The Great App Challenge

For 24 hours over the 24th and 25th of February I took part in The Great App Challenge held by the University. The aim was too create an app that would solve a real world problem. We were split into teams and went about starting the challenge.

We began with idea generation and thinking about what problems we could tackle and what we feel we could accomplish. We explored various ideas but the one that stood out was an app designed for students in Cardiff School of Art and Design which would allow them to post images of their work, like Instagram, whereby other students and lecturers can then like or leave feedback on the work. The idea behind this app was the idea of collaboration. Cardiff School of Art and Design upholds a strong reputation of collaboration and cross-disciplinary and although students take part in Field, it is still rather limited. For example a Graphics students, like myself, does not get to see what work a Fashion student may be doing. Therefore this app allows students to gain a sense of what is happening within the school – developing and enhancing the community. As students progress from first year through to third, they are able to tell a story of their journey and progression.

The app would be more informal in tone. The only site available to students at the moment is Moodle, which is not very user friendly and is not designed for sharing work, it is an educational tool designed to provide information to students.

Here is a design of the app…


As a team I felt we worked well together. Three of us were from graphics, one from fashion and one from business. Having such a good mix of people meant we could all bring something different to the table. We considered the use of the app, features, interface designs and the business side. Due to the strength of our teamwork we were able to successfully present an app that actually has potential. The feedback we received was very positive and we were told that it was a strong idea that tackled a real issue.

If feel this task has really shown me the strength in collaboration, although I am currently doing the field module I don’t feel I have really seen the benefits in collaboration and it has not been very enjoyable. But what this task has shown is that if you work with people who want to be there and want to do well then working collaboratively becomes an enjoyable and worthwhile experience.

As well as creating the app the team running the challenge brought in guest speakers to help give us some tips and advice. Although all of the guest speakers gave some great advice to bear in mind, the one person that stood out to me was Helen Walbey. She told us her life story and to think of all the highs and extreme lows she has had, she has always managed to pick herself up and succeed in whatever she does. This is because she said she always believed in herself and believes that if you want to do anything in life, all you need is time and practice, because anything is achievable if you want it bad enough. She also said that a lot of what she has done would not have been possible if she couldn’t persuade.

Here are her tips to successfully persuade someone…

Reciprocity – obligation to give when you receive. Be the first to give, personalised, unexpected.
Scarcity – what they stand time lose.
Authority – get others to recommend you.
Consistency – start small, get people in.
Liking – find common ground.
Consensus – point to what others are already doing.

Overall, The Great App Challenge has been great fun and I’m glad I decided to take part. I did not expect to make an app as successful as ours within 24 hours. Of course it’s not perfect, but I do think that this is something the university could be interested and could become a reality. I can now fully see the benefits within collaboration and I feel more positive within myself, in the sense that I know that I can create something within a short space of time. If I were to do it again, I would spend , more time on idea generation because I feel we decided on an idea a little too quickly and so I think more exploration is needed.


Author: marislathamgraphics

I am a student at Cardiff Metropolitan University studying BA Hons Graphic Communication.

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