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Student Projects

By the end of the design challenge, I evaluated all student projects for their quality and effectiveness in addressing each of their specific problem areas. Three teams focused on campus parking problems, two teams on student dining, one on campus safety, one on campus housing, and one on campus navigation. For teams that were addressing similar problem areas, they concentrated on different issues. For instance, the students addressing campus parking problems focused on three related but distinctive issues: ticketing, parking space notification, and ridesharing. Table 4.3 provides a summary of each project’s problem area, proposed solution, and prototype.

All of the student projects met the requirements of the design challenge. They each completed the assignments that made up the sequence and presented tangible solutions with prototypes by the end of the project. Of the eight final prototypes, five were hi-fi wireframes with clickable buttons and multiple pages, two were website mockups with full content (including copy and images), and

Problem area

Proposed solution


Team 1

The lack of flexibility in meal plan spending options and students’ unhealthy dining behaviors.

“To implement a points system in the dining hall using a device called PointPost. Each station in the dining hall is allotted a certain amount of points. Users have the option to view their point balance through an app called NextJEN PointPost. Students will have more control over their spending habits and will only grab food that they wish to eat.”

PointPost—a scanning station for meal points.

Team 2

The lack of certain nutritional options in the university dining halls.

“The idea of the application is that students may forfeit a ‘meal’ from their meal plan in order to procure groceries and, in so doing, would have a small amount of their meal plan’s cost credited back to them.”

Gopher Grub—an application for tracking one’s nutrients and reward them financially for logging their diet

Team 3

The lack of navigational tools offered to find one’s way around our massive, 3-campus university.

“360 degree, interactive views of both indoor and outdoor pathways and areas are implemented within the interface, enabling the user to find physical markers within the building to aid in recognizing the space they are locating.”

Maplt—an app with real-image mapping for indoor and outdoor navigation.

Team 4

Campus night-time safety concerns.

“The installation of campus Help-U with U-Travel interactive displays in strategic locations of university properties to effectively connect distressed students and other members of its community to a friendly, system that serves as accessible navigational service.”

Help-U-—a website to aide in building/campus navigation, monitoring, and dissemination of building information for University of Minnesota patrons.

U-Travel—a centralized website for three University sponsored websites: Parking and Transportation Services, Public Safety and the U, and Safe-U.

A digital display to feature Help-U and U-Travel.

Problem area

Proposed solution


Team 5

Overpriced luxury student housing that limits students’ off-campus housing options.

“An apartment complex with a focus on practicality and opportunity for student-subsidized rent.”

H.A.M. Student Housing—a website for scheduling a tour, applying for a lease, applying for a job within the complex, tabs for overseeing rent subsidization, as w'ell as pages that allow potential residents to view floor plans and read about the housing providers mission.

Team 6

Expensive campus parking costs and penalties.

“Our group thought prototyping kiosks around parking ramps, lots, and garages would help university students avoid unnecessary payments.”

Tiki—a digital ticket counter that sends parking tickets to user’s mobile device.

Team 7

Commuting students face high costs for on-campus parking.

“Our proposed solution is to create a collaborative mobile application between Uber and University of Minnesota.”

M-Uber—-Just like Uber but with additional features that benefit University of Minnesota students.

Team 8

Difficulty in locating available parking spaces around campus.

“To improve experience with real-time viewing of parking spaces via color coordinated map, various maps covering East Bank, West Bank and the St. Paul campus, and cheap & convenient mobile payments.”

ParkSmart—an app with real-time display of parking availability around three university campuses.

one was a 3D-printed prototype. Notably, students learned to communicate their project’s purpose and goals more clearly as the design challenge progressed. This was reflected by the quality of writing in the team assignments. Most teams received an average grade (i.e., B) for the analytical report and technical definition and description assignments. Five of the eight teams received an excellent grade (A) for the instruction set assignment. All but one team received an A for the proposal and presentation assignments.

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