X-Lab: A never-ending student design experiment
talk – 20 min | Feb 2 – 17:00
During a student council meeting, issues regarding student experiences were raised. This led to a proposal to form a student group to bring a fresh perspective and design better solutions. Consisting of Interaction, Service and Visual Brand Designers, the design collective represented the Experience cluster of Domus Academy. Thus, X lab was born. It was a place for innovation, discussions and multiple cultures and design ideologies coming together. It led to several discussions about cookies and pizza choices.
We met after hours, even during grueling course schedules and internships, to brainstorm and innovate solutions to problems. Through an iterative design thinking approach, we identified problem areas through surveys, interviews and personal experiences. Given the various backgrounds as designers, we were able to propose solutions from the perspectives of various stakeholders.
We found that improving the university app was the essential first step in improving the experience for the student, as well as the staff and faculty. We had the support of our program leader, and a professional designer, who also happened to be a passionate alumni of the university. This was really helpful throughout the process of mapping user-flows, creating wire-frames and translating them into clear visuals and prototypes.
We continued to collaborate, discuss and improve the design with prototypes and get feedback from users, even while most of us graduated, interned and moved to different cities. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the project and the group, we were able to learn new skills, tools and gain more perspective on the project at hand, as well as our own field of expertise.
We looked back at the experience to understand the things we did right, and what could have been better in our process. We realized the scope of the collective could be more than just improving student experiences. Moving forward, the design collective can work with designers of various other disciplines to innovate better user experiences and expand their skill sets. We wish to share the journey of how we were formed, what we designed, what we learnt from it, and how we improved upon the process to move the design collective forward with the next iteration.
About the speakers
Freelance Interaction and Service Designer
I am an Interaction designer from India, with a special interest in physical interactions and products. An early exposure to the internet, and a fascination of electronic products pulled me towards interaction design, starting from my CS degree, front end dev and through UX & UI Design. As a designer, i like asking a lot of questions and looking at things from various perspectives. You can always find me excited about TV, cooking, Formula 1 and everything about the internet.
I am an Interaction designer and creative technologist from India with background in Information and Communication Technology. Having worked on projects from various fields, my interest lies in the union of humanities and technology. I wish to design interactions and products that don’t feel like just another screen or a piece of material but rather something people can connect to. I am fascinated by tangible interactions, immersive design and art installations. Thinking about Interaction Design, I feel like a child in a candy store. Everywhere I look, there is something new to catch and I wish to get my hands on as many as I can.