Harvard '19, Computer Science & Studio Art

HouseKey

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HouseKey gives administrators a tool to efficiently and effectively ensure their connection with the student population.

 
 
 
 

 

Many people can remember arriving at Harvard as a freshman, not knowing a single face on campus, and yet their freshman proctor knew their name and made them feel at home.

 
 
 
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House administrators spend significant time learning names.

House administrators all have their own methods to track student check-ins.

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Before HouseKey, House administrators each had their own unique “hacks” to learn student names and record check-in notes from meetings with students.

Before HouseKey, House administrators each had their own unique “hacks” to learn student names and record check-in notes from meetings with students.

 
 

HouseKey makes it easy and fun for House administration to connect with the student community in two ways: first, it allows House administration to learn names and info of students; second, it facilitates consistent check-in meetings with students and allows for secure note-taking during these check-ins.

 
 

Product Details

 

Gamified Student Names

 
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House academic deans are responsible for learning each student’s name (a total of over 400 students, most of the time!) along with their basic information. House tutors (in-house resident proctors) are responsible for learning names and information of students in their entryway (about 30 students). Each house administrator had a different way of learning these names: Brigitte, pictured above, cut out names and glued them to flashcards, and she keeps check-in notes on these flashcards as well. Other house administrators studied a printed out “face-book.”

HouseKey gamifies this process, making it simpler and quicker for House administrators to put names to a face.

 
 

Check-In Feature

 

House academic deans are responsible for keeping tabs on students’ academic and general wellbeing. Each house dean has a different system for taking notes and keeping track of check-ins.

HouseKey streamlines this by keeping a general student profile for each student, with the ability to add check-in notes and tags to sort students by.

All information is securely encrypted, a critical feature since the information handled within the app is confidential.

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Student Search

 

The app keeps a list of the students as well as a comprehensive search feature. The user could search name, nickname, concentration, or perhaps even a keyword from a check-in note.

The app also has advanced filtering tools. For example, the user could filter by “starred” students — one that the user “stars” during the game as someone the user doesn’t recognize.

 
 

Product Briefing

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HouseKey is a product I worked on in CS 179: Design of Useful and Usable Systems at Harvard, beginning from the need-finding process all the way through developing the app. I worked with Nick Merrill, Kunho Kim, and Christopher Mosch on this project. I ultimately became a teaching fellow for the course the following year.