Prime Digital Academy

Prime Digital Academy offers an immersive 20-week program in full stack software engineering. Each incoming cohort receives a welcome gift to commemorate the start of their work.


Redesign Prime’s welcome gift with a focus on usability and meaningfulness.

My Role

– Conducted heuristic analysis and contextual inquiry

– Developed three design concepts that addressed key issues

– Created a low fidelity prototype to evaluate with users

Heuristic Analysis
Low-fidelity Prototyping
Contextual Analysis
Usability Evaluations

Initial Research

A contextual analysis revealed that the layout of Prime’s small campus is an integral part of every student’s day. There is a regular traffic pattern back and forth between the classrooms and the Commons, which each require a key fob for entry.

Who are the users?

Full stack students at Prime are clever problem solvers who are also busy and stressed out from the firehose of information they are required to absorb every day.

Needing to remember a key fob every time they leave the classroom is just one more thing on their mind. The right welcome gift could take away the need to think about the key fob.

Design Concept

The initial design concept proposed an enamel Prime-branded key ring that includes a retractable key fob. Students could clip it to a shirt, jacket, or belt loop and easily pull out the fob to reach the sensor on the door.


Interviews and directed storytelling revealed that every student had something to say about their Prime key fob. Most had developed a stop-gap solution for keeping their fob on them throughout the day. Unfortunately, no one had come up with something that worked for them completely.

If this was already an issue significant enough for busy students to take time to create their own solution, how could we improve on that for a welcome gift?


After creating a low fidelity prototype, I asked students to evaluate the concept. Not only were they enthusiastic that the retractable key fob improved upon their own DIY solutions, most said they would also use the key ring after graduation and find it a meaningful momento of their time at Prime.

Next Steps

Although concept evaluations were positive, they confirmed that there are several ways that students like to wear their fob. Adding a lanyard to the gift would give students three options for customizing how they wear their fob.

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