Following Part I of Design Camp, I'll talk about the design challenge in the post.

The Challenge

The challenge was to redesign the user interface for New Venture Pathways system (NVP) presented by ACE Waterloo president Ivan Lukianchuk. NVP is an online system that connects students with entrepreneurial activities in the community ranging from organization membership to conferences to entrepreneurial co-op.  Current system suffers from data overloading (i.e. too much data on the limited screen) and displaying irrelevant information.

Students first take a survey and get their competency levels for each skill area. Then the system will generate a list of activities for the students to choose based on their skill levels. The figure on the left is the result screen.
  • A lot of screen space is wasted. 
  • Each activity has too many attributes attached with it and not all of them are relevant.
  • There is no clear organization for the activities.

 The goal is to design a simple, attractive, and efficient to use UI for NVP.  Participants were grouped into three teams. They have a total of 45 minutes to work on paper prototype design and presented to the judges.

The Winning Design

All three groups demonstrated design solutions that provided great improvements on the current UI. However, Team 2 stood out with their solution really tackling current problems. A big winning point for me from the usability point of view was that they considered accessibility in their design. For example, they described how the design would optimize the screen reader for users with disability and how their design could be ported to mobile devices. They used tabs to organize activities into meaningful categories and apply color coding for each tabbed page. They reduced the complex information associated with each activity with only displaying the key information up front and by allowing users to expand an activity to see more detailed information. Finally, they used the e-bay like shopping cart design metaphor to let users easily select an activity and added to their venture pathways. Congratulations Team 2! 

Working together on the design Presenting design to the judges and audience
 
Judge commenting on the design Picking out winning prizes

 We thank the Design Camp organization team for all the hard work they've put in for the past two months!

See Barnaby's and Allison's photos sets for more Design Camp pictures.

Qixing