Designing Mobile Applications that expand and add to Greenville’s sense of Place: How can mobile applications engage community?

In this project, students were asked to pitch a mobile application that added or expanded on Greenville’s sense of place through additional programming (or activity). Students were asked to find a partner of interest to work with in the community and pitch an idea where a mobile experience might enhance the physical experience. Students chose a variety of types of partners and projects and the outcomes were quite varied based on these different partner perspectives as well as their related communities.

In this project, we discussed concepts of UX (user-experience design) and UI (user-interface design). We worked through analog and digital prototyping phases to develop function and usability and tested multiple prototype iterations with users to confirm or negate assumptions about the designs. Students learned concepts and techniques for designing for digital environments such as wireframing, prototyping, and user-testing to support design development.

Students began by choosing a local partner to work with and defined unique goals based on the needs of their partner as well as a diverse group of end users of their proposed application. Local partners included businesses, organizations, non-profits, city and university entities, among others. Initial research included recognizing any existing digital experiences that a partner may already have and/or use to add or expand on their organization, interviewing partners and potential users to discover needs or pain points beyond our assumptions, as well as understanding the current mobile application market to find opportunities for design development.

We refined and finalized digital prototypes with Adobe XD. Students completed the project by creating a video demonstration that shared their concepts and walked through key features of the applications.

This work was completed with upper-level, undergraduate students in the graphic design area at East Carolina University.