We participated in the MLH Local Hack Day 2018, hosted by GitHub and won People’s Choice Award. The theme of the hackathon was Hack-UMD: Make UMD a stronger community through technology and art. We developed a prototype and an algorithm for indoor navigation to help students find their classrooms easily.
My Role: User Research, User Interface Design, Prototyping and Evaluation
Duration: 12 hours
Tools Used: Figma, Adobe Photoshop
Techniques Used: User Interviews, Competitor Analysis, Rapid Prototyping
Team Size: 5
The Who and The Why?
Have you ever found yourself lost when you are at a campus or inside a building, and were unable to find your way out? This was the problem we wanted to solve for the UMD students. We wanted to help them find their classrooms easily. It becomes a huge problem especially when you have to find a new classroom or you are new to the campus.
We started with interviewing some participants present in the Hackathon to understand the needs and requirements of the students. Later, we did a quick competitor analysis of some of the navigation apps like Google Maps, Be My Eyes, and Blavigator to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the current solution. We created a rapid prototype using Figma and tested it out with the participants present there. After testing the prototype, we worked on refining it and made improvisations in the same.
We created a prototype of an Android mobile app that would help the students navigate from one classroom to another (irrespective of the classroom being in the same or different building). I worked on designing the prototype, while my other teammates worked on creating the algorithm for navigating indoors and finding the shortest route. They made use of Dijkstra's Algorithm for the same. Here is a video demo of the prototype.
Working in a Hackathon environment is a totally different experience from working on a day-to-day basis. It taught me to design and test the prototype at rapid iterations.
This experience taught me to create elegant designs under time constraints.
Working in a team of 5 consisting of people coming from different backgrounds was a learning experience. I got an opportunity to work with other designers and developers which taught me how to collaborate with them to brainstorm ideas together and the techniques to present my ideas in an understandable manner.