jennifer allen
user experience
research & design
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UPA 2009 Student Design Competition Finalist

Designers: Jennifer Allen, Feixing Tuang, Rajasee Rege, Sakshi Gupta, Vince Diaz

Design Problem:

"Sustainable Transportation is an attempt to remedy the current problems of excessive energy consumption, pollution, and inadequate service levels delivered by transportation systems worldwide. The problem can include efforts to reduce carbon emissions, improve public transit, and encourage car sharing, cycling, and walking. It is projected that by 2025 2/3 of the world's populations will reside in urban areas, making Sustainable Transportation a critical component in economics, politics, and health concerns of massive urbanization.

This competition invites student teams to invent a system that addresses this design problem. The solutions should follow a user centered design process supported by background research and, if possible, ethnographic research of the solution space. We encourage students to reach into their nearby communities and include target user groups beyond students themselves for example, families with children, urban professionals, the elderly, etc.. Solutions should be focused on real locations and be sensitive to real users' needs and cultures." [UPA Conference Website]

Design Process:

Through an iterative process, my team and I conducted primary and secondary research, developed insights, narrowed the scope of the problem space and identified a target group. We developed over 50 design concepts based on insights from our research. After selecting a final concept, we created multiple iterations of our prototype based on feedback from concept and usability testing. The pictures below document some of the activities that were conducted during the design process.

Research and Design Methods:

  • Literature Review
  • Interviews
  • Online Survey
  • Fly-on-the-Wall Observation
  • Rapid Ethnography
  • Exemplars
  • Affinity Diagramming
  • Brainstorming
  • Sketching
  • Personas/Scenarios
  • Information Architecture
  • Prototyping
  • Cognitive Walkthrough
  • Concept Testing
  • Usability Testing


I played an active role in each of the activities listed above. My most impactful contributions involved the primary research and secondary research activities, concept development, concept and usability testing, and the writing of the final paper.

Design Description:

Our design is a community owned door-to-door transport service that enables people living in the same apartment community to collectively make trips to nearby grocery stores. Our design supports a more sustainable, perhaps even an automobile-free lifestyle, by providing the individual with a convenient, reliable, efficient, and community-oriented alternative to the typical single occupancy vehicle travel to the grocery store.

Design Document:

GoGrocery: Community-based transportation to support a sustainable lifestyle


UPA 2009 Student Design Competition Poster


Dr. Eli Blevis

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