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Student-Driven Innovation: UCLA Library Simul8 Group

Kevin Rundblad
UX & Social Technology Strategist
University of California, Los Angeles

Todd Grappone
Associate University Librarian for Digital Initiatives and IT
University of California, Los Angeles

Solving informational problems for users is a core idea at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Library. This requires an understanding of how users operate (user research), the interactions they prefer (ux/ui), and the needed expertise to build the interactions for the devices they use (mobile/web). Numerous mobile apps for higher education have been developed over the years, and these products have been extremely popular with campus administrations and libraries, as well as with students and faculty. UCLA Library stepped into this marketplace with a different approach to development than most of the other offerings. The UCLA Library Simul8 team of developers is made up exclusively of students. The benefit of a team of student developers is twofold: first, user research is implicit within the group, since the developers themselves can inform the app development; second, the students tend to have familiarity with the latest programming languages for web/mobile apps, so the skill sets are more available.

This session will discuss the principles behind the formation of the group, the start-up culture of development, the tools and infrastructure utilized, and how projects are created and brought to fruition.

Presentation Slides

Last updated:  Thursday, January 3rd, 2013