Adobe Creative Jam: Improving community care using Adobe XD

Adobe put on a Creative Jam on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 in the Pauley Ballroom, aiming to bring together aspiring designers and creatives for an evening of inspiration, collaboration, and competition. The event was hosted in partnership with the Academic Innovation Studio, the Creative Lab, and the Student Technology Fund. I was able to participate in the event along with Resham, another Fung Fellow.

On the left, Resham receives the finalist book prize. On the right, Resham and Carlos point at the Adobe Creative Jam sign.

There were 14 teams in total, made of students from various disciplines that were randomly sorted into teams by the organizers. The prompt for the Creative Jam was to think of a creative tech solution for improving community health in younger adults. The requirements of our solution were that it had to be something that young adults would want to use on a daily basis to improve any aspect of “community care,” and that would require a short time commitment (approximately five minutes to use).

The event kicked off with one of the Adobe experts giving a quick crash course on how to use Adobe XD. Adobe XD is a very useful tool when it comes to prototyping apps and websites and works well for a range of interfaces ranging from iPhone and iPad mockups to laptop/PC screens, along with a new integration of voice commands to trigger prototypes interactions in the recent update.

The teams were given around two hours to come up with a solution and to bring it to life as a prototype using Adobe XD. During the two hours, teams had access to Adobe experts for questions with prototyping. My team decided that the best approach was to spend one hour coming up with an idea and sketches of what screen we each would be working on, then use the second hour to create the prototype using Adobe XD based on our ideas and sketches. The second hour was the most intense because we were learning how to work Adobe XD as we were making the final prototype, which needed to be submitted at the end of the hour. My team’s idea was called WeEating, an app meant to bring the Berkeley community together through shared meals that people could host or RSVP to.

After the intense two hours were up, we had the opportunity to listen to a very interesting keynote speaker as the finalists were being selected by judges. The keynote speaker of the night was the Michelle Rial, chart lover and author of “Am I Overthinking This?”, a book of advice for over-thinkers that is filled with very creative charts and graphs that answer a variety of questions. During her presentation, she delved further into her inspiration for the book and broke down how she came up with her method of designing charts and graphs. The graphs she shared were made of all sorts of things, from wine stains to ants, and some had even gone viral on Twitter, becoming altered and shared as memes.

The six finalists were announced for the second half of the event and were asked to present their ideas to the judges. Both my and Resham’s teams were among the six selected finalists. After a quick four minute pitch, the two winners were selected. Unfortunately, our teams did not win, but all the finalists were given an autographed copy of “Am I Overthinking This?” from Michelle.

The Adobe Creative Jam definitely made for an exciting Tuesday evening. We got to meet and work with different students, race against time to get a final submission in, and share good food as we put our final prototypes together. In one night I got to use many of the skills I have picked up in the Fung Fellowship, from making quick prototypes, post-it note brainstorming, and putting into practice being an active and present team member. I would encourage others to take part in events like these because they are such great opportunities to meet professionals working in the space of design, as well as students from different paths, while trying out something you might have not had the chance to before.

If you are interested in participating in an event like this, I would encourage you to check out the Creative Campus + Civic Tech Jam, a virtual weeklong tournament from April 15 to 22 to identify solutions in civic tech. You can register at cjam.in/campus.

“I would encourage others to take part in events like these because they are such great opportunities to meet professionals working in the space of design, as well as students from different paths, while trying out something you might have not had the chance to before.”

About the Author

Hi, I’m Carlos! I’m a junior at UC Berkeley studying Integrative Biology and with a growing interest in the space of design. I am currently part of the Fung Fellowship where I’ve gotten to work on so many amazing projects in the health space with many great people. I’m always looking for something new to get involved with.

Learn more about the Fung Fellowship at fungfellows.berkeley.edu.

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