Product Design |

DawgHouse is an audio-based conversation application. It empowers students at the University of Washington to engage in conversations about their school life – asking questions and giving advice.

Individual Product - 5-day Design Challenge

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The Challenge

Your school is gearing up to welcome a new incoming class and would like to help them adjust to campus life. Design an experience that allows new students to ask questions about school life, and experienced students to share answers and advice.

My Process

To tackle this design challenge, I am employing the human-centered design process. I have chosen the following steps which I feel are the most feasible and appropriate for this challenge. It follows these steps:

  1. Information Gathering
  2. Problem Definition
  3. Idea Generation
  4. Modeling + Prototyping

Each of these steps will inform the next and be informed by the previous, ensuring that I am truly designing for the humans of the University of Washington.

User Research

To begin, I started with 5 semi-structured user interviews. I wanted to understand how students experienced college as an incoming freshman and how they have shared their knowledge and narratives with their peers and others. I developed a set of guiding questions, however, I allowed myself to go off script when I felt there was an area of my participants’ experience that I wanted to dive deeper in to. Through these user interviews I looked to answer these two core questions:

  1. How do incoming UW freshmen experience and get familiar with university life?
  2. What is the experience of sharing information and advice with peers or other students about school life?

One thing I wanted to keep in mind as well is that asking questions and giving advice might not be limited to incoming or experienced students, respectively. I wanted to understand both of these experiences and desires from both incoming and experienced students.