Lauren Summerlin Portfolio


I was one of the design students at Austin Community College who participated in the 2022 Design-a-thon. Students were broken into teams and given four hours to go through a UX design process to craft a solution to a design problem presented on the spot.

The Problem

Our problem to solve: make navigation easier at the Austin Community College Highland campus. The campus was formerly a mall, and still has some mall-like elements (escalators, individual sections that vary in size, etc.)

Phase One: Emphathize

My team’s first task was to understand the problems that students and faculty have with navigation. To gather data, each member of my team explained their first time getting around on campus. Next, we split up and interviewed students and staff. We met back up and pulled out common themes in all the experiences.

Our team discussing common pain points between different experiences.

Phase Two: Define

Next we synthesized our ideas and defined a user persona. Our team decided to name this person Billie. Billie is not a traditional college student, as they balance school with a full time job and family obligations. We then created a journey map where we determined that when Billie enters campus for the first time he would likely get lost, try to find help on his phone but have poor service, and then try to find another student or faculty member to ask for help.

Phase Three: Ideate

In this phase we brainstormed possible solutions. Initially we thought about creating an app to help students. However, we didn’t want to assume every student has access to a phone with internet, and further noted that the internet can be spotty. In time we determined that color-coded, signage with imagery that’s specific to each department would be the best tool. We took inspiration from parking lots that use a stripe of color along the wall to help users remember where they parked.

Phase Four: Prototype

It was time for us to prototype our solution. We opted to create a digital mockup via Photoshop and by filming a short video to help us present our ideas during our pitch.

A digital mockup of what department signage and color-coding might look like.

The Pitch

At last, each team was given five minutes to pitch our ideas to a panel of judges. My team ultimately won the audience choice for best design!

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