UXD Student on Third-Place Team at Cleveland Medical Hackathon | Kent State University

UXD Student on Third-Place Team at Cleveland Medical Hackathon

Markovich & Team Design Mobile App for Watershed Health Project

Kent hack? Kent State University alumna Tasha Markovich can.

Markovich was a user experience design (UXD) graduate student in Kent State’s School of Library and Information Science when she participated in the first annual Cleveland Medical Hackathon in September 2015. She put her UXD skills to good use as a member of the team working on The Watershed Health Project at the event, which was held at the downtown Global Center for Health Innovation.

Three winners were chosen out of 21 competing teams comprised of doctors, nurses, researchers, programmers, entrepreneurs, engineers and developers. More than 175 participants worked for more than 24 hours on projects that leveraged technology to solve major challenges in the world of medicine, health and wellness. Their task was to identify problems, pitch ideas, share expertise and, ultimately, find solutions.

The Problem

The Watershed Health Project included five team members: Carl Preusser, team leader and subject matter expert from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH); Chris Kippes, subject matter expert from CCBH; Fred Longo, developer at Vitamix; Greg Carpenter, design thinker and information security analyst at Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland; and Markovich, a design thinker and developer on the team.

“A design thinker is pretty much another term for a user experience designer,” Markovich said. “We created a user journey map using sticky notes. From this user journey, we pulled key points to show the big picture.”

The team examined CCBH’s paper-based process of monitoring water quality to prevent the transmission of waterborne diseases in streams, rivers and beaches. CCBH monitors 1,200 locations in the county. Markovich said some of the problems CCBH experienced were inspectors getting lost en route to these locations as well as the paper forms and maps getting wet.

The Solution

At the hackathon, the team designed a new mobile application that would make water monitoring more efficient and its communication more effective. The prototype mobile app created an electronic form that inspectors can fill out at the watershed, eliminating duplicate data entries and reducing response time from 30 days to one day. Additionally, both street view and earth views of locations are given to the users, so inspectors can more accurately find locations in remote areas.

This mobile application will lead to more effective reporting of potential communicable disease risks, allowing citizens to enjoy the watershed and safely use the local water, Markovich said.

The Watershed Health Project was awarded $500 for its third-place finish. CCBH will be using this prototype to build upon.

Markovich helped create this prototype using skills she learned in her UXD classes, specifically crediting her User Research I and II courses, she said.

“My UXD classes helped me to be confident about what I needed to do to go about getting information to determine what we needed to build the prototype,” Markovich explained.

Markovich received her undergraduate degree in computer science engineering from the University of Toledo and her master’s from Kent State University in December 2015. User experience design (UXD) is a concentration in the Master of Science in Information Architecture and Knowledge Management offered by the School of Library and Information Science.

Read more about the hackathon event.

Photos: (left image) Tasha Markovich, M.S. '15; (right image) Greg Carpenter, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland; Tasha Markovich, Kent State University; Chris Kippes, Cuyahoga County Board of Health; Fred Longo, Vitamix