zev.powell@ac4d.com

Alumni

Zev Powell

Zev comes from an academic background in the social sciences. Having studied cultural anthropology and Spanish language, he enters his coursework at AC4D with the ambition to develop his skills in empathy building and discover the tools to equip himself to enter the field of innovation and the many disciplines of interaction design. Since graduating with a bachelor’s degree four years ago he has cast himself into a variety of hybrid working experiences. Among them, managing a bamboo bike shop in rural Alabama, running a global team of scientists on a remote science base deep in the Mexican rainforest, and most recently has spent the past year in Melbourne, Australia as a social researcher and a drummer in a punk band.

In 2014, weary of endless nights in the library, he pledged to himself that he would never go back to study. But when he discovered AC4D and its creative curriculum, he realized it was his ticket to make an impact with his work in the near future. He is particularly excited to collaborate with his peers and collectively create something spectacular in nine dedicated and rapid months. Zev reckons the class of 2018-2019 will have tackled some wicked problems before the Texas summer starts to get too hot next year.

Recent blog posts

SELect Progress Report

SELect We exist to create a world where advisors are positioned to normalize social and emotional learning with college students who are struggling to persist for non-academic reasons. SELect is a social and emotional learning tool. For students, it’s a questionnaire where they can reflect on their current non-academic obstacles. For advisors, it’s a report…

Design Strategy Feature Brief for Balance Bank

After nearly 4 months of research, prototyping, user testing, and development sizing my mobile banking app is ready for a name and a few mock-ups. With the strategy brief we are turning our vision and product inside out, considering our stakeholders to be outside of the product team, with little knowledge about the details of…

Hi, I’m Zev, I’m a tech journalist, and I f**ked up big time (A theory role play)

(Scenario) I’m running an experiment on myself for an upcoming article I’m writing on the power of technology. I will be ridding myself of my iPhone and discussing what this means for me, my place in society, and what it reveals about the creators of our most beloved smartphones. In doing research I’ve read up…

Rough Cutting and Roadmapping

A brief update; this quarter in Product Management we have been developing our mobile banking apps that we redesigned in wireframes last quarter in our UI course. The major themes so far have been applying real world constraints to the otherwise conceptual designs we created. After having met with developers to estimate and document what…

Progress Update: Optimizing Effective Advising

We are building a tool to assist advisors of non-traditional college students broach the topics of self-advocacy and social and emotional learning. Our tool is a questionnaire that optimizes the short time advisors have with their students, making sure that the sensitive root causes of problems are the center of the conversation.  This week our team focused…

Ought or Ought Not

A lot has happened since our quarter 1 course in design theory. To be specific, we completed a service design project ending with design criteria as a final deliverable to our clients; we redesigned the system of Nespresso Vertuoline single-serve coffee machine; we developed our own social entrepreneurial businesses; and finally, we are prototyping and developing…

Ideal State Wireframes Meet Feasibility and Constraints

  In our product management course we are building off our banking app wireframes we developed in quarter 3. As of yet, we have been encouraged to explore with very few limitations outside of what our instructor wanted our core functionalities to be. This quarter we are learning the beginning steps of bringing the product…

Integrating Financial Modeling Into Banking : Learnings From Prototyping And User Testing

Context: Designing Digital Interfaces is by far the most tech heavy class we’ve experienced in our three quarters of study. Previously, our use of design software was based on deliverables for projects that weren’t digital products. So, we taught ourselves Adobe Illustrator and Sketch at our own pace and learned to use it in our…

Non-Traditional College Advising: As Sensemaking Becomes Action Taking

Context: The class is already halfway through our capstone projects for the AC4D graduating class of 2019. Up until quarter three the coursework has focused on versing ourselves in the methods that make for good design research, insights and empathy-building within a problem space. Then, how do we communicate the emotional truths we believe our…

Testing UI Hypotheses in the Field: Wells Fargo Mobile App Redesign

When Chrissy first assigned us this user testing project she told us to block out hour-long chunks of time with participants to go through the scenario flows of our banking app redesigns. I have six flows and couldn’t imagine why in the world it would take a whole hour to do these simple tasks. I…

UI Wireframing: Bank App Redesign

Sometimes I hit a dead end with a design method and struggle to let myself move forward while feeling like I did a mediocre job on one step—How can you possibly develop something of quality without each step being the best it could ever be. I’m continually proven wrong about the need to perfect the…

Mobile Banking App IA Redesign

There are so many different preferences of bank customers. Some people want to have nothing to do with the high maintenance fuss of banking and managing accounts. Others want their hands on everything. People think they know themselves and their preferences, and then they lose their wallet, and all of a sudden their needs for…

College Advisors: Building An Intentional Relationship

College students are legal adults. Whether they are 18 or 45, an advisor can’t phone home every time their student has an issue in their lives during their pursuit of a college degree. Imagine the difference between Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Good Will Hunting. For the student who is living away from home, trying…

Lateral Thinking In The Past: Final Theory Assignment Q1

Every time we delve into a new focus subject of design theory we are building a bank of literacy and thoughts for ourselves. We move forward with a longterm memory of the concepts and ideas that the authors present, and we can cognitively input the knowledge into the work we do now and in the…

We Are Blood Theme Development

At the end of design research, our project team — Catherine, Kim, and Zev — had accumulated hundreds of independent utterances from participants we spoke with at mobile blood drives conducted by our clients, We Are Blood. In developing themes, we have unpacked the meaning in each of the ideas presented in the participant’s own…

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