MA User Experience Design student wins Public Choice award at the UX Design Awards

MA User Experience Design student, Tanya Beri, has won the Public Choice award at the UX Design Awards 2020 for her concept 'CAIR', which inspires knowledge about poor air quality and promotes a shift to walking.

The UX Design Awards are a global competition for user and customer experience, organized by the International Design Center Berlin (IDZ). The annual competition is open for products, services, environments, prototypes and concepts as well as for future-oriented visions. Among submissions from 34 countries, this years jury selected 102 projects to participate in the international competition for outstanding user and customer experience. For the first time, they included the “New Talent”‘ category which is open for Bachelors and Masters students to submit their entries.

Tanya submitted her entry 'CAIR' for the UX Design Awards after creating an innovative concept responding to the design research methods and design for behaviour change brief. After showing her concept to young adults who commute into central London, they were shocked to hear just how much air pollution they are exposed to on a daily basis. It was then when Tanya realised just how beneficial her app concept could be, and felt the next step in pursuing this idea would be to gain exposure and see how credible it would be outside of an academic project.

an illustration of CAIR screens on smart phones

The brief was initially set up by Hubbub, an agency in London tackling socially innovative projects. The first was a research project using creative methods to gather data and generate insights from them. The second was to generate a product or service that inspired behaviour change based on the previous insights discovered within the first project. There were three subject matters to choose from - water, air pollution or fast fashion. Having travelled to cities where air pollution is a serious issue, Tanya decided to select this brief and research into her home city, London. 

the CAIR Key information screen comparing journeys taken with pollution levels

Air quality is an environmental issue that impacts cities across the world, in particular capitals. The London Underground currently is up to seven times above the safe limit across deeper lines. This makes it difficult for commuters in the city to avoid excess exposure, whom also lack awareness of this situation. Throughout Tanya's research she discovered that commuters valued their time in the mornings and wanted to get into their offices as quickly as possible, and were therefore unlikely to want to change their route because the air quality is bad. CAIR is an app that educates the users’ on their exposure to poor air quality during their commute and encourages behaviour change through something they're more likely to care about: hitting their daily step count.

illustration of 3 smart phone screens

Speaking of her award, Tanya says that:

"I was thrilled to be a nominee for the UX Design Awards 2020, but it’s been a real honour to have won the Public Choice award. Being in my first year of UX and less than 2 weeks out of education, I’m very proud to have received such a prestigious achievement so early on in my career. Before I received this title I had accepted a job at Catapult, however the nomination and concept has been a great talking point throughout interviews for UX design roles and definitely increased exposure of my LinkedIn profile and portfolio."