DECO HCI Seminar WS15/16: Student projects

Last semester’s design task of the Human Computer Interaction seminar at DECO was to create, prototype and evaluate innovative solutions for individuals and groups in need. The seminar was based on results from a 2-day hackathon event called Helpathon, organised by the Research Group for Industrial Software (INSO, Vienna University of Technology).

Three teams completed the seminar, resulting in creative, useful and innovative applications. We proudly present the mobile application concepts of our participating student teams:

RefugeeDiaries – an app for sharing personal life stories and finding new friends
Humanity – an app for spontaneously helping people nearby
Sharity – a donation logistics app for supporting both donors and relief organisations


Amer Salkovic, Michael Traxler, Mario Vorstandlechner

RefugeeDiaries is a mobile application which helps refugees to share their personal stories and experiences with others. Therefore, every user has his own profile and personal timeline. The profile consists of various information about a person such as the spoken languages, his age, or his interests. To publish a story, the user chooses a title, selects when and where it happened, eventually adds some pictures, and the story can then be read by everyone who wants to.

With the explore-function users can browse through all the published stories and read the ones they are interested in. Furthermore, they can follow other people to get informed about their activities, and they can also show their appreciation for persons to show them that their stories are heard. Another important feature of the application is that refugees can meet with other people and find new friends. Therefore everyone can request a meeting with another user in a controlled environment, which is set up by a relief organisation.

The app RefugeeDiaries helps refugees to share their experiences, raises the awareness for their experiences and histories, and also supports the integration of them with the possibility to set up meetings with others.


Video: RefugeeDiaries on youtube


Manuel Gavornik, Johannes Herrnegger, Daniela Köhle, Todor Lazov, Christian Novotny

With Humanity you can receive and offer help spontaneously on the go. The app connects helpers and people in need while motivating to help others.

A helper can simply open the app and see the closest “tasks” and offer help on a task he likes. The person in need can then look up the user rating before deciding on accepting the help. If the help is accepted the helping person will receive more details about the task including the location.

If a help seeker solves his problem all the helpers are rewarded with score points. These points are shown directly on the users’ profile pages. Additionally, users are able to rate other users based on their experience – how happy was a person with the help they got, if they are good at team work and so on.


Video: Humanity on youtube

Sharity – Micrologistics for Humanitarian Efforts

Michael Dichtl, Pamina Georgiou, Markus Pawlata, Simon Schneider

In the face of the current refugee crisis charity organisations are more than ever dependent on gifts-in-kind on a very short term basis. However, they are still facing problems when it comes to logistics: sometimes they don’t get enough donations to the right place, sometimes too much to handle the storage. A lot of organisations have different locations where they simply need different kinds of things. So they often have to organise transports of donations to get them to the right place.

In order to avoid these issues we suggest a micro-logistics platform consisting of a web application for organisations and a mobile app for donors that serves the needs of these organisations in real-time:

  • Organisations publish their needs precisely, i.e. the exact amount needed, with the actual location where it is needed
  • donors can access these lists in real-time and tell organisations what they are going to give them and when, which is synchronized via the service
  • a smart combination of the website and the app allows for organisations to keep track of what they already got by registering arriving donations and to easily publish new needs
  • the flexibility of the design allows for many different kinds of organisations to use it according to their needs


Video: Sharity on youtube