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Comhar

Cian O’ Donnell

An app for students to help improve and put limitations on spending

Introduction

Comhar, pronounced “core” means combined work, mutual assistance or partnership. Originally meaning co-operative ploughing between neighbors, a speculative design project which looks to provide a resource to students looking to find student discounts while also connecting them with other students on campus to share how they save together. The app allows students to search their local area for discounts located near to them. It also encourages students to share with others their own “Life Hacks” on the different ways that they have found to save money in college. Through this a community of students sharing their own “expertise knowledge” (Constant, 1994) could be developed where students collaboratively share with the goal of bettering the group as a whole.

 

Project Summary

Stretching out a budget and learning to save money is an important part of any students life. A previous study (Chen, 1998) has shown that “college students are not knowledgeable about personal finance” and also that “the low level of knowledge will limit their ability to make informed decisions”. My aim at the outset of this final year project was to explore the potential ways that a technology could be implemented to help inform students while also encouraging them to work collaboratively. This project explored the ways that people access and interact with each other and the systems that provide information on discounts for products and services, while also sharing their own advice with other users. The target community was the students of the University of Limerick. Through a qualitative approach, an in-depth understanding of the problems and issues that exist in this area was established. A human centered, iterative co-design process was be used to create ‘Comhar’ and app that focuses on student to student interaction, where users can post advice, ask questions and interact.

 

Project Aims & Objectives

Through my initial research l asked the question, “what are the resources available to students with limitations on spending costs and how can these options be improved?”. Through this I hoped to gain an in-depth understanding of how people interact with these services and create a design intervention that would provide this information to students, and also facilitate the communication of students to share other tips and information. I then planned to create an application that can facilitate learning about personal financial management on a peer-to-peer basis whereby students that have perhaps been through similar situations can share their experiences and hopefully learn. This application would be user tested by students through co-operative evaluation.

Date Published

Tuesday, August 31, 2021