KUNE, or “together” in Esperanto, was the title of team KOVA’s Fall quarter grad project. The project, which initially centered on the unique needs faced by international students, evolved to address more common needs. At first, there was a thought to design the product to allow international students, or those away from home for the first time, to easily connect with others from similar cultures. The product would have offered ways for these users to readily meet up with others for cultural events or for dining experiences.
As the product evolved, and we began testing, it became clear that by casting a wider net and expanding our user base, we could design a product that allowed anyone to socialize with others through event-driven activities like dining, movies, drinks, and other adventures. With this concept determined, we moved into the prototyping phase.
The prototype, sketched, wireframed and then built in Flash, was deployed on a large screen television for usability testing. Ideally, the final version of such a design would be based on a touchscreen device.
After we compiled the results from our initial usability testing, we were able to address some of the more common issues faced by our users. Following additional iterations to the design’s prototype, we presented KUNE. The feedback received was positive and encouraging. One attendee said that his frequent business trips found him in unfamiliar areas and a product such as KUNE could be instrumental in getting him, and people like him, out and active.