This semester we have a very special MediaNight – it is completely virtual! So if you want to visit MediaNight it is just one mouseclick away: https://www.hdm-stuttgart.de/medianight

Apps, apps and more apps...

I would like to show you some of the great projects we have worked on during this semester. Due to the Corona crisis a special focus was layed on apps that help the society to better cope with the new situation. One problem is the lack of digitalisation in schools. Thus, we worked on two apps that help students and teachers with homeschooling (Beasty and Schule 4.0). Two other apps try to help certain groups either in terms of getting help from other people (Hand in Hand) or in order to make it easier for small local shops to be found and make contact with new and existing customers even in a lockdown situation, where physical access to a store is not feasible (Nahdran). The website and app in our CityScope project tries to help people to understand what impact buildings and streets can have on the air quality in a quarter. You can educate yourself and even build your own quarter in using an interactive web application. Another project looked into autonomous driving and how the decisions of an artifical intelligence can be visualized to the passengers within an autonomous shuttle (eXplain your drive). This project was conducted in cooperation with the research department of Mercedes-Benz in Sindelfingen. In order to conduct user tests for our research projects we needed a tool that allows to interactively collaborate with probands via video chat and at the same time be able to show them videos and let them answer questionares all in one tool. This project called RemoTE will be extended in the future and is not only helpful during the corona crisis but also beyond that as it makes it very easy to conduct usability studies of prototypes using video. Last but not least we worked together with Porsche on a future digital platform for production processes. We presented our prototypes to Albrecht Reimold, member of the board and head of production at Porsche AG. He was very impressed of our ideas and the iterative and agile development process (User-Centered Design) we were using. It was a great project with many learnings on both sides, students and Porsche staff members. I hope you enjoy the MediaNight and get some inspiration for your own next project. So, if you have an idea for a semester project, please let me know. It is alway great fun to work together with motivated students and in cooperation with the industry. This semester was special, as we not only had a completely different way of working together (mainly online) but we also learned a lot about new tools, self-motivation and remote work. I must say that this semester –  despite or because of Corona? – the majority of students were amazingly motivated and made fantastic progress. Thanks for this! Always fun to work together with great teams!

Due to the Corona crisis schools are faced with enormous new challenges. A main problem is homeschooling which is approached differently by every school and teacher. Some teachers are somehow overwhelmed with how to use digital media and different platforms. Support from the school or the ministry is often very little. In this project we investigate into how homescholling can be supported by an app in order to make it easier for teachers to communicate with students and provide them with exercises and learning materials and at the same time track their learning status. Additionally we aim to improve the motivation for students in a homeschooling situations by using a gamification approach. Keeping students motivated is usually on of the problems when learning at home as the distractions are high and intrinsic motivation is rare.

Under the working title “School 4.0” we want to create an organizational tool that digitizes many facets of everyday teaching life and encourages teachers to exchange ideas about the topic of digitalization. In this way, the teachers can communicate and share experiences with tools they use for teaching and can support each other on this journey. Classic to-do lists and calendars offer a simple first approach on the topic, while modern pin boards make the long-term digitization of school education possible. Thus, the application remains relevant and interesting even after the crisis.

The mobile app “Hand in Hand” offers a platform to find help for private projects. Whether it is gardening, building a new kitchen or a move, with this app you can find the right help directly in your area.

Every person has reached a point in their life where they can’t get ahead alone and need help. “Hand in Hand” was developed for this situation. The mobile app offers people seeking help and potential helpers a simple way to get in touch with each other. Anyone who would like to use their free time to support other people can search for a project in their area and register as a helper. In this sense, “Hand in Hand” brings people from the same area together in order to successfully achieve all project goals together.

The hybrid app was developed using the User Center Design Process. The vector graphic editor and prototyping tool Figma was used for the design and prototyping. The backend was implemented with Java Spring Boot and is connected to a MySQL database. The frontend was created with Ionic based on Angluar. For the delployment Jenkins and Docker are used.

A local community support app that simplifies the digital contact between customers and retailers.

In order to simplify the digital contact between customers and local retailers in the days of the coronavirus, the iOS and Android app ‘nahdran’ offers several advantageous features. As a customer it is possible to display local shops within a map or a list. Retailers can likewise add their stores and contact details there. In addition, both parties can communicate through an integrated message or video chat.

CityScope is a way to showcase urban planning choices and decisions in a fun, interactive way. Previously, the project was focused on a physical table to make urban planning problems more understood by non-experts. This semester, we have taken CityScope online. Through a combination of an interactive website and a virtual city grid, we highlight the problems with air pollution that Stuttgart faces, and how urban planning decisions impact the quality of the air we breathe.

With the limitations that this semester brought, we have taken CityScope online. Our challenge was to maintain the playful and interactive nature of CityScope while educating about the impact of urban planning decisions. We decided to focus on a local issue, air quality. Through a combination of an interactive website and a virtual city grid, we walk users through the problems with air pollution, the origins of those problems, and potential solutions. Users can then apply what they have learned onto a virtual city grid that demonstrates real-time, how urban planning decision can directly impact the quality of air we breathe. .

In our research project “explAIn your Drive”, we want to find out in cooperation with “PIONEERING by Daimler” whether different levels of information influence trust and understanding in an autonomous shuttle.

By means of a virtually displayed drive through road traffic, our focus is on situations at pedestrian crossings. The different levels of information are provided with an animated dashboard on which the passenger is to be informed about traffic events by notification. On the other hand we use an animated augmented reality.
Through an agile working method with several iterations and user tests, we can optimally incorporate the resulting results into our research.

The aim is to find out which level of information most comprehensibly represents the decisions of the AI and thus creates a higher basis of trust. 

This project is the continuation of the projects “ExplAIn your Drive” and “The LEAVE Concept”, which were developed last year. In these projects students dealt with the concept of an autonomous shuttle and the communication between humans and shuttle. While the previous projects developed a shuttle simulator for the purpose of user testing, this project focuses on creating a testing environment that enables such user tests without the physical shuttle simulator. The COVID 19 pandemic has increased the need for such an online testing environment. RemoTE enables testing with users worldwide, without the limitations of distance. We would love to show you how the web application works and how we implemented it at the (virtual) Media Night!

During the production process of a car, it is important to have all relevant information at the right time at your fingertips. Even though a lot of information is already available for Porsche’s production workers, the visualization and presentation of information could be improved.
In our project, we want to investigate which information is really relevant in which situation. Based on that information, we will build user-centered concepts and digital prototypes. We will test these prototypes in a real environment to find out if our ideas actually make a difference on the shop floor. We have set two priorities: On the one hand, a “dashboard with information to the employee” and on the other hand a “scorecard disposition”. 

The project results were presented to the Porsche teams including the Porsche Boardmember Albrecht Reimold. We all learned a lot, had a lot of fun and are looking forward to the next project in cooperation with Porsche!

Team Meeting with the Porsche Member of the Board Albrecht Reimold an the team