design factory image 3

Our Projects

Design Factory students have worked on a number of projects for our various clients. Below are brief descriptions of the problems they were tasked with solving, and the solutions they developed.

New approaches for Waikato wellbeing

Team: Studio5
Industry partner: Waikato District Health Board

As the Waikato population continues to grow and technology continues to influence more areas of life, the Waikato DHB recognised the need to rethink how healthcare is provided and accessed by their users. Joining in with Studio5, the Waikato DHB provided the challenge of “How might we engage people in their own health wellbeing – while reducing health inequalities?”

The Studio5 team engaged with this challenge over a 16-week cycle – involving interviews with young people, teachers, retirement village residents and healthcare professionals, employing a range of problem solving tools, and testing a prototype solution with schools and retirement homes.

Studio5’s project culminated with Wiser Generations – a program that engages secondary school students in learning well-being principles, alongside the elderly. Their programs linked NCEA qualifications with their programs, offering incentives for students to engage in their own well-being.

Forming valuable relationships between Wintec & their alumni

Team: Aluminate
Industry partner: Wintec

Wintec has a large alumni, who have gone on to work in influential and innovative careers. They desired to strengthen their alumni relationship, creating opportunities for mentoring students, show-casing stories of success, and utilising alumni as industry experts for educational projects.

Aluminate students partnered with Wintec managers to wrestle with this complex problem, conducting empathy interviews with Wintec staff, teachers and previous students. Seeking to understand the needs of both sides of the challenge, Aluminate utilised Lotus Maps, personas, empathy maps, and more to sense-make their insights and to create prototypes for testing.

Aluminate’s solution was the creation of 'Huihui' – a micro-reunion for Wintec alumni and tutors each year. This concept was grounded on interview data, and was an integrated event with a year-long customer journey – designed to maximise the value of the event and foster valuable relationships for Wintec and their previous alumni.

Centralising tools for city councils

Team: Calico
Industry partner: Hamilton City Council

Hamilton City Council is one of the largest organisations in the Waikato – with over 1000 staff, hundreds of key stake-holders, and a distributed workforce throughout the city. As Hamilton grows, the council needs to co-ordinate their communication and resources to ensure they can serve their community as effectively as possible.

Hamilton City Council’s challenge to be shared with Calico was, “How Might We Share Internal Information on Key Stakeholders and Their Needs to Better Engage and Work With Them?”

Over the next 16 weeks, Calico– a collection of Wintec Design, IT, Sports & Exercise, and Business students – sought to deeply understand the human-nature of this problem. They met with stakeholders and council staff, observed their current tools and clustered their insights to show common themes. 

After developing four prototypes and testing them with key staff, Calico finalised their proof of concept with Symmetry – a personalised online space for Council staff to access resources as they need. Symmetry offered centralised project storage, communication between different units, and the ability to sync with other programs.