Informatics student rewarded for housing app design

22 Oct 2019 - 16:45

Cynthia Augustine

A second-year Informatics student was named as one of the three top winners in the Western Cape Government’s Homewise Youth Competition.

After seeing an ad for the competition pop up on her social media feed, Cynthia Augustine decided to enter the challenge to design an app to make it easier to access information for government housing assistance.

The competition called for young people between the ages of 16 and 35 to design the mock-ups, prototypes or wireframes of the APP, which is the user experience and user interface (UX and UI).

Augustine started out studying engineering at the University of Cape Town (UCT) but swopped to digital media and Informatics, a programme offered by the Film and Media School through the Faculty of Humanities.

“This is really what I want to do – UX design,” says Augustine. “It combines the creative side and the technology side.”

The course Augustine has chosen includes information systems and film and media, providing a springboard into the world of digital design.

The Western Cape government was so impressed with the winning entries that aspects of the designs will now be incorporated into the final development of the app. They expect to have a trial version available by the end of the year, with a full launch in April 2020.

“When we launched this competition in July, we had quite a number of applicants from around the Western Cape, but then only 20 of them met all the criteria,” said Human Settlements MEC Tertius Simmers.

“The app has all the information regarding human settlements and subsidy programmes, a lot of housing information for citizens,” said Augustine. “People can also use the app to check their application status.”

A UCT graduate, Annabela Bekker, was also among the winners. Both she and Augustine received R5 000, while the first-place winner, Anesu Malisa, took home a laptop.

Augustine’s design for the app.

Augustine’s design for the app.