DALI Application Supplements
Complete the following supplements using the personalized Typeform link sent to your email. Your supplements are required to consider your application complete.
You are always welcome to apply for multiple roles - we will consider you for the role(s) you apply for.
If you have questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by our Open Lab Hours on Mondays from 5-8pm.
First, the code challenge. You can find directions for the code challenge here.
Once you’ve completed the challenge(s), please fill out the personal Typeform link sent to you via email to complete your application. Here we will ask for 2 additional code samples from any of your previous work. These should be submitted in the form of urls for Gists or links to Github files or repos. Please make sure that shared files are publicly viewable! They don't need to be very long — even a single method or class is fine. We look for samples of code that are clean and well written with good commenting and logical code structure. We especially appreciate applicants who demonstrate a passion for coding, like building a side project or learning a new language, so we prefer work done outside of class.
Please select one of the following design challenges. Document any notes, questions, sketches, and research that you created along the way.
Be yourself and play to your strengths! Your work should reflect your creativity and problem solving abilities.
Be purposeful with the type of technology you select - maybe even think of a way this could be solved in the future.
People often don’t recycle properly. Create a digital solution that helps college students know where, what, and how to recycle.
Aspects to consider:
- User feedback
Waiting for the elevator is the worst. Design a digital solution that could minimize wait time for people in a 20 story building with only 2 elevators.
Aspects to consider:
- Companies that are spread across multiple floors
- Dining halls on the 10th and 20th floors
- Use of stairs
Part 1: UX | Suggested 2 hours
Do your work by hand on paper. The result doesn’t need to be more than a few ideas and sketches.
Define. What is the problem, who are the users, and what do they need? What are the constraints?
Brainstorm. Generate features that you think would solve the problem, list them out in a prioritized order, and state why.
Sketch. Draw out 3-4 screens to demonstrate the solution, showing your revisions.
Annotate. Explain the rationale behind your design choices, features, and overall flow.
Part 2: UI | Suggested 2 hours
To be completed digitally, in Figma (http://figma.com, it’s free). Follow a few online tutorials to get familiar with it, if it’s new to you.
Hi-Fi. Complete a hi-fidelity mockup of each sketch.
Recreate your sketches in Figma, while considering ways to purposefully depart from your hand sketches and strengthen your solution.
Select appropriate colors, fonts, spacing and layout, and photos/icons such that your work looks like a final product.
Part 3: Design Samples
Please submit an additional 2-4 design samples from any of your previous work. Title each with a date, medium, and short description of your process and involvement in creation.
We evaluate samples based on good problem solving, technical skill, composition, and appropriate use of color and fonts.
Some examples are website/app sketches or designs, logos, posters, newspaper layouts, custom typography, design briefs, 3d models, videos, and iterations of work. We also accept purely fine art pieces like paintings, collages, and sculptures.
How to Submit your Design Challenges:
Using your Figma from Part 2, paste all your work in separate Figma Pages located along the left side of the program (label these Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).
TIP: Scannable is an acceptable app to take photos of your notebooks. Make sure the pages are cropped well and legible.
Make sure your sharable link is publicly viewable.
Submit this URL in the personal typeform link sent to you via email.
The first three challenges are situational, while in the last one you will create a sample document. Your responses should reflect your interpersonal skills and problem solving ability -- the result should give us a comprehensive understanding of your approach to the problem, but need not be exhaustive.
Some things to know before jumping into the challenges: DALI teams usually consist of two developers, two designers, and one project manager. Each team is focused on one project brought to the lab by a partner. In the past, partners have been students, professors, nonprofit and for-profit companies, government agencies, and start-ups. They are chosen through an application process. Teams move through five phases throughout a project: Discover, Define, Design/Develop, and Deliver. This could take anywhere from one term to over a year, depending on the complexity of the problem and solution. DALI’s strength lies in delivering prototypes for the partner to use to conduct user research and launch their product. For more details, check out the Member Guide.
Challenge 1: Waffling
Pretend for a minute that you are the Project Manager of a DALI team. At the beginning of the term, the partner pitches their idea as a website full of data. After researching state of the art and conducting user research, your team identified the problem and proposed a webapp with some interactive data visualizations. However, the partner later decides that the focus should be less on the data and more on the people behind the data. Your team adjusts. At the next meeting, the partner is happy with the new direction, but thinks that an app is really the way to go for this new model. By now it is five weeks into the term. How would you help your team and the partner choose a direction and move forward with the project?
Challenge 2: Team Dynamics
There are a lot of different personalities within your team. One team member is very enthusiastic, has a lot of ideas, takes the lead on every project, and contributes all the time. Another team member is talented, attends meetings, but doesn’t say much and does the bare minimum when it comes to work. How do you interpret this situation? What might you do about it?
Challenge 3: Milestones
DALI teams set milestones to organize work, prioritize, and keep the project moving. As PM, you are responsible for setting reasonable milestones and keeping your team on track. In this scenario, your team is a two weeks behind on milestones. Your partner and the lab staff are asking for an update. One of the developers on the team tells you they are behind because they had to refactor the firebase multicursor because the kerning doesn't align with the redux state model-view controller framework and the NS user defaults plist file is corrupted and the bytecode can’t be recovered. They are also facing out of date podfile dependency errors caused by directed acyclical graph conversion exception. What would you do?
Challenge 4: Plan a Partner Meeting
In this challenge, you will be asked to plan a initial partner meeting using the partner application as a resource. Partners apply with projects to the lab and describe their idea and vision for its implementation in their application. Often their application contains all the details we know and it is up to you and your team get the big picture and more details. During the first week of every term, teams meet with their partner for a project kickoff. This meeting is important because it is the first time you are talking with the partners and is a crucial time to get all the background information your team might need. Based on this sample partner application, please write a plan for this kickoff meeting. Write a meeting agenda in a google doc (make sure we can view it!) along with an explanation. In the explanation please walk us through your decisions regarding content, structure, etc.
How to Submit your PM Challenges:
Once you’ve completed the challenges, please fill out the personal typeform link sent to you via email to complete your application. In this form we will ask additional short-answer questions and give you room to paste answers to the challenges above.
Please submit a reel of any video production you’ve created (live or animated) via the typeform link in the application email.
Please submit your portfolio, CV, and/or description of your product design work via the typeform link in the application email.