Written by: Copperleaf

Copperleaf Supports Emerging Designers at VXP Protothon

VXP Protothon is Western Canada’s first design-focused hackathon for UI/UX design students and recent graduates to connect, learn, and create! At this 24-hour designathon—hosted by VentureXPerience, a student-organized group from Simon Fraser University—participants competed to develop a working prototype solution from a prompt.

Copperleaf is proud to have sponsored VXP Protothon which focused on helping emerging designers from across North America sharpen their skills and test their limits. Design can be a tricky field to break into, so helping individuals early in their careers to create meaningful experiences and produce high-quality portfolio pieces was very rewarding for everyone involved.

VXP Protothon is much more than a competition—it is the start of a new design community with the goal of creating a safe space full of opportunities for new and aspiring designers. Our pilot event would not have been possible without the support and encouragement from sponsors like Copperleaf.

Eric J. Lee
Founder and President
VXP Protothon

Copperleafers Jarell Alvarez, Product Designer; Nick Sertic, Director of Product Development Operations; and Eva Li, Product Manager, were excited to participate in the event as judges for the overall winner as well as for the Copperleaf Value-based Decision-making Award. Competitors were given 24 hours to design a solution to a range of prompts (i.e. a variety of problems, each with their own unique challenges). This year’s protothon theme was “mental health” and Copperleaf’s prompt was “value-based decision making in a mental health app”. After reviewing many innovative projects:

  • Team “Dream Team” was crowned the overall winner for their solution “Convey”, an emotion translator communication app for the support network of loved ones suffering from mental health disorder symptoms
  • Team “Ctrl + Alt + UX” won the Copperleaf Value-based Decision-making Award for their solution “Autismate”, an app to support parents whose children have been diagnosed with autism

In addition to participating as event judges, Eva was a panelist on the topic of “Accessibility and Inclusivity in Design”, and Jarell ran a workshop on “Design Job Search Strategy”.

“It’s rare to see a design-focused hackathon that will snowball into so many great things for emerging designers. Judging for the Copperleaf Value-based Decision-making Award allowed me to witness the amazing work of all the competitors,” added Jarell. “I’m excited to see the ripple effect of these events in the design world!”

“A lot of creativity went into the projects and it was a great experience getting to choose the winner of the Copperleaf Value-based Decision-making Award,” said Nick. “I’m proud that Copperleaf sponsored VXP Protothon and look forward to supporting similar events in the future.”

“I was very impressed with the quality of the projects—especially since participants only had 24 hours to complete them,” commented Eva. “It was great to see clear problem statements, personas, UX research, wireframes, and testing plans. It’s amazing how far we’ve come in research quality and design!”

Ian Muirhead, Director of Product Design, gave the keynote speech and shared how Copperleaf’s design team works as a cross-functional triad with our product and development teams to create the highest-value solutions for our clients. He explained how we work to balance the feasibility, desirability, and viability of our product iterations to keep us at the forefront of innovation in the enterprise software space.

Delivering the keynote about the Copperleaf Experience was a lot of fun and I was delighted by the quantity and quality of questions from the audience. I hope everyone had great time and I look forward to participating in future events!

Ian Muirhead
Director of Product Design

VXP Protothon was an outstanding showcase of talent. We look forward to sponsoring and participating in future events that support the design community and beyond!

Innovative design helps us deliver extraordinary user experiences to our clients. Check out more of our Design @ Copperleaf blog series here.

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