Natalie Alvarenga
Natalie Alvarenga
Im a current graduate from the Design and Technology BFA program at Parsons with a minor in Communication Design. My focus and interests range from UX/UI design, Branding, Graphic Design and Photography.
Thesis Faculty
Melanie Crean
Ayodamola Okunseinde

Creativa is a website for recent graduates in communication design to participate in creative networking through collaborative monthly hackathons. Our mission is to incentivize continued learning by creating a range of design prompts that users can pursue through regularly scheduled events and challenges. Creativa hopes to excite people by gamifying the user’s experience through design challenges, timed events, and announcing winners at the end of a challenge.

Due to the pandemic, many design students in the New York City area have moved back home or have felt isolated and uninspired. My solution to this was to create a platform that would facilitate connecting communication design students that are interested in networking through collaborative hackathons.

The design opportunity I explored was focused on the challenge of meeting new people during a pandemic and the lack of being able to collaborate with others creatively. I decided to create this project in the form of a website to promote networking and collaborating online.

Click the link to the website on the left side to interact with the experience!

Prompt rooms help to bring the community together by allowing users to find groups of people interested in similar topics and aesthetics as they join. To create a variety of prompts I made a prompt formula by making long lists in the three categories of style, medium, and subject. The formula then looks like “design a (style),(medium) for a (topic)”. From here I can plug in different variables from the three lists and choose the combinations that would work best.

After users join a prompt room, they are led into a collaborative space to meet their group. Users can introduce themselves, ideate, plan, execute ideas remotely and then update the team on their progress.

When entering the collaboration space they can enter a username and add sticky notes to organize details for collaborating like the timeline, expectations, and role assignments. Below this, there is a Padlet plugin that enables image sharing so teams can keep each other updated on their progress. Next to this, there is a functional multi-user chat to communicate with the team, which is an important tool to socialize and have team discussions throughout the hackathon.

As the team reaches the end of the hackathon they will share their files with one user who can combine all the design elements into one final project. Users can browse the discover page, which uses the Padlet plugin to share images of finished work created by teams.

Another way that Creativa is able to facilitate user connection is by incorporating a map. It will display the users that have signed up in their local area. Users can also add new friends and send direct messages so they can form teams before a hackathon event in the future.