December 07, 2017

SIAT wins big at the Vancouver UX awards for the second year in a row


For the second consecutive year, students from SFU’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) have come out on top at the Vancouver User Experience (UX) Awards. The event, which took place last week at The Imperial, recognizes the most “joyful, elegant, clear, innovative, and impactful user experiences” made right here in Vancouver.

SIAT students Sean Leach, Chris Elawa and Robyn Goodridge took first prize in the UX Design by Students category for their project with the American Civil Liberties Union. The team developed an online hub called The Crisis Centre which serves as a “keeper and deployer of legal resources for individuals in urgent need of help in protecting their civil liberties”. The centre was designed in response to the current tumultuous political climate in the U.S.

From left: Robyn Goodridge, Sean Leach, and Chris Elawa

Meanwhile, the People's Choice Award went to students Annette Cheung, Kosuke Futsukaichi and Elizabeth Chan for their work with the Canadian Olympic Committee. Their project, #changethegame,was designed for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and seeks to advance gender equity in sports. Team member Cheung explains, the campaign shines a light on how female athletes and their accomplishments are portrayed within the media and how this representation reinforces gender-based discrimination.

From left: Elizabeth Chan, Kosuke Futsukaichi, and Annette Cheung

Both projects were developed in the IAT 499 course last spring which was taught by senior instructor Russel Taylor. Taylor explains, “the senior level of quality and time allowed the teams to dig into more challenging real-world topics and thoroughly build out the working prototypes—and that quality was recognized. It’s impressive to see how our students’ work is competing. Our students are operating as important brand ambassadors.”

An all-around success story, Taylor also noted that the two winning projects have sparked larger conversations around whether student projects can be considered for the top award, Best UX, moving forward.