“Student Company goes App” – and D-LABS keeps up
Following the last successful active participation in the Social Hack Day, we once again enthusiastically joined the “Student Company goes App” project to support the development of Germany’s first app dedicated to the work done in student companies.
In Brandenburg alone, there are 120 student companies. Here, students aged 12–16 can gain some initial practical experience with the processes of a commercial enterprise and acquire important key competencies, like team spirit and reliability.
The aim of the project “Student Company goes App” was to optimize work at student companies with an Android app. The Social Hack Day served as a platform where the individual student firms – with the support of enterprises – could transform their wishes and ideas into workable concepts.
Our design thinker Thomas Schubert joined the “Bee Holders” app development team with his comprehensive method expertise, accompanied and assisted by our student intern Hannes Brodtmann. Coming from the same age group, he could easily identify himself with the attendees and actively participate.
After the roles of the individual team members were assigned our colleague supported the students across all iterative process steps:
First, the user groups, their roles and needs were defined and then clustered into three user groups. Thus, it could be clarified – among other things – which user groups require a login area to keep the product use barrier as low as possible. Afterwards, the team requests for the particular app functions were collected and cut down to the essentials.
The next step was to test the functions for technical feasibility. For inspiration, other appropriate app solutions were targeted as well. Thus, content was restructured and reprioritized, and finally a user-friendly mock-up could be created.
As the project proceeds, an editorial preparation of checklist items shall be created, functions predefined and continually adjusted to the requirements. The app should be completed in the coming months.
The student team we instructed particularly learned user-focused operations. Additionally, they realized that all features must be scrutinized in terms of real need; thus, development is characterized by constant challenging and adapting. Our input helped the students to develop a more effective and applicable product.
Our intern learned a lot about organizational and structural processes of development projects. His favorite task was helping us develop and implement the website’s home page.
For us, it has been really refreshing collaborating with young and dedicated people, while sharing our experiences on applying design thinking methods.
We look forward to an app that will really be helpful to student companies.