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City and Mozilla tackle digital music challenge at third London Design Jam

City's School of Informatics recently hosted Design Jam London for the third time. This global series of collaborative events looks at the challenges associated with computer user experience and is supported by Mozilla Labs.
by Luke Nava

City's School of Informatics recently hosted Design Jam London for the third time. This global series of collaborative events looks at the challenges associated with computer user experience (UX) and is supported by Mozilla Labs - the innovation arm of Mozilla, best known for developing the Firefox web browser.

The day was organised in collaboration with Blue Latitude, a digital business and marketing consultancy, as well as a group of local champions. It saw attendees assign themselves to teams based on the skills that they could contribute and then work together to research, develop and test solutions to the problem: "Design a service that allows people to play, listen and contribute to the music in public spaces and situations."

Three mentors, Hannah Donovan, Matthew Ogle and Jason Mesut, were on hand to provide advice, bringing digital music and technology development expertise gained at leading players in the field such as Last.fm.

The organisation of the event at City was led by: Shane Wohlers, E-Learning Manager for the School of Informatics and the School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences; Kate Reader, Senior Educational Technologist from the School of Arts and the School of Social Sciences; and Monica Ferraro, an Administrator in the Centre for Human Computer Interaction Design.

Shane says: "Design Jam London provides our students with a fantastic opportunity to engage with the wider developer communities within London and the UK. Our students work alongside entrepreneurs, UX specialists, project managers, business analysts and developers to explore and create solutions for the day's challenging problem.

"It's impressive to see the ways in which our students apply their knowledge and expertise in such a high-pressure collaborative environment, all the while learning from industry mentors and networking with professionals and possible employers."

George Phylatis, a City MSc in Human-Centred Systems student, adds: "I've been to all three London Design Jams so far and they've all been fantastic, providing a great opportunity to meet aspiring as well as experienced UX folk and practice design skills. Aside from developing my brainstorming and prototyping expertise, the best bit for me is getting better at eloquently justifying my design decisions."

Further information is available at Mozilla Labs' blog, with outcomes from the London event recorded at the Design Jams wiki.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.