As well as being a software developer, I am also a husband & father of 3 children – twin girls (8 years old) & a boy (4 years old).
Part of my parenting responsibility is ensuring that my children respect themselves & others. This post focuses on respect for women.
For my daughters, this means that they are confident & know their place in the world. For my son, it means he knows what respecting women entails & (eventually) build empathy with them.
This post outlines a project of mine to help demonstrate to my children the awesomeness of some women who can influence them & help build respect for women.
I have created a Top Trump pack called “Wonderful Women” to celebrate the influential women who have helped shape history.
Let’s get started
This journey started after my wife & I purchased these fabulous books for our girls after they had another fantastic report from school:
These books are beautiful & all our kids get fully engrossed in them. My girls read some of the “stories” to my boy & all 4 books have been taken into school numerous times!
My kids also enjoy playing Top Trumps so I started searching to see if there were any packs celebrating women. I couldn’t find any (& I soon discovered why…)
Consequently I took some feedback I received when I was looking for testing related meetups in Liverpool: Just F’ing Do It
I wanted a Proof of Concept to see if the idea actually had any legs. The cards had to be cheap to create & ideally be easily reproducible if the PoC was a success.
The objective of the pack is to give some insight to influential women in history who have helped shape the world we know today. The info on each card is meant to provoke more questions that we can answer outside of playing the game.
I started scouring the web for Top Trump templates (there are many!) but none really had the format I was looking for. So I made my own template.
In MS Word.
Probably not the best tool to use, but this was the most appropriate I had to hand.
I did a quick experiment using MS Excel to see if I could dynamically create the content in the cards from a data sheet.
The experiment was a success insofar as I could create cards from a data sheet but the cards looked shit.
So I kept the data in MS Excel but copy pasted the data into MS Word.
First biggest learning
During this project, I left the company I was working for so I rushed through an early PoC before I handed in my lappy & subsequently lost MS Office.
I thought I could open the doc in Google Docs, but I didn’t test this before saying goodbye to MS Office. All the objects & text in those objects were converted to images…
I needed to start again, but fortunately I still had the data which was successfully ported from MS Excel into Google Sheets. This meant it was a case of recreating the objects in the doc & copy pasting the data over again. Tedious, but a quicker process than the first time.
Now I’ve gone independent again, I don’t have MS Word, so I’m currently experimenting with WPS Office (free). Google Docs didn’t appear to have sufficient formatting options I required.
I eventually got to manufacturing the cards: printing, cutting, gluing & laminating (again, using tools at my disposal)
Second biggest learning
Version 0.6 made it into physical cards, but they can never see the light of day.
When playing the game with the Wonderful Women pack I had a shocking epiphany – 2 of the criteria I used for ranking were wholly inappropriate! (I’m happy to tell you what they are if you bump into me)
So I swapped the criteria for 2 which were more objective & less subjective.
Third biggest learning
I’ve learned so much about influential women who have helped shaped our history.
This project has helped me understand the challenges faced by women & I like to think it has helped me build empathy.
It’s certainly facilitated starting conversations about women with my children & has got them asking new questions that all of us can benefit from knowing the answer to!
Version 0.8 is ready, but still WIP
I’m ready to share the current iteration of the Wonderful Women Top Trump pack in order to get some feedback.
You can find the xls & doc in my Top Trumps – Wonderful Women Google Drive.
Obviously being a WIP project there are open bugs that I’m working through:
- Intention is to print 2 sided to save on paper & effort cutting out – I haven’t been successful with this yet
- The Eras font I’ve used doesn’t exist in Adobe, so export to PDF results in any text in that font not being displayed (Name, Criteria, “Top Trumps”)
- Space between white text boxes is too small (well, the whole styling really needs overhauling)
- I’m not happy with the word “fame” as part of the criteria
- What bugs have you found?
I’m interested in hearing your thoughts:
- What’s your overall impression? Is the idea even sound?
- What other (objective) criteria would you use / like to see?
- What other influential women would you include?
If this PoC proves successful, I’m looking to get the cards professionally created.
If the PoC is unsuccessful, then version 0.8 of the cards will be the last I manufacture & stay within the confines of my family.
Obviously, if some feedback comes back that this is a bad way to help build respect for women then I’ll burn all the evidence!