Papercake: Winner of “Best Product Concept” (A Preview)

August 23, 2012 - no comments. Posted by in CMU IxD.

Here is a small preview of a project that I’ve been working on the past six months, called Papercake. This project was the primary project we completed for the course Grad Studio II, with team members Somya Jampala, Loretta Neal, and Neo Zhe Han. This class is (usually) sponsored every year by a corporate sponsor, and this year it was Microsoft and Motorola. They provided the design brief and liaisons to provide us with feedback on our work, and we picked a topic and identified a problem that we felt was fitting for the design brief. This year, it was “Information in My World”.

During the course of the semester, we gave update presentations and at our final presentation, one team was selected to go represent Carnegie Mellon University at Microsoft’s annual Design Expo in Redmond, WA. Our team was selected, and off we were in mid-July to Washington to partake in this incredible opportunity to get feedback on our concept from different kinds of people (industry professionals, other design students, faculty). At the Expo, we gave a preliminary presentation, were provided with critique, and given about 48 hours to make revisions to our presentation before our formal presentation at the Design Expo. Various other schools participated such as Royal College of Art (United Kingdom), Umeå Institute of Design (Sweden), and Tsinghua University (China), so it was a pretty international delegation. Guest critics at the formal presentation included Bill Buxton of Microsoft Research.

After our presentation, the Design Expo organizers handed out awards, and I’m happy to share that Papercake won “Best Product Concept”! This was validated many times during the course of the Expo too by people who approached us and asked us where they could access the site or that we should definitely turn it into a startup!

So… What’s Papercake?

In brief, Papercake is basically a cloud important personal document storage service with step-by-step “action plans” that help you get stuff done in life like buying a house or renewing your passport. The concept puts these two ideas together for example by showing you what documents you have and which you are missing when buying a home, so it seems less overwhelming. However, we want to stress that at its core, Papercake is not a cloud-storage service, but a service that aims to help you get to where you want to go in life.

Check out the videosketch to learn more (highly encouraged to watch it on Vimeo for the HD experience), or our presentation for the Expo. I’ll be creating a more full-fledged post about this project at the beginning of the semester, so stay tuned. But for now, I wanted to share our recent success at Microsoft!

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