Design Challenges

For this cohort, we’ve provided several design challenges to get you started. They mirror similar problems designers are tackling across various industries. Imagine you are "pitching" a solution to a company – who are the stakeholders and what are their objectives? What might be their business objectives, metrics they're tracking, or limitations they're bound by? Once you've chosen a problem, please fill out the Design Collective application which has a link to the Design Brief!

“Education is one of the least digitized and most people-intensive economic sectors — suggesting that the opportunity for and risk of technology-driven disruption is strong.”

HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW

The pandemic has unleashed a whirlwind of change to schools everywhere, causing most classrooms to go fully online without much thought to the long-term challenges. Meanwhile, educators have had to quickly master complex software to replicate the physical classroom experience virtually. On the other hand, students are still in need of a high-quality education that allows them to meaningfully engage with their teachers and peers.

CHALLENGE 1

Especially for younger students, using technology for online learning can be quite difficult. Parents often have to spend extra time making sure their kids are set up and intervene if any technical issues arise. Design an improved user experience with the needs of young kids in mind.

CHALLENGE 2

Pre-recorded lectures are less-engaging than livestreams and easy to zone out of during especially long videos. Design a feature that allows professors to make recorded lectures more interactive for students.

CHALLENGE 3

Explore new ways to improve how technology can better cater to the needs of educators and/or students. Even consider thinking about other online learning platforms, like Coursera and Khan Academy, for inspiration.

“Underlying all of these conversations about how will we work is an even more pressing question: how will we live?

THE UNINVITED GUEST

Completely remote work environments has every worker scratching their heads. As the term “working from home” has mutated into “living at work”, the bond between our livelihoods has become disturbingly intimate. The absence of real-life interactions with our co-workers has profound implications that may permanently blur the lines between our professional and personal lives.

CHALLENGE 1

In a purely remote-work world, it's difficult to pick up on a lot of the nuances in human behavior and expression that you'd normally observe in-person. Design a new feature that empowers employees to better express themselves and communicate during virtual meetings.

CHALLENGE 2

As the struggle of work-life balance has grown due to working at home, it’s more important than ever that employees are able to “leave” the workplace. However, there is not one central place to manage work notifications and disconnect entirely. Design a way for employees to better manage their work communications and disconnect from work.

CHALLENGE 3

During video meetings, artifacts like action items, questions and answers, meeting notes, links, screenshots, and whiteboard sketches are created. These artifacts can live in a wide variety of locations like email or slack and they often get lost or aren’t shared with the entire group who was in the call resulting in a loss of context. How might the output of a meeting be better collected resulting in better quality meetings with less loss of context?

CHALLENGE 4

Consider the different needs of disabled individuals and how these needs may or may not be met by current offerings of video conferencing software. Design a new feature that helps disabled workers participate in meetings like everyone else so they can effectively be an equal member of the team.

“International tourist arrivals are projected to plunge by 60 to 80 percent in 2020, putting 120 million jobs at risk.”

MCKINSEY 2020 REPORT

Tourism makes up 10% of the global GDP, putting the sector 3x larger than agriculture. It’s one of the biggest industries upended by COVID-19, and re-opening tourism-related businesses and managing their recovery in a way that is safe, attractive for tourists, and economically sustainable will be a monumental challenge.

CHALLENGE 1

More people are looking for short-term rentals on Airbnb and Vrbo to get away from their homes or to take “workcations". Design a filtering system for a hotel booking app to help young professionals find these rentals.

CHALLENGE 2

People this year are looking to travel closer to home. Design a feature on a traveling app to help people discover local destinations and help local tourism industries recover.

CHALLENGE 3

Design a contactless check-in feature for a hotel/booking app.

CHALLENGE 4

Help leisure travelers find the latest up-to-date information on reopening guidelines and local accommodations, such as mandatory mask policies and sit-down dining.

“The global podcast industry is projected to be valued at $1 billion in 2021 and is going through a particular moment of creative and innovative renaissance, from content creation to discovery.”

BUSINESS INSIDER

Podcasts, an audio format that’s been around for almost two decades, has recently entered the mainstream. Tech companies are jockeying to become the No. 1 destination for podcast listening, with big players like Spotify, Apple, and YouTube spending hundreds of millions of dollars to entice popular podcasters to join their platforms on exclusive partnerships. Brands are also seeing new opportunities to advertise on podcasts and reaching listeners who align with the show’s values.

CHALLENGE 1

Design a feature to easily share audio clips or snippets of podcasts with others.

CHALLENGE 2

Music streaming titans such as Spotify and Soundcloud have recently made a huge push into the podcast industry. Design a search feature that helps customers find and discover podcasts on these platforms.

In addition to traditional podcast apps, consider current music-streaming apps that are also beginning to offer podcasts. How might the use cases and audiences differ?

CHALLENGE 3

Design a feature for a car interface to help people listen and stream podcasts on long road trips or commutes.