myBuddy (IBM)

As a consulting team for IBM Watson’s Cognitive Integration,  we used Watson API’s to create a seamless multi-platform user experience with beautiful user interfaces for post-secondary students and administrators.

The Challenge

  • Academic Institution: How might we better understand our students’ need for academic and social life services in order to improve students’ emotional psychological well being.
  • Student: How might we personalize and simplify academic and social life services to improve students’ psychological well being on campus.


  • Students need a personalized solution to balance academic and social life.
  • Academic and social life are in constant conflict and one always suffers.
  • Gathering, synthesising and analysing student data can improve universities’ responses to student needs.
  • Cognitive marketing tools can help Universities better serve students’ on campus social needs, three top tools include:
    • Visual Recognition (visual)
    • Predictive Analysis (analytical)
    • Tone Analyzer (sentiment/emotional)
  • Students need a personalized digital assistant to organise and help their academic and social experience.
  • There are too many informational resources for students to find relevant information quickly.
  • Students need a simplified platform to find academic, social and administrative information.


A centralized information platform will help students engage fully with the university experience by:

  • Gaining access to all information resources that the university offers by making a request
  • Connecting with a huge student body at the click of a button
  • Gaining hyper-personalized access to data about events and activities in 3 easy steps.

Realtime complex data about students sentiment taken from engagement on a centralised platform will give university administrators information on which to take action to improve their student services.


Business Model Canvas


Through a series of interviews, questionnaires, and research we were able to aggregate data to create personas of our key users.

Andy is a typical administrator.

Sam is our post-secondary student.

Experience Map

Throughout the design thinking process, the team iterated on user experience maps for Sam + Andy to ensure that our product aligns with users’ needs and aims to solve the problem. Incorporating our personas into the development of experience maps helped us to empathize with our users and develop stories that truly reflect their actions, thinking, thoughts, and sayings. For Sam, specifically, we decided to create two experience maps to show the overall process of product use and engagement. The following experience maps are our final versions. The first experience map highlights Sam’s experience of initial encounter with the product, while the second map illustrates Sam’s direct engagement with myBuddy experiences.

Sam’s Experience 

Sam can find any information to connect on campus by asking questions and getting answers in less than 3 seconds.


Sam gains a sense of community & belonging in university.

Sam’s Experience

Andy can find out areas of interest that are not being addressed by the university for their students through real time updates and analysis at the click of a button.


Andy can increase the quality of portal services & improve student experience

myBuddy Persona

While iterating on our product, the team decided to create a persona for myBuddy to imagine how the product might interact with its target users. Putting myBuddy at the center, we aimed to answer the following questions surrounding “Who Is myBuddy?:

  • Who are my users and clients?
  • What Watson APIs am I programmed with?
  • What do I do?
  • What are my motivations?
  • What are my goals for the target users?
  • What is my tagline?


After reflecting on our research and interviews we sketched out ideas . During this phase we made sure to include all and any ideas, big or small.

Paper Prototype

We created a paper prototype to test our initial assumptions. Using ethnographic research we were able to create data sets and iterate and begin to validate.


We had users use paper print outs of our lo-fi prototype and fill out a SUS test to create usable data

Hi Fi

After user interviews and testing, we began to add design elements for the User Interface. 

Site Map

Our system architecture gave us an overarching view of the user flow. 

User Interface Style Guide

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