Andre Drieger, Anneliese Ansorger, Chance Galay and Chanelle Lafitte (left to right) present AR.t, an augmented reality app for fine art buyers during their capstone presentation on December 5.

Students join forces to develop and design innovative digital applications

January 9, 2020 | Science, Arts & Culture

Following a presentation of their campus navigation app, Bachelor of Design students Isabela Lopez and Kelly Veillette said that typically when working on a user experience (UX) design assignment in class, the sky's the limit for their ideas. Nothing can hold them back. But as part of their degree program’s DESN443 Multi-disciplinary UXD Studio course, they got to experience the added challenge of designing for a real-world project when they joined forces with computer science students.

Over the Fall term, three groups of design and computer science students collaborated to develop and design unique digital applications:

  • wewrk: A job aggregation website that aims to mitigate job result redundancies

  • MapEwan: A campus navigation app

  • AR.t: An augmented reality app for fine art buyers

On December 5, they shared their final projects as part of the computer science capstone presentations.

For both groups of students, these collaborations added the extra challenge of figuring out how to work as part of a multidisciplinary team.

“Multidisciplinary projects are extremely valuable for students because of the multidisciplinary nature of computing work,” says Dr. Cameron Macdonell, associate professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science. “All software needs to have considerations of design and utility for the humans who will inevitably use it.”

Assistant Professor Robert Andruchow, chair of the Department of Art and Design, started working on the DESN443 course while planning the Bachelor of Design (and the UX design pathway) four years ago — and two years ago, he and Cameron began working together to make it a reality.

“The main limitation of running user experience design courses is our classes consist of almost all design students who don’t have the training to actually code what they prototype and design,” says Robert. “This was their opportunity to work together to turn a vision into a reality.”

Robert credits the remarkable partnership between the two departments as the reason why they were able to launch so quickly the Digital Experience Design minor in the Bachelor of Arts program in the Faculty of Arts and Science. “This is the first minor of its kind in Canada and we are proud of the two-year partnership that led to it. These kinds of multi-disciplinary collaborations in the digital space help differentiate our university from others.”



Mind control

It was almost crazy to think four fourth-year computer science majors could control a drone with their minds. Almost.


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