone has posted that they have never tried voice-activated prosthetics but are very interested in the project. Jad does a bit of online searching and finds an article on the topic. The article discusses a voice-activated prosthetic arm that was built using a 3D printer and an Arduino pack, an open source electronic platform. Jad has never used Arduino but is interested in finding someone who has. He posts the article in the discussion he started.


Jad does a quick search in the “Training and Certification” section. He finds a 4 week certification course in Arduino basics and enrolls.


While Jad completes his course, he goes back to the discussion board and prosthetics group to speak with users and developers. He meets a few people who are interested in voice-activated prosthetics in the group and asks them to join the discussion. On the discussion board they talk about the types of functionality that are most important to them in such a product. He also joins a group of people working with Arduino to learn more about different projects and the platforms functionality. He uses the group to share his work in the course and exchange ideas.


Four weeks later Jad completes his course and receives an Arduino certification badge. He decides that he now has enough basic knowledge but wants to work with someone more experienced to develop the project. While working on his Arduino certification he receives several inquiries about his 3D printing and photography work and takes on a few clients. He creates several custom prosthetics and takes product photographs for other producers in the community.


Jad hasn’t had a chance to look at the projects section yet and decides to give it a try. He finds many projects that are looking for funders, programmers, designers and manufacturers, among other things. He does a search for ‘voice activation’ and ‘prosthetics’ but doesn’t find any projects that meet his interests. He decides to create his own.


The project page contains a (1)pitch, (2) looking for, (3)collaborators, (4) interested parties, and (5) mood board sections. Jad is asked to create a (1) pitch for his project. He writes a paragraph about what he wants to accomplish. He notes that (2) he is looking for programmers who are experts in Arduino as well as funders for the project. He (4) adds the people he met in his groups and discussions that expressed interest to the ‘interested parties’ section. He includes the article he found and a few samples of prosthetic designs he has seen in his research on the mood board.  (3) His collaborators section only includes him at this point. When he finishes the project set-up, a notification window asks Jad if he would like help matching his project with P4A community members. He clicks yes.


The next day Jad receives a message from a matcher asking him for details about who he is looking to add to the project. Two days after that Jad gets a message from a matcher. The email contains the profiles of 3 community members, two have extensive background experience with Arduino, the third has some experience and is very interested in working with prosthetics. Jad reviews their profiles and decides to send invitation to his project to two of the members. One member responds shortly and joins the list of collaborators on the project.


Jad also receives notification that a member has applied to join the project directly. Jad reads her message and reviews her profile. This member has no experience with Arduino but has worked with voice recognition software in the past.


After a couple of weeks Jad finishes putting together the team for his project. On the project page he indicates that they are not looking for additional team members for project development but are still looking for funders.


6 months later, the project team has developed a prototype of a prosthetic arm that they would like to test. Throughout the project, the team was able to gather feedback and thoughts from interested parties and conduct some research in the discussion and group sections. The team was unable to find an organization that would fund their project but they were able to crowd fund 10,000 dollars to start by linking his project page to a crowd funding platform and advertising the product in discussions and groups. The team gathers feedback and makes adjustments.


3 months later, the team has a product that is ready to be distributed. They create a product page. Jad takes a few photos of their polished prototypes and specifies in the product description that the prosthetics are made custom to order. The team decides to hire the services of a videographer in the community to create a video about their product. 


Other use cases:

]Ellie is visually impaired. She has recently heard a TED radio hour episode about Neil Harbisson who has had an antenna installed on his head that translates colours into sound frequencies. Ellis wants to know if she can purchase something like that, and is also interested in knowing what other devices are available to her. She wants to be able to search the website and stay updated on new technology.


  • Browsing/Search function available in in auditory format.
  • Option to subscribe to specific type of content (through either a group or a discussion).
  • Ability order a product/service online and to contact community members directly to learn more about products.
  • Ability to provide payment online.
  • Ability to communicate with other community members through the platform.



OSPF is a large financial investment organization. As part of their value framework, OSPF gives a certain amount of money each year to bright and promising entrepreneurs. They would like to use P4A to find projects that they could contribute to. They need to be able to browse available projects and products easily, and search specifically for projects that are actively looking for financial backers. They then need to be able to contact producers and other involved community members, and contribute funding (possibly through a crowd funding component or link).


  • Project/product section where individual can search by key term or browse by category or project requirements (ex. so that it’s possible to only view projects that are seeking funders).
  • Summary of each project that gives viewers a comprehensive understanding of the idea, involved parties, feedback, interest in the project and project status.
  • Ability to contact project leads directly
  • Ability to provide funding (linked to an external funding platform or embedded within website).



Sean has a child with mild/moderate hearing impairment. He wants his daughter to take music lessons because his daughter loves music and because he has heard that music training can be helpful for people with hearing impairment. He has also heard that traditional hearing aids are not very good at amplifying music and that even the ones that have music specific programs can be problematic. Sean wants to learn about products or hearing aid programs that would be helpful to his daughter. He wants to involve her in the process and work together with her and the hearing aid manufacturer or programmer to best suit her needs. Sean has also been tinkering with hacking projects over the last couple of years and is interested in applying his skills in the field of accessibility.  He wants to learn some programming skills that will allow him to experiment with his daughter’s hearing aid settings and possibly use these to contribute to the P4A network in the future. In addition to finding products for his daughter, Sean wants to find musicians with hearing loss that he can speak with to learn more about playing music with hearing loss.  


  • Ability to browse search products by subject (hearing impairment, music).
  • Ability to contact producers directly
  • Ability to initiate projects if none that address his daughters needs exist.
  • Access to educational resources.
  • Access to discussion boards and community members.
  • Ability to contact producers to discuss needs.



Sam works for at a hands-on project based code learning startup. They are looking to find more students and advertise their classes. Sam wants to create a profile for her organization on P4A that would offer courses and also teach project-specific workshops for teams with specific needs. She want to offer different levels of certification to their students.


  • Ability to advertise company, courses and classes offered.
  • Course sign up online
  • Payment options online
  • Ability to provide badges to course graduates.
  • Ability to receive inquiries from perspective students about specialized workshops.
  • Access to community for the purpose of developing curriculums and courses to better suit community needs.
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