Tag Archives: Bill Hart-Davidson

Interactive Design Course Produces Two Student-led Startups

Screencap of Routebook's startup page, with an image of Syllabot's app mockup overlayed to the right

Students in Professional Writing are notorious for being innovative and creative thinkers. Although this might sound a bit biased coming from a Professional Writing student like myself, it’s true. Professional Writer’s are designers, writers, builders, and thinkers. We work for publishing companies, non-profits, local companies, and nationally known companies. We help design websites for startup companies and create a social media strategy for organizations around East Lansing. Some of us even create ideas for Smart Phone apps and more adept Learning Management websites.

Last fall, two teams were hard at work in Bill Hart-Davidson’s Interactive Design (WRA 482) class coming up with an idea to help students navigate MSU and learn more efficiently. The two teams, Team Routebook and Team Syllabot, came up with projects last semester and have continued progress on them throughout this semester.

Team Routebook

Team Routebook began development on a Smartphone application appropriately named, “Routebook.”

“[Routebook] allows a user to see all of his or her current, fastest available transportation options,” Jessie Whitmill said, one creator on the three person team.

Although the project isn’t a finished application available to the public quite yet, the team determined the functionality of the app in class. Team Routebook, which also consists of Stephanie Sundheimer and Amanda Michels, made mockups based on user research and testing. They figured out how the data would be displayed to the user and came up with other options for the app so it would be more than just a bus GPS tracker.

“I first had an idea for an application that would tell me where the bus was because I live in Lansing and if I missed [the bus] by even one or two minutes, I was often late to class,” Whitmill explained when asked how she came up with the idea for the application. “After [my team] started to flesh out more ideas, we realized the live bus GPS tracker could be just one feature of a much larger app.” Continue reading