team effort

An online community for university students to explore, express themselves, and connect with each other through a shared passion for UX design. Created in response to the shift to remote learning during COVID-19, this is a place for support during times of social isolation.

My role

Design Lead


Abigael Pamintuan
Anna Chang
Serena Tan


User Research
Community Design
Event Planning




an abrupt shift to remote learning

30 - 50% of university students experience overwhelming stress and anxiety. This has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic which has forced an abrupt shift to remote learning during the 2020/2021 school year with the absence of physically-based communities and supports.

a unique opportunity

Remote learning has blurred the boundaries between university communities. With the decreasing relevance of physical distance, there is an opportunity to access resources and have reach beyond our geographical location.


what is team effort?
Team Effort is an online community for UX design students to connect through a shared passion for design. It is an inclusive online space for students to share and learn together.

We host online workshops and discussions with industry professionals. Previous guests have been from Google, Wattpad, and T. Rowe Price, speaking on topics ranging from career navigation and self discovery to sharing industry-level insights.

Newsletters share curated design resources. This is a form of low-touch support accessible to those who are uncomfortable or unavailable to attend events.

Discord is a place for relationships to form and persist beyond events. Community members can interact with one another and support each other in learning design.


home for community
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it hard for students to find support, both professionally and emotionally. Initiatives like events, resource newsletters, and Discord contribute to an inclusive community space. Here is the impact Team Effort has had in it's first 3 months:

beyond the university

Despite being based out of the University of Toronto, there is representation across other universities. Relationships are being built with other student design communities to discover ways to support one another through cross promotion or event collaboration.
(out of 328 respondents)


building understanding
Every event contributes to building an understanding of the community. Data is collected through community conversations, signup and feedback forms. This information informs the approach to events, resources, and digital tools.
(out of 224 responses)

who is attending

Based on the data collected, I was able to obtain the following insights about community members who attend events:
  • Participants are enrolled in UX-related programs.
    90% of participants are enrolled in cognitive science, interaction design, or UXD.
  • Participants are at the start of their UX careers.
    96% of participants have less than 1 year of professional experience in design or have experience in a design-related field.
  • Participants are looking for career-related supports.
    59% of participants are interested in career navigation or accessing industry knowledge.

what about community?

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult for students to form meaningful and persisting relationships.

Students are seeking inclusive community spaces to share knowledge, develop skills, and form relationships.

identifying the user

Using the data and insights previously collected, I created a persona to represent the community's story. Meet Philip.

avenues for engagement

How might we facilitate the dissemination of industry knowledge? How to we create spaces for community members to teach and learn from one another? How do different individuals seek to experience community? These questions guide the current avenues of support Team Effort offers.

iteration and trade-offs

Post-event data is collected from each event through feedback forms. This data is used to iterate on the way we approach event design and allows us to understand the trade-offs of the decisions being made.
lessons learned
  1. There is no such thing as a perfect solution, there are always calculated trade-offs.
    Design decisions are associated with trade-offs and research should be leveraged to inform which decisions will facilitate the desired experience for the users.
  2. Learning is continuous, collaborative, and iterative.
    Always seek opportunities to collect data and feedback. The team can reflect on this data to gather insights and come up with an hypothesis on how to move forward.
  3. Numbers do not mean everything.
    While it may be nice to have lots of people show up to an event, it is not an indication of a welcoming community experience. At the start of any project it is important to determine key metrics of success and how they relate to the values of the project.