SIAT students win Vancouver User Experience Award for app Safe Shopper

December 10, 2020

School of Interactive Arts & Technology students Helen Huynh, Clayton Cheung, Andrew Tsui, Jasmeet Kaur, and Peter Huang have won the UX by Students award at the Vancouver UX Awards for their app Safe Shopper.

Helen, Clayton, Andrew, Jasmeet, and Peter continue a long tradition of excellence for SIAT at the UX awards. This is the fourth time that SIAT students have won a UX award and the fifth consecutive year that Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology students have won the award.

The Safe Shopper app was initially conceptualized and developed by Helen, Clayton, Andrew, Jasmeet, and Peter for their IAT 334 Interface Design class with instructor Paul Brokenshire. They were encouraged to pick a topic that all group members had a shared interest in and, given the current situation with COVID-19, the group of five was initially motivated by thinking of ways that their app could help improve life during the ongoing pandemic.

They came up with the Safe Shopper app, a mobile app that helps users to stay safe while making essential shopping trips. It helps users stay safe by enabling them to simultaneously compare COVID-19 data and the health and safety plans of different stores, providing them with the information they need to make informed decisions about their shopping trips.

“Our first task was to research which common areas of daily life the pandemic was affecting that we could tackle for our project,” says Helen. “Essential shopping was our final pick after narrowing down our choices.”

The app encourages community engagement by allowing users to submit health and safety-based reviews that can be viewed by other users. Business owners can also view feedback from customers through the app and communicate changes in their operational procedures.

In designing the app, the group spent a good portion of the semester working and reworking the app to figure out what was effective and what need improvement. They not only benefitted from the feedback of their instructor throughout the semester, but from the feedback of their friends and family who were their test subjects and gave the group the critiques they needed to finetune the visual and interaction style of the app.

“This process wouldn’t have been possible without the support and patience of our family and friends who helped us test and review our features during the semester and afterward,” says Helen.

The group agreed that the most valuable lessons they took away from this project were learning to adapt the changing conditions and finding efficient ways of working in those conditions.

“I enjoyed every bit of the process,” says Clayton of the project. “From the brainstorming stage to the completion of the high-fidelity prototype. The whole process has provided me with a sense of achievement, especially when looking at our final product, all the effort was worth it.”

The team of students is excited about how this experience will factor in to their future goals and for Jasmeet this means continuing the journey to become a UI/UX designer. “We have a passion for design and storytelling and working with others. We would love to be part of the tech industry and make a positive impact with our work,” says Jasmeet of her future goals.

With the finished product and their new award, the team has much to be proud of.

“Being part of the Van UX Awards was really inspiring and encouraging. We got to see and connect with professionals in the industry and that exposure was awe-inspiring,” says Jasmeet.

“We’re happy and humbled that Safe Shopper was recognized by industry professionals. I am proud of my team, High Five, and Safe Shopper!” adds Clayton.

Learn more about the app: