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These 6 HCI Projects Tackle Everyday Challenges

Team Sage

The course goal in Human-Computer Interaction Studio – or INFO 4420 – is to introduce students to user-experience design techniques, culminating with a semester-long project where students dive in, identify a particular issue and design a solution. For Spring 2017 semester students, these technology-focused solutions covered practical, everyday problems – like how to cut down on food waste – to deeply personal challenges for segments of our population - how can technology promote social engagement among seniors who feel isolated?

Final projects from six student groups were on display Wednesday, May 10, during a semester-end poster session in Gates Hall. Participating teams designed the following solutions:

Fridge Friend

An estimated 31 percent of the U.S. food supply is lost to retail and consumer side food waste, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Using a fridge tablet, a rotating plate and a scanner, Fridge Friend scans your fridge to create a virtual inventory of what items are present and when they were added. The goal is to alert you as food items begin to spoil. Also worth noting: Fridge Friend was recognized during this year's BOOM event.

Check’ In

This mobile application is aimed at helping people with alcohol use disorder by offering monitoring and support for those wanting to curb their alcohol consumption.

Misinformation is the target of this interface that visually treats unverified news content with a warning. Verified news stories display as normal, while flat-out inaccurate content gets treated with a blur filter. Inspired by stock trading systems, has a “virality” cap for news consumers. When unverified articles cross this cap, the story is de-prioritized on the user’s news feed, thus limiting the likelihood of an unverified article going viral.  


Promoting healthy pregnancies, Bump is an interactive voice-based system that works with in-home assistants, like Amazon Echo, to ensure that soon-to-be moms are eating right and getting enough exercise. Carrying out a user study, Team Bump found users loved the application’s sugar tracking and shopping list features to promote healthy eating.


This interface leverages a team-designed mobile app and the Amazon Echo to connect isolated seniors with other users with similar interests. Testing this topic-based live chat community, users liked the ease for back-and-forth dialogue and the natural interaction Sage facilitated. 


Need to vent? This mobile application is an anonymous platform where you can safely let it all out and get support from a peer-to-peer based network of participating volunteers. The goal with Calme is a safe, private forum for college students to manage their stress.