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Prosper Vancouver

@UBC Sauder  Jan 2023 - Apr 2023



For IAT 333 Interaction Design Methods, led a group of 3 designers to undergo a 4 month design process to help UBC Prosper, Canada’s premier youth business conference design an artifact that incorporates elements of gamification, learning, and goal setting to increase student engagement and retention.

As Design Lead, utilized a multitude of common design methods such as user ethnography, site visits, user personas and journeys to form the framework of our research and discovery. Additionally, incorporated many opportunities for collaboration with our stakeholders into our design process through co-creation creation workshops and activities to ensure a user centric design solution that met the actual needs of the Prosper and its participants.

Created an achievement System in the form of achievement pins and a record where attendees can explore and expand their skills and knowledge in areas that are of particular interest to them and guide them to a journey of personal growth and progression.


School Design Project


UBC Prosper


Design Lead


Jan 2023 - Apr 2023


Design Lead

User Ethnography

User Personas

User Journeys

Ideation Sketching

Co-Design Moderator

Participatory Workshop


01 /


Create .

Proper’s goal & mission is to inspire the future business leaders of tomorrow, by helping them gain and strengthen critical industry skills.

Hosting keynote speeches, workshops, and case competitions, Prosper provide youths an opportunity to interact with the business world and network with other students. 


Elevate .

Held for ~ 500 high school students in the Greater Vancouver area, Prosper is going into their 7th iteration of their conference.

The Prosper team has gone through many iterations since their inception with always the goal of pushing the boundaries of what a business case competition could be. 


Tianran Zhang

Chairman of the Board

Tom Xu

Director of Strategy


Kelly Ma

Director of Outreach

Prosper .

Board of directors served as our stakeholders and participated during our ethnographies, co-creation workshops and site visits.

The executives gave us ample freedom, opportunities, and trust for us to freely analyze the interactions within Prosper and design a user-centric solution accordingly.

02 /

Design Focus

For the 7th iteration of Prosper, the executive team would like to transform the event into more than just a business conference and case study competition but an annual learning opportunity for attendees to come back to year over year and begin cultivating a "Prosper culture" in which they can  immerse themselves in an environment designed for self-growth, exploration and networking.

Year over year, Prosper is seeing a stagnant number of attendees. The format of the conference is becoming increasingly stale as past attendees do not see a value of returning having attended previously. The executive team aims to boost their retention rate by turning Prosper into an event for attendees to come back to every year to improve their skillset, meet new people, and better prepare themselves for their careers.


Sneak Peak

Prosper Passport & Achievement System

↳Prosper Achievement Pin System

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↳Prosper Attendee Passport

↳Designed to allow attendees to explore and expand their skills and knowledge in areas that are of particular interest to them and guide them to a journey of personal growth and progression.

03 /

Design Ethnography

"You cannot good understand good design, if you do not understand people."

 Dieter Rams, Godfather of Industrial Design


As Prosper was held annually, our participant group instead invited us to Strive, a sister conference of Prosper for us to conduct a site visit and user interviews on different stakeholders.

The opportunity helped us better explore the problem space and find possible design opportunities that we could address. It allowed us to build a relationship with who we are designing for and ultimately kept our design solution user centered. 

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Design Ethnography at Strive

Stepping into someone's shoes

Immersion into our client group

Our team attended a full day at Strive, actively collecting date, conducting ethnographies on Strive participants, judges, guest speakers & the Prosper/Strive team.

During the conference, I was given the opportunity to participate as a judge and judge participant case study presentations. 

As judges we were able to actively become the research instrument and collect data through our interactions with the group. 

04 /

Co-Creation Workshop

SFU Bennet Library

Location : 

Date :

Time :

Sunday, March 19th, 2023

10:00 AM - 12:30 PM

In order to better consolidate our data from the site visit and ultimately define our problem statement, we decided to organize a participatory workshop that invites the Prosper team into our ideation process. 

This collaborative and creative environment promotes mutual learning, for participants to learn about the design process, and designers to learn about the participant's expertise. 

Participants :

Me (Workshop Moderator) + Cherry Nie (Transcriber) + Jenise Cheung (Workshop Planner) + Eugene Zhu (Workshop Planner) + Jerry Zhang (Prosper Chairman of the Board) + Kelly Ma (Director of Outreach)

01 Lightning Talks

↳To kickoff our co-creation workshop, we first started off with lightning talks, a core Design Spring method as a brief refresher into our problem space. 

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02 How Might We ?

↳The HMW activity was built upon the lightning talks done prior in order to capture ideas by framing problems into questions and opportunities for generative thinking.

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03 Affinity Mapping

The affinity map consolidated data ideated from the HMW activity and began revealing possible themes. Participants presented their HMW question and then grouped it under an existing/new category.

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04 Include/Exclude

We focused on themes we were confident that we could address and excluded themes that was either beyond our scope or identified as non-critical based on ethnographic data. 

"To design for everyone is to design for no-one."

05 Mash-Up (Bonus)

As a bonus activity, we completed a mash-up brainstorm session, bringing odd or unexpected things together to spark fresh ideas. We prompted our participants with unlikely pairings and encouraged them to come up with solutions that can be translated back into Prosper's context.

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What makes a great Membership Gym ?

Hmm... What can we learn from that ?

05 /

Problem Space + Statement

Based on the design ethnography and co-creation workshop conducted, we were able to identify some key themes. 

Goal Setting

Help attendees define clear, attainable, SMART goals prior to the conference so they understand what they’re working towards to during the conference and have a clear sense of self-improvement and a understanding of their progression at the end of the conference.

Allow attendees to choose what they would like to receive out of their Prosper experience and give them the freedom to progress at their own pace. 

Learning System

Somehow incorporate a learning system that promotes attendees to choose the skillset in which they would like to improve on.

A system that helps attendees track their progress at Prosper and encourage them to return every year to progress improve upon their skills.

Empower attendees by giving attendees a quantitative metric of their progression.


To encourage attendee engagement, a solution that incorporates gamification will promote passionate attendees to actively participate through their own self intrinsic motivations while simultaneously motivating less passionate attendees to feel extrinsically motivated to join in.

Displayable achievements will have an influence on others and encourage them to follow suit and ultimately create a positive feedback loop.


Create some sort of artifact or memento from the conference for attendees to take home with them to remind them of their experience at Prosper.

An unique artifact that attendees could display for them to be celebrated for their achievement while simultaneously begin promoting the idea of a community and cultivating a “Prosper Culture”


How might we help Prosper design a learning system in the form of a physical artifact that contains elements of gamification to create a conference environment that sets up attendees for success and begin cultivating a "Prosper culture", defined by a culture that fosters attendee engagement, self improvement and skill building. 

06 /

User Personas

The composite of all archetypes incorporated into a fictional user based on data gathered from interviews, field research and co-creation workshop.

Instead of going through the motions and creating a static “template persona”, we decided to redefine what a user persona could be by presenting it as a imitation Linkedin Profile in order to better depict our users in the business field. This more realistic representation of a segment of our users ultimately made our cast of characters more believable and easier for us as designers to relate to. 

06 /

User Journey

A holistic visualization of the user process with the aim of uncovering frustration and delights throughout a series of interactions.

We created 2 separate user journeys to capture the viewpoints of an average Prosper attendee and a Prosper Administrative staff and then compiled a series of our personas action within a course of a conference onto a timeline. After identifying the high-level view of the stages within our journey, we attempted to identify possible opportunities and areas that could be optimized. 


07 /

Ideation Sketches

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↳All sketch illustrations drawn by me using Procreate.

08 /

The Solution


Prosper Passport


Passport sized handbook for attendees to bring to Prosper conference every year to track their personal self-growth. 

Pin System

Summary of the new Pin achievement system that turns Prosper into an annual learning event.

A message from Chairman of the Board.Introduction to Prosper’s vision as well as the Prosper Passport.

Stamp System

Summary of the new Pin achievement system that turns Prosper into an annual learning event.

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Prosper passport doubles as a piece of identification during the registration process.

Goal Ladder

Attendees can write down their main goal at the top followed by smaller goals to achieve.

Attendees are encouraged to break down their main goal into smaller more achievable sub goals.

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Achievement List

Achievement consisting of critical skills all future business leaders should possess.

Pin System

Achievement comes in 3 tiers, with each tier rewarding the attendees with a unique pin to pin on their Prosper lanyard. 

09 /

Conclusion + Takeaways

This UX case study was without a doubt the most rewarding learning experience throughout my undergraduate at SIAT. I am honoured to have worked with such an incredible team of designers and a participant group that was both curious of our process and enthusiastic to contribute. Together we truly believe we have created a meaningful user centric experience that could truly make a difference and improve Prosper for years to come. 

What I've learned ... 

Creating Physical User Experiences

As UI/UX designers, we are often so invested in user experiences (UX) from a digital standpoint that we often forget the UX that plays the biggest role in our day to day lives are in fact physical user experiences.

During the ideation phase, the first solution that we automatically though of was some sort of user interface solution. As UI UX designers it is natural for us to constrict ourselves to a user touch point that involves an interface of some sort to solve the solution. However the more we revisited our process, it was soon clear that a digital interface was clearly not the best apparatus to solve our problem. 

Trusting the Process

Even though the steps in the interaction design process may seem repetitive, conflicting, and maybe even pointless, these blocks of work is critical to iterative design and would prove useful when it all comes together in the end.

Design is often viewed as the final product meaning it is often difficult to see the blocks of work that the solution had build off of. This class consisted of 10 weeks of UX research, and 3 weeks of actual solution ideation. During the weeks where we were building the basis and foundation of our solution, it was often difficult to see what we’re building towards. However when we arrived at the last weeks of solution ideation, the blocks of hard work almost falls into place automatically.

What I'd do differently ...

Ideating too early, it will come in time...

Instead of ideating on the limited data we had during the research phase, focus on analyzing the similarities and differences between the new data and the work that has come before it.

Every step of the process, we would spend some time ideating solutions based on the limited data we knew at the time. With new data coming in each week, we would tweak the solution incrementally to conform to the new data until we reached a week where our design problem had to be reframed. It was clear and it was clear that the solution that we were thinking of was not even solving the right problem.

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