User Experience Design student wins Silver at the IDA Design Awards

Loughborough MA User Experience Design student, Michelle Luo, has been awarded the Silver prize in the Design for Society / Design for Social Impact category at the International Design Awards (IDA).

The awards exist to recognise, celebrate, and promote exceptional design visionaries and discover emerging talent, and Michelle decided to enter her final year project to gain further validation for her concept, and felt the Social Impact category was the perfect opportunity to showcase her work.

DigitalOasis is a service that makes the internet more accessible, affordable, and less intimidating for disadvantaged homeless people by ‘brining the internet to them’. The service is a mobile internet hub, in the form of a van and small-scale volunteer IT team, that is supported by an app that collects everyday donated surplus mobile data.

The service enables those who are often intimidated by learning new technologies to surf the web confidently and easily, free of charge, using the surplus data collected. It reaches out those who feel unable to ask for help.

Speaking of her award, Michelle says that:

“I feel quite excited, but at the same time very grateful that this project has received recognition.”

There have undoubtedly been constraints imposed by the pandemic, but Michelle hopes to continue to progress and the next steps for the project are to validate the concept by holding mock-up pop-up store IT sessions.

Michelle explains that:

“As a socially responsible designer, I recognise the importance of the role I can play in change making and as such I intend to take this project further and to help bridge the digital divide in any way that I can, especially during these unprecedented times of working from home, we’ve fully recognised the essential importance of gaining access to the Internet. “

Congratulations to Michelle!