EchoUser partnered with Berkeley Innovation to mentor a group of five undergraduate students on a design project — from problem selection to prototyping. Our goals were to enhance their understanding of the design process, improve their research and design skills, and support them in producing a project for their portfolios.
The students decided to explore the music festival experience and ultimately refined their scope to the problem of finding friends who get lost at these live events.
We kicked off the project by guiding our student mentees to conduct individual interviews in order to learn about the values, needs, and pain points of those who attend music events. We helped them prepare their discussion manuals and coached them on honing strategies for collecting high quality data.
Once the students completed 15 interviews, we then facilitated a workshop to uncover meaning and patterns from the data they collected. After affinity diagramming their interview findings, we introduced them to methods for creating personas and journey maps.
As we identified spectra that were represented across the interview participants, the students learned to tease apart behavioral differences and de-prioritize demographic differences. After the workshop, the students continued using the methodologies they learned to construct and digitize two personas and each of their journeys.
These artifacts were used throughout the second workshop, which focused on concept ideation and prototyping. Using a range of techniques, we led our mentees through multiple cycles of idea generation and convergence.
After sketching out about 40 high-level concepts, they collectively chose the idea with the most potential to address the problem that they wished to resolve. From there, the students began prototyping their concept with various materials.
After several rounds of iteration, the students presented Trovi. It’s a wearable tracking device that guides you to find members of your group by using arrows as a navigational compass, blinking when you’re within 30 feet.
It’s low tech and lightweight so users don’t have to worry about internet connection or having another bulky device to carry around. Trovi improves the music experience by enabling friends to separate and reconnect as they wish without the fear of getting lost.
The students created a physical prototype that aligned with their designs and communicated their design solution through a storyboard and poster, and wrapped up the project with a presentation at the EchoUser office in San Francisco.
We were excited and proud to see the students showcase their strengths in absorbing and executing a range of methods, creating a solution, and communicating both process and outcome.