🦄 designer / developer

Intro to HCI

Semester long group project for Introduction to Human Computer Interaction.
Prompt: Pick an area of campus, then design a technology based solution to a problem that was experienced.


Introduction to HCI - Semester Project

Semester long group project for Introduction to Human Computer Interaction; the group consisted of 3 other computer science majors.
Prompt: Choose an area of campus, then design a technology based solution to a problem that is experienced.


Phase 1 - Analysis

Because 3 of the group members lived in residence halls of varying size and style, we chose resident life, then narrowed the focus to housekeeping.


We started by interviewing housekeepers and supervisors in a variety of residence halls on campus.
We conducted multiple interviews with 6 different people.

User Personas

Through interviews, we developed three user personas for who we were designing.

Mama Martha is housekeeper in a residence hall.
telling detail - she has to pick up children from the elementary school, right after work
Sue Provisor is one of the housekeeping supervisors at Virginia Tech.
telling detail - she is very big on teamwork
Dr. Walter Richardson is in charge of student affairs at Virginia Tech.
telling detail - housekeeping is just one of the main groups within Virginia Tech Student Affairs that he manages

WAAD - Work affinity activity diagram

After analyzing our observations and interviews, we made our initial WAAD (work activity affinity diagram).  We started by clustering things that related to each other, then labeled each cluster appropriately. 

We then made our final WAAD in a tree hierarchy that shows how each category relates to each other.

Choosing The Problem to Solve

After analyzing the WAAD we realized that there was a lot of talk about how managing the inventory was not very easy. Upon further interviews, we realized that supervisors have to manually enter inventory tracked on paper sheets from all the supply closets (1 to 5 closets per floor in a building).


Goals for Our Solution

  • does not require expensive / personal technology 
  • integrated into daily routine (no learning curve)
  • saves housekeepers time (no longer have to fill out a paper sheet)
  • does not require extensive technical knowledge
    (most of the housekeepers are not very consumer savvy)

Phase 2 - Design

Design Ideas

Chosen Design Idea

We decided on an "inventory button" as the best solution. It was very similar to the "ordering button" mainly without the ordering part. It also had an accompanying web application for supervisors to track usage and order more supplies.

Once a housekeeper tracks inventory in the supply closet with the inventory buttons, a backend system is updated. The supervisors can see live updates of used supplies and what needs to be ordered.

Morphological Box

UX Target Table


Phase 3 - Prototypes

Foam prototypes I made

How housekeepers would use the system


How supervisors would use the system


Phase 4 - Evaluation

Finally, we took our system back to the housekeepers and supervisors to get their feedback. Overall they thought that our system was a good concept and would be an improvement to what is already in place. 

Housekeeper Tracking

We were told that our one button system was only a minimal to negligible improvement over the paper system because both methods require the housekeepers to track inventory. Also, the space inside some supply closets is very small, and a single closet may need to hold up to 60 different types of supplies. Installing that many buttons would be difficult and costly.

Supervisor Application

We were told that the supervisor application was a large improvement. Our system saves the supervisors hours of time each week by automatically tracking inventory used, which closet an item came from, and which housekeeper checked it out.


if you are particularly interested, you can check out the final project report