The app is named after Donald Norman, the creator of human-centred design, from which comes the design thinking process. That is a method for arriving at an optimal product based on iterations and with users, which is particularly relevant in the Smart Mobile specialisation, where user experience and user interaction are central. The app offers students help in each phase, Huijts explains: "Students can use the app to start a chat conversation with Don for each phase of the design thinking process. The latter gives them advice and guides them through the theory. Students can also ask questions, but AskDON also generates two new questions. This is how students are guided through the process."
The special thing about AskDON, is that the application was developed by students. In doing so, the students, funnily enough, used the design thinking process to achieve a good result. According to student Jakub Jelínek, working with generative AI was not the biggest challenge: "You run into the realistic challenges that come with the process, such as your time management and communication between iOS and Android developers. However, the biggest challenge was figuring out how to motivate students to use the app and how to make sure they like it!" Jakub had a lot of fun developing the app, and of course learned a lot: "It was a really good experience and you learn how important all the other steps in the process are. It's not just coding, you have to do really good research to get the best result."
Opportunities for the future
The app will be further developed in upcoming semesters. Huijts still sees many possibilities in it, such as generating summaries, action lists and an integration with the Canvas education system: "Many projects remain stuck in the prototype phase. Here, it was precisely getting through to details and edge cases that was valuable for the process. We will start working on that next semester with a new group while the current version will be used by all students in the semester, obviously with the privacy principles in place. That will also provide new input." Jakub also sees some more possibilities, which came out of their brainstorming sessions and research: "You can still get a lot of data from the chat history to analyse and generate outcomes. That could help lecturers in assessing student work. Instantly uploading your results as additional evidence in Canvas would also make life easier for students as well as lecturers."
Source: Fontys News