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College of Design

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mobile App Challenge Finale!

Today is the conclusion of the 2nd annual U of M Mobile App Challenge. The Mobile App Challenge started back in October when organizers encouraged student designers, developers, entrepreneurs, or anyone interested to pitch an idea for a new mobile app. If your pitch was selected, you received up to $500 to help with the costs of designing and developing your product. This evening, the apps will be examined by a panel of judges and winners will be selected shortly thereafter. Together with a 4-person team consisting of three student developers and myself, we have created an app called ThinkTank. It has been a enriching and sometimes frustrating project, but an extremely beneficial learning opportunity for the design work I would like to be doing in the future.


ThinkTank is an idea and thought collaboration network that is location-based, anonymous, and user governed. ThinkTank provides a unique and refreshing take on social media and human interaction. The home screen of the app shows posts closet to your current location. An anonymous post from a user of the app might be about an interesting landmark, a breathtaking view, an event that is currently taking place, or perhaps it is just a silly or even thought provoking idea. The idea is to get people interacting and conversing anonymously, rather than always worrying about how they may be perceived on their sprawling social network.

Another feature of the app are "Ponders". If you like a post by someone, you can "ponder" or like it. If you don't like a post or find it inappropriate you can downvote it or flag it. This keeps unique and interesting posts at the top of your feed and demotes uninteresting ones, letting ThinkTank's users govern the content they interact with.

We will be showing off a real working beta on our phones tonight in Walter Library room 101 from 6-8pm if the snow doesn't scare everyone away. Stop by and check it out or feel free to ask me any questions about the app or the Mobile App Challenge in the comments.

Sean Mateer
Graphic Design