On the Move 2 – Mobile Computing Now (2009–10)

BA Design for Industry / BA Interactive Media

This project, following on from the original On the Move project with Intel, challenged students to develop design-led concepts that would be potentially introduced into the market within two years. Eleven interdisciplinary design teams were formed from BA Design for Industry and BA Interactive Media Design students.

map illustrating collaborative sites of Nortumbria University and Itel

The focus

Create forward-looking concepts for the mobile computing experience with a 2011-2014 time frame. By exploring user, market and technological trends, design for a targeted user to enhance their mobile computing behaviour, experience and usage.


The main method of communication between the design teams based in the UK and Intel staff located in the USA was a dedicated web server and regular teleconference reviews. In October 2009, Intel’s Future Concept Design Strategist Nick Oakley visited the university for a two-day workshop, which allowed the student teams to talk through their developing ideas on a one-to-one basis and receive feedback that would provide the direction for the next phase of the project.

Nick Oakley (Future Design Strategist, Intel) discusses the On the Move 2 project

Research and design development

Student teams were introduced to a range of research and design development methods and tools:

  • Persona Generation provided an inquisitive and observational exploration of tangible people. The personas were used to provide focus on the usability, aesthetic and functionality of the product and/or service.
  • Field Research involved an interactive investigation into the project area. Designers went out into the problem space environment to observe, interview, experience and analyse the area for which they are designed.
  • User Experience Scenarios involved the creation of a visual representation of a typical user journey, through performance or illustration, to expose design problems that needed to be addressed in the development phase.

Studio Brainstorm


Group work

The outcomes

Each of the student teams produced presentations in the form of user experience vignettes, prototypes and narrative communication presenting their concepts for new products that could be interpreted and taken forward by MPSD (Mobile Platform Solutions Division).

Examples of student projects

Team: Bamboo / Product: The Bamboo

Bamboo Logo

The Bamboo has been designed to inspire a wireless generation, using emerging wireless technologies in new ways, where hard drives, keyboards, displays and all other hardware can be handled remotely. The unique user-friendly gestural interface uses the idea of tree-mapping to enable the user to quickly and simply share files, work or photos through a wide range of different media.

Team: Cloud 9 / Product: Lightbox

Cloud 9 Logo

The Lightbox is a tool for professional photographers that improves and consolidates the pre- and post-image capture process. Lightbox is a uses touchscreen technology to provide instant access to the cataloguing, editing and transfer of photographs through a wireless connection between the camera, the web and the device.

Team: Recca / Product: Scrapbook

The ScrapBook enables users to capture and organise their digital media in a similar way to how they organise images and data in a paper-based jotter or sketchbook. The target audience for this product is professionals in the digital design industry, however it can be used by all industries with a similar creative thought process, such as fashion and architecture. The ScrapBook has a 10.1 inch LCD display with pressure pads to provide an innovative means of control.

Team: Goji / Product: Hospital Tablet



Thomas Greenough, Collaborative Partnerships Manager and Senior Lecturer, Interactive Multimedia Design at the School of Design at Northumbria University, reflects on the Global Studio's projects: On the Move 2: Computing Now.

The interview with Thomas is directly accessible on Vimeo from this link http://vimeo.com/29962416

... 'formative assessment all the way through, which is great actually, and I have to say, the formative feedback students got from industry, from [other academics], but the formative feedback was absolutely second to none because that's what, they thrive on that and they don't realise they're getting it but they thrive on it in their reflective piece at the end of the project.'

Neil Smith, Enterprise Fellow at the School of Design at Northumbria University, reflects on the Global Studio's projects: On the Move 2: Computing Now

The interview with Neil is directly accessible on Vimeo from this link http://vimeo.com/29961813

...'what we're doing has had much more of a ripple effect in the way that it's changed the way that we look out, it's actually supported new collaboration, which is, I think, long term will be very valuable in the School moving forward.
...what we set out to do was really develop a new strategy and develop open access tools that we can repeat and use and engage people, without any additional costs.'

David O'Leary, Senior Lecturer for Design for Industry (DfI) at the School of Design at Northumbria University, reflects on the Global Studio's projects: 'On the Move 2: Computing Now'.

The interview with David is directly accessible on Vimeo from this link http://vimeo.com/groups/globalstudio/videos/29964646

'I would say that I fundamentally believe that working with real clients is a really beneficial experience for the students so I think doing live projects is one of the best things we can give them, one of the best experiences, so the opportunity to work with people like Intel, Motorola, is second to none and I think given that choice we're going to have to do it. I think that real world experience of having real deadlines and feedback from real manufacturers and real clients is fantastic for the students, so I think that's the key reason to do it, so I think all of that has been beneficial for all.'

Michael Salmond, Senior Lecturer, Interactive Multimedia Design at the School of Design at Northumbria University, reflects on the Global Studio's projects: On the Move 2: Computing Now

The interview with Mike is directly accassible on Vimeo from this link http://vimeo.com/groups/globalstudio/videos/29963319

...'we had this sort of triumvirate or tripod going on where you had, the way DFI work, way IMD work and then Intel as well, so that was definitely challenging, and then Intel as well, so that was definitely a challenge getting all those sort of three planets to align and actually produce worthwhile work because it's, you know, everyone's very used to their own way of doing things. So that was definitely a challenge. But I think all of those were definitely sorted, it worked, so I think those challenges were definitely met because you see that from the work that was produced, I think it was strong.'


The On the Move 2 project was one of the two projects used as a case study within the Open ICT Tools research project.

Booklet: On the Move 2: Mobile Computing Now

A booklet from the 'On the Move 2: Computing Now' collaborative project between Intel and School of Design at Northumbria University is available from Issuu, an online service that allows viewing of digitally uploaded material, such as portfolios, books, magazine issues, newspapers, and other print media.

Click on the image to view the electronic copy of the booklet.

A limited number of printed copies are available on request.

New Media Monthly an open forum for sharing ideas and discussions has covered this project on its website – see article titled Designing for the mobile with Intel at this link http://newmediamonthly.co.uk/2011/06/10/designing-for-the-mobile-with-intel/