Meet the UX Challenge Winners!
Published Jan 08 2019 04:45 PM 453 Views
First published on MSDN on Apr 08, 2014
It’s time to announce the winners of our User Experience Challenge!

In this contest we asked students around the world to dig deep into their project’s user experience: the flow a user encounters with the software, the information architecture of how menus and screens are connected, wireframe examples of a couple of major screens, and finally a visual target showing one example of how the finished software would look.

Traditionally, concepts like these would have been considered outside the realm of pure software development and would have been delegated to specialists. But on today’s multi-disciplinary teams, in a mobile-centric, touch-interface world, every developer needs to understand the basics of information design and user experience. Many developers end up doing their own interface design, while others partner with talented designers. While UX may be a foreign land for many programming students, when you’re visiting a new country it’s best if you learn the language first...

Let’s take a look at the winners!

World Citizenship

First Place: Emergency Operating System by Team HCI/d , United States

Disasters both natural and man-made are enormously disruptive and harmful. Team HCI/d is composed of four graduate students at Indiana University’s Human Computer Interaction Design program and they asked a great question: what if our mobile devices were directly integrated into civil emergency response systems? Their project envisions how a Windows Phone 8 could notify users of emergencies, direct them to resources such as emergency shelters, document and expose gaps in network coverage, and generally ensure that people know what to do. The team’s designs are clear and concise, acknowledging that in an emergency situation ease of us is critical. We are very proud to award Team HCI/d from the United States the first prize of $3,000 in the World Citizenship category.


First Place: SocialFi by Team Silicon , United States

SocialFi is a fun solution to a common problem: you’re out with your friends for drinks or dinner, but people keep checking their phones. Instead, everyone at the table launches the SocialFi app and sets their phone down. If anyone tries to sneak a peek at their phone, everyone else’s phones are alerted and points are scored by those who resisted temptation! The project includes an intriguing business model where bars and restaurants can offer gift card codes to high-scoring players, meaning those who don’t use their phones in restaurants can be rewarded. Team Silicon from the Savannah College of Art and Design did a great job with their user-experience design documents as well as presenting a truly fun and winning concept, for which we are very proud to award them the first prize of $3,000 in the Games category.


First Place: Via by Hiraya , Philippines

Daily commuting is a hassle in any city. Team Hiraya’s project would unify automated information from trains, buses, and taxis so that for any given trip users can find the best available options. Once on their chosen mode of travel, they can then rate the trip, file complaints, plan the next part of their journey, and request emergency assistance. These three students at Treston International College have designed a beautiful app integrating timetables, maps, ratings, and dynamic data that could be the salvation of many busy travelers. We are thrilled to recognize the design skills of Team Hiraya and award them the first prize of $3,000 in the Innovation category.

Honorable Mention

In addition to our three first-place winning teams, we also chose nine more teams per category to receive an Honorable Mention. They’ve made some great projects and we’re very happy to share their success with the world.

World Citizenship Honorable Mentions

Team: Bove Machine
Nation: United States
Project: SNAP!
SNAP! is a photo-capturing application that helps children suffering from autism socialize with approved friends and family members and helps with simple reading skills, object recognition, and understanding facial expressions and emotions.

Team: CMOS - Coding Masters of Serbia
Nation: Serbia
Project: EduSign
EduSign teaches sign language to people of all ages through a series of tutorials and minigames.

Team: Eyenaemia
Nation: Australia
Project: Eyenaemia
A non-invasive method of detecting anemia, aimed at everyday use in low-cost environments by patients, for patients.

Team: Fantasome
Nation: Vietnam
Project: Bubble Frame
This Windows Phone application adds interesting stories to a photo in an innovative way.

Team: Life Up
Nation: Brazil
Project: Can Game
A game for autistic children to learn skills through play. Life Up won Honorable Mention in our Pitch Video Challenge and took first place in our Project Blueprint Challenge.

Team: Mini IDNO
Nation: United States
Project: WeHaveWeNeed
An application that makes supply management more efficient on the global development front, allowing teams to focus on the people they're serving.

Team: The Divas
Nation: Tunisia
Project: Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom is a fun application that allows kids to discover the world of animals. It also combines an easy-to-use package of games to entertain them.

Team: TunChallenger
Nation: Tunisia
Project: Math for Kids
Math for Kids is an amazing game for 4-to-15 year-old kids to excel in math. It’s a useful tool that includes algebra and geometry games with an interactive way to learn.

Team: Xi Zhu
Nation: United States
Project: Pinkup
Pinkup is an anonymous community with life-assistance functions to satisfy the social needs of 14-17 year old girls who suffer from developmental disabilities like epilepsy and guide them to live a healthy, positive life.

Games Honorable Mentions

Team: Cyber Friends
Nation: United States
Project: Cyber Friends
Cyber Friend gamifies schoolwork with challenges, battles, and progress sharing among classmates. Get ready to show the world how smart you are!

Team: Genesis
Nation: Greece
Project: Dementia: Tales of Blackthorn Manor
Dementia: ToBM is an online survival turn-based strategy game featuring six explorers in a haunted manor. Their goal is to explore the house. Eventually one of them becomes a traitor (Vampire / Werewolf / Warlock etc). Winning conditions are based on the scenario played. Team Genesis also won an Honorable Mention in our Project Blueprint Challenge.

Team: Kung Fu Panda
Nation: Tunisia
Project: Voicy Tracker
A game for kids to associate animals with their actual calls.

Team: Liaison Team
Nation: Brazil
Project: Liaison
A platform action-puzzle game about the friendship between a boy and his dog. Liaison also won first place in our Project Blueprint Challenge.

Team: Pancake Squad
Nation: Russia
Project: IOW
In Other Words is a communicative game that uses your Windows Phone both as an interactive card and a playing board.

Team: Pluzzmo
Nation: Tunisia
Project: Damma
Damma is a checkers game where each player has twelve checkers and tries to capture or block the opponent's pieces.

Team: Seven Summits
Nation: India
Project: Petite
Petite is an ambient game speaking to the player’s heart and soul rather than just their thumbs.

Team: Stonegaard
Nation: Denmark
Project: Battle Crest
Battle Crest is a turn-based, multiplayer strategy game set in Middle-Ages Europe with a focus on a never-before seen level of customization and competitiveness. Team Stonegaard also won Honorable Mention in our Project Blueprint Challenge.

Team: Unchained
Nation: Brazil
Project: Quilombo
Quilombo is a game about the fight for the freedom of African slaves in Brazil during the 17th century. Team Unchained also won Honorable Mention in both our Pitch Video Challenge and our Project Blueprint Challenge.

Innovation Honorable Mentions

Team: Aego
Nation: United Arab Emirates
Project: Aego
This app helps friends traveling together in multiple vehicles to easily stay in a group even when temporarily separated by traffic, pit stops, or other obstacles.

Team: Code Hawks
Nation: Sri Lanka
Project: Automobile Anti-theft System and Assistance
Our Anti-theft solution is powered by an Arduino MEGA controller with GSM shield and a GPS module interconnected with existing technology that is currently available for Anti-Theft measures.

Team: Ellipsis
Nation: Australia
Project: TabLearn
TabLearn transforms any lecture slideshow into a collaboration. Attendees are able to share virtual drawing boards, post questions for the lecturer, and change a passive experience into an engaged one.

Team: Hip Hippo Ray
Nation: United States
Project: Quizzle
An application that gives users various quizzes and, based on their answers, creates a personalized video, rather than words, to deliver the results. Like other internet quizzes, there is the option to share results on social media.

Team: Men of Real
Nation: Slovakia
Project: Real Deal
A hardware-software solution for realtors to create simple 3D scans of housing interiors for remote browsing by prospective buyers. Team Men of Real also won Honorable Mention in our Project Blueprint Challenge.

Team: Mote Labs
Nation: United States
Enabling the world to watch/view online video content together in real-time. Team Mote Labs also won our Pitch Video Challenge.

Team: newData
Nation: Mexico
Project: ParkMe
Improves the service of parking meters through new options such as payment by credit card, location of available parking meters and renewal of time needed via cellphone, among other cool options.

Team: Rock Paper Kiwi
Nation: Netherlands
Project: Motxila
Motxila is an application for backpackers and other travelers to record their travel experiences and to share them with others. It also gives the user the opportunity to meet other travelers and to share their experiences.

Team: Team DePauw
Nation: United States
Project: NO FOMO
Your updates, calendars, and tasks all in one.

I want to thank all the students around the world who competed in the User Experience Challenge. It’s been thrilling to see your ideas brought so vividly to life!

Of course, our 2014 Imagine Cup season continues with National Finals occurring through April 30 as well as the Windows and Windows Phone Challenge. Keep up the great work!

John Scott Tynes
Imagine Cup Program Lead
Microsoft Student Developers
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