Learning to Design Mobile Apps

Duncan MacPherson, Dianna Ramdial-Harriram and Lisa Rambadhan showcasing their “Dal Path Finder” app design to Dr. Gruzd

Mobile Internet is quickly becoming the Internet! And in this new world of mobile, the mobile app is king.

On April 2, 2013 students at the School of Information Management gathered to showcase their mobile app concepts at SIM’s Mobile App Concept Design Competition. The competition was organized by Dr. Anatoliy Gruzd and was part of the INFO 5590: Information Management Systems course.

As part of this course, students were asked to work in teams of three-to-four to develop a novel mobile application that can help organizations to better deliver information and services to their end users.  Students had to research the information needs of their respective organizations and come up with an app to address those needs.

Kevin Hartford presenting his team’s “Readable PDF” app concept (1st Place)

On the day of the competition, the teams gathered in Dal’s interactive learning studio located in the Killam Library, also known as LINC – Learning Incubator & Networking Centre (LINC) to present their mobile app concepts. Their apps were evaluated by judges with expertise in mobile app and enterprise development, information management and user interface design, including:

  • Dr. Sujit Sur, Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University
  • Dr. Keith Lawson, Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University
  • Dr. Derek Reilly, Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University
  • Dr. Bonnie MacKay,  Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University
  • Lori McCay-Peet, ID PhD candidate, Dalhousie University
  • Cam McDonald, Purchext

Amanda Fullerton, Amy Lorencz and Nancy McPhee discussing their app design called “Dalhousie Access to Library Available Computer Stations (DALACS)” with Dr. Bonnie MacKay (one of the judges)

Each judge played the role of an “investor” with a hypothetical $1 million to invest.  They could invest the entire amount in one idea or split it among a few of their favorites. At the end of the event, the top three apps (determined by the amount of “hypothetical” funds they have attracted) received prizes.

The apps featured in the competition ranged from the imaginative to the practical including leisure apps for hikers in HRM and Nova Scotia to apps for managing the balance on a Dal student card and one that helps students to navigate through campus buildings. There were also apps for gym users, parents looking for playgrounds for their kids, night sky lovers, tourists wanting to track their checked-in luggage, and readers looking for the next best seller book to read.

The three winning teams were:

  • 1st place – Group #8: Readable PDF (Alan Chorney, Lisa Gauthier, Kevin Hartford, Leah Rae)
  • 2nd Place – Group #3: Go Hiking NS (Matthew Clarke, Jordan Cook, Roger Gillis, Katie Olthuis)
  • 3rd Place – Group #17 : QuickScript (Carolyn Bentzen, Ryan Dyck, Michael Groenendyk, Darrell Yates)

Congratulation to the winning teams!

Below is list of all of the app ideas presented at the event.


  • Group #1: Halifax Playgrounds
    Megan Clark, Jaimie Fedorak, Lee Danielle Hubbard, and Emily LeGrand
  • Group #2: Where to Go Halifax!

    Melissa Rothfus, Arryn Seburn, Elyse Sparkes, and Lacey Wilson

  • Group #3: Go Hiking NS
    Matthew Clarke, Jordan Cook, Roger Gillis, Katie Olthuis
  • Group #4: AcademiaMapp
    Catherine McGoveran, Laura Thorne, Jane Willwerth, Stephanie Woods
  • Group #5: Dal Path Finder

    Ruth Collings, Duncan MacPherson, Dianna Ramdial-Harriram, Lisa Rambadhan

  • Group #7: HRM Trails App

    Chantal de Medeiros, David Reynolds, Joanna Veale, Britanie Wentzell

  • Amanda Fullerton, Riel Gallant, Amy Lorencz, Nancy McPhee
  • Group #10: MyDalCard Mobile Application

    Hilary Stamper, Stephanie Duncan, Chelsea Heighton

  • Group #12: My Goodlife Fitness

    Erin MacPherson, Mengjia Zhang, Victoria Kammelu, Winifred Enyeji

  • Group #16: Next on the List…

    Samantha Fritz, Breanna MacLeod, Leah Pohlman, Christine Wu

  • Group #17 : QuickScript
    Carolyn Bentzen, Ryan Dyck, Michael Groenendyk, Darrell Yates

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