Cansu Akarsu Portfolio

Page 1


Résumé & Design Portfolio

I am a flying designer with experience in products and services. I enjoy the flexibility of working in new contexts and settings, and I have spent my past five years studying and working in different parts of the world. My main motivation for designing is to have a positive social impact and this has been a concern in my career so far. My most recent position at Happy Baby has been leading the design process of a comfortable, low-cost, easily replicated baby carrier. Our project is now in the implementation phase in rural Uganda.




2012 - openIDEO Winning Concept ‘Supporting web entrepreneurs in their businesses’

2012 - Happy Baby, Uganda Lead Designer - Leading the design process and allocating tasks - Proposing budget and accounting the resources - Blogging at

2013 - Coursera and UC San Diego Online Human-Computer Interaction Most Creative Award

2012 - openIDEO Winning Concept ‘Accessible Election Experience for Everyone’ 2010 - INDEX: Design Challenge and UNICEF Jury Award with two projects ‘Design for Education’ 2009 - MOSDER National Furniture Challenge First Place in Sofa Category with Eel project 2009 - International Case Design Competition Winner of Felissimo 500 Colored Pencils Case 2009 - International Packaging Contest Honorable Mention Award 2009 - B’iota Laboratories Design Contest Second Place with Bioxcin Shampoo Bottle

2013 - and +ACUMEN Online Class ‘Human-centered Design for Social Innovation’

2011 - Designit, Copenhagen Strategy Intern - Preparing co-creation workshops for clients - Working on ideation and concept development - Developing and presenting design proposals

2012 - Istanbul Technical University Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Design

2010 - Siddhartha Das, New Delhi Intern - Designing interactive film displays for a museum - Designing the booth and interfaces of screens - Mapping out the users with scenarios

2010 - Delft University of Technology One semester Erasmus program in the Netherlands

2009 - Ernamas, Istanbul Design Intern - Designing in a team of engineers and designers - 3D CAD modeling and final mock up of products - Initiating a kitchen appliance design project

2011 - Korea Advanced Institute of Sci. Tech. One year exchange program in South Korea

2007 - Istanbul Technical University Industrial Design studies start in 2007 2002 - American Robert College High school from 2002 to 2007

© 2014 Cansu Akarsu

TOOLKIT Human-centered Design

Strategic Design

Digital Tools


User Research Methods: Groups/individual Interviews, observing and interpreting, role playing, storyboards, personas, focus groups, in-context immersion

Client relations Co-creation workshops with clients Presenting strategies and proposals Communicating with sponsors, investors and NGOs

Advanced in Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Keynote, Prezi, Rhinoceros, Keyshot Rendering, Balsamiq Wireframing, Video making

English Excellent - TOEFL iBT 113 Turkish Mother tongue Korean and German Beginner

Prototyping 3D Prototyping products Video and experience prototypes Low/high fidelity sketching Functional interfaces User testing and evaluation Heuristic evaluation

Leading Processes Creating multidisciplinary teams Tailoring, running design processes Budgeting and accounting projects

Have good knowledge of Digital Product Sketching, JustinMind and Adobe Premiere

Check out Turkish WIN

Focus on creating social impact and developing countries

Š 2014 Cansu Akarsu

FEATURED PROJECTS Happy Baby Low-cost, ergonomic, locally made baby carriers for mothers and fathers

End to End A dynamic tool that connects 500 pencils, allowing them to move

Vapp Voting app that suggests new methods of voting for people with disabilities

PadBack Pad-making system for local entrepreneurs, turns pads into soil fertilizers

Outloud Headphones that turn into small speakers with a single movement

Start-up Wallet Online budgeting tool for entrepreneurs to calculate their start-up costs

Soap Shish Abacus soap holder which turns hand-washing into a fun experience

Zone 2030 A future bus and journey concept designed in partnership with ISUZU

Chatboard Instant messaging tool: a digital endless canvas for people to interact on

Š 2014 Cansu Akarsu

low-cost ergonomic baby carriers for developing countries Happy Baby is the non-profit design project of a comfortable, secure and easily replicated baby carrier, aiming to facilitate the bonding process between parents and babies, focusing on increasing fathers’ involvement in child care. We started the process with a research in Uganda where over a hundred local parents and babies actively participated in workshops and gave feedback on different baby carrier prototypes. Happy Baby is currently piloted in Nkokonjeru, Central Uganda. position

Lead Designer


Aug 2012 - Sep 2013


Happy Baby

Design process As a team of designers and researchers, we carried out Happy Baby Carrier’s design process involving local mothers, fathers, leaders and health care workers in Uganda. It is currently implemented in rural Uganda, in partnership with Real Medicine Foundation and Children in Africa Breastfeeding support.

Cansu Akarsu Lead Designer

Kübra Saygın Product Designer

Josephine Nalugo Researcher and Pilot Partner

Ege Özgirin Movie Maker




Research phase with local families

Prototyping and user testing

Piloting in rural Uganda

Co-creation workshops with over a hundred local parents and home visits in three districts

On site prototyping with locally bought materials and user testing with both mothers and fathers






Rebecca Asilo Intern Researcher

Training locals to learn to make baby carriers and monitoring the impact of Happy Baby on families.

© 2014 Cansu Akarsu

Challenges of traditional baby carriers - Culturally associated with womanhood and not practiced by most fathers

- Some babies are carried on the back very soon after birth, earlier than recommended.

- Does not allow hands-free breastfeeding and pressure on the chest has negative effects on the breast milk production

- Baby’s neck is not well supported, falls down and shakes while sleeping.

- Long hours of carrying cause back pain.

- Knots of the carrier get loose, causing the baby to hang low and in some cases fall out.


“I wear my baby on my back with a cloth at home, but I would not do in public.” urban father, Lira

“I started carrying my baby on my back when she was two weeks old because I had to go digging.” farmer mother, Lira

Research Report on all methods and aspects of traditional baby carrying in Uganda :






© 2014 Cansu Akarsu

Three mothers were visited, observed a whole day and interviewed.

Over a hundred mothers and fathers participated in workshops






Over twenty prototypes were produced throughout the design process.






farmer father, Lira

“It is the first time I wear my baby in the front. I can breast feed as I walk.”

“Haha! I can carry my baby with this and shoot birds in my garden.”






Happy Baby Carrier - Developed with regular feedback from users, the design fits the preferences of both mothers and fathers.

- Can be used to carry babies starting from birth until toddler years - Front position allows breastfeeding

- Fits ergonomic specifications of baby carrying: supports a baby’s spine and hips with fabric from knee to knee, having him/her facing the wearer at all times.

Traditional baby carrying methods

- Can be put on with simple steps, tightened with a single movement and adjusted to suit people of different sizes

Happy Baby Carrier






Š 2014 Cansu Akarsu

Usage for newborn babies - Only Front Position

Fold the hip support once ,tie under your chest

Put on one shoulder strap and open a pocket

Holding the legs in the frog position, put the baby in

Hold the baby with one hand, wear the carrier with the other

Cross the side straps behind and bring to the front

Tie the side straps tight under your baby’s butt.

Usage for babies over 4 months - Front and Back Positions

Wear the hip belt low on the hips.

Wear the hip belt low on the hips.

Hold your baby, straddling the legs

Hold the baby as you wear the carrier

Put on the straps one by one

Cross the straps, bring to the front.

Pass the straps under the baby’s legs and tie

Bend up slowly Bend down and take Take the carrier up Cross the straps and Pass the straps under the baby on the back while you are bent putting on the straps bring to the back the baby’s legs and tie







Happy Baby Carrier UGANDA

The design process of Happy Baby has taken place in three different districts of Uganda, the piloting phase took place in Nkokonjeru. Nkokonjeru town is a municipality under Buikwe District with an estimated population of 14,000 by Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS 2011), the main socio-economic activity is subsistence farming and families have 4-6 kids on average.



Namaliri Nabuwundo

Bukasa Buyira

Mayirikiti Nkokonjeru Center Mayirikiti





Families with babies were invited to discuss about baby carrying benefits.

16 community selected tailors were trained to make, sell and promote Happy Baby Carrier.

Local leaders and health care workers were engaged and education tools were distributed.






Sixteeen tailors were trained to become Happy Baby entrepreneurs.

Stakeholders were given training on baby carrying safety and benefits.






Happy Baby Carriers were sold at $7 by local entrepreneurs.

Seventeen families were monitored and interviewed regularly.






Monitored impact of Happy Baby - Provides thermal control for the baby - Calms baby’s nervous system, resulting in more quiet sleep and more optimum sleep patterns - Strengthens the attachment between parents and babies, resulting in a content child

- Enables fathers to participate actively in early care giving, strengthens family bonds - Helps maintain effortless and painless breastfeeding and increases the duration. - Enables hands-free care giving and efficiency in daily work while baby carrying

“When I put her in the carrier she immediately stops crying, listens to my heart, and falls asleep.”

- Creates an interaction between baby and the wearer, strengthening baby’s ability to focus

father in Nkokonjeru

“I was embarrassed of carrying my baby on the back with a cloth. Hah! But now I look smart in public.”

Useful Links Website:

father in Nkokonjeru

Vimeo User page

Pilot Study Summary

“I washed people’s clothes and paid the instalments for buying the carrier.”

Research Report


mother in Nkokonjeru






© 2014 Cansu Akarsu

sustainable menstrual pads for rural areas Jury Special Award INDEX: Design Challenge 2010 padBACK is a menstrual protection method and startup kit for developing countries. The production and the waste management creates a cycle starting and ending in soil. The pads are made of fiber plants and biodegradable nonwoven fabric; then turned into compost. The project aims to increase adolescent girls’ school attendance, empower the local people and increase the fertility of land. type

School and Competition


four months


Sangmin Bae





photo by Angela Sevin

Challenges of Menstrual Hygiene

600 million adolescent girls


2 DAYS of absence / month


12 MONTH of absence / year

Due to the lack of affordable menstrual hygiene products, when an adolescent girl misses two days of school every month, she misses one month of education a year!

hard to carry used pads requires a lot of water and soap


makes girls stay at home

not affordable no dust bin to dispose the pads


if flushed, causes the toilet to clog

‘‘Some days I bleed heavily, and I need to change clothes at least 2 or 3 times during school hours.’’ photo by Aid Africa’s Children

‘‘There is no place to dump the pads, so I just throw them in the toilet, I wish there was a dustbin.’’

photo by Aid Africa’s Children

Design Objectives 100 % Biodegradable using fiber plants and no stickers

Menstrual protection having a good absorbent layer

Safe and Hygienic Disposing sustainable disposing system

Easy Usage changing and carrying in schools

Affordable locally produced and sold

Convenient allowing the girls to attend school

Easily Replicable requiring no electricity

Fast Production Line for efficient and clean production

cellulose fiber nonwoven fabric

natural absorbent (papyrus, cotton, hemp)

texture restraining the blood inside

Š 2014 Cansu Akarsu

Life-cycle of padBack In cradle to cradle principle, waste equals food! PadBack production, usage, and waste management system create a cycle starting and ending in soil. The pads are made using natural fiber crops that become the resource of a good quality compost soil after being enriched with blood. The more sanitary pads are used, the more compost is made; thus the more fertile the soil gets to grow more crops.

Crops Workshop

PadBack Workshop


biodegradable nonwoven fabric absorbent layer

Fiber crops are collected from wet lands.

Skin is removed, stem is cut and smashed.

Plants are soaked with waste white paper.

Layers are created by paper making technique

fabric for hygiene

fiber crops padBack

compost soil

Decomposition starts in the sacks filled with soil. The full sacks are renewed with the empty ones every day

PadBack production, usage, and waste management system create a cycle.

Waste Workshop

used used pads pads

Schools photo by Angela Sevin

photo by Dennis Thern

The full sacks filled with used pads and soil are brought. They are buried in the ground and aerated for ‘14 days.’

Miriam College in the Philippines

© 2014 Cansu Akarsu

Prototyping PadKIT: replicating kit PadKit combines the essential parts to start the business of pad making process in a box, to make it easy and fast for new local entrepreneurs to start the business.

pad making


pad waste bin stamp and ink users manual rolls of nonwoven fabric mould for absorbents undergarments




pad assembly mould

padBack team - NGO, designers, and agricultural scientists will - Work with papyrus and other possible fiber crops to create absorbency - Give menstrual hygiene education, how to use and dispose the pads - Monitor problems and questions of the girls during the usage - Find the safest and lowest cost method to dispose the pads

Š 2014 Cansu Akarsu

Period. Campaign

Globalizing PadKit ‘‘period.’’ campaign

PadKit is globalized with the relationship of different stakeholders: While the designers are involved in the padKIT design, NGO’s network will be collaborated with to find the local entrepreneurs. ‘Period. Campaign’ will be funding the distribution of the kits.

pilot school




Possible rural places, where fiber crops grow, will be distributed PadKITs to start the business.

Period. has started as a non profit campaign aiming to put a period to the limitations of menstruation.

kenaf fiber

used in making rope, twine, cloth, paper


used as diapers

The campaign works for a world where Haiti

• no female is away from education or work during menstruation • menstrual protection methods are affordable • menstrual hygiene education is accessible

sisal plant fibers used in making rope

Senegal D.R. Congo

cyperus papyrus used in pad making


used in paper, textile

Artvin, Turkey Afghanistan Nepal India

Uganda Kenya Malawi Madagascar

bamboo fibers

used in pad making

Papua New Guinea

banana tree fibers

used in pad making

© 2014 Cansu Akarsu

INDEX: Design Challenge and UNICEF Chosen among the 7 finalist from 115 projects, padBack is carried to the INDEX Design Challenge Workshop held in Copenhagen. The workshop consisted of experts and jury members from several companies including INDEX, UNICEF, Cisco, World Toilet Organization, IKEA, who helped us develop business models and find ways to execute our projects.

Building the booth with participants

Demonstrating pad making

Presenting the business plan

Useful Links Index: Design Challenge Special Jury Award

Prezi Presentation

Project Report

Prototyping Video

Waste Workshop


Š 2014 Cansu Akarsu

soap stand for schools in rural communities Jury Special Award INDEX: Design Challenge 2010 Soap Shish is a modular soap stand for schools in the developing countries. Inspired by an ‘abacus’ and using the colourful and slippery features of a soap, Soap Shish attracts kids to play with it, and at the same time, to clean their hands. It is durable in a school environment since the soap bars can not be taken out or melt away while children play with it. type

School and Competition


four months


Sangmin Bae

team mate Eunjung Lee

UNICEF Problem Definition

‘Design a soap holder that keeps and protects the soap in rural schools from being moved and lost’ says UNICEF.

Research Findings


UNICEF reports that the soap bars distributed to rural schools usually get LOST, MELT or STOLEN before all children can benefit.

Redefining the design brief

‘Washing my hands takes time from my playtime. I have to do it alone instead of playing with my friends,’ says students.


In 2007, a study by Water and Sanitation Program reveals that 7% of kids wash hands after the toilet. (Curtis, V. and Sidibe, M. 2007)

How might we design a hand-washing experience that is attractive for children and that protects the soap in schools?

Design Objectives Attractive to children making hand washing more fun and interactive

Providing soap at all times preventing soap from getting lost, melt or stolen

Durable in school environment strong against children’s pulling, hanging

Modular structure enabling the design to be built in different toilets

Locally Produced encouraging local soap making and entrepreneurs photo by Dennis Thern

Using solid soap being the most cost-efficient form of soap making

© 2014 Cansu Akarsu

Š 2014 Cansu Akarsu

Soap Shish: a huge abacus of soaps Soap Shish design is inspired by abacus, an existing toy used in education. Soap bars and small toys are carried by bamboo or wooden shishes that stand on top of each other.

Avoiding waste with a song Soap Shish can be used by a couple of students at the same time. Soaps can be moved LEFT and RIGHT, UP and DOWN. A song that lasts 20 seconds, the hand washing duration recommended by WHO, can be sung while playing.

Gets always dirty mama Gets always dirty Move it up move it down Left and right all clean Pour me the water mama My hand is squishy Move it in move it out Gets always all clean

” © 2014 Cansu Akarsu

Soap Shish: Local Production

Soap bars have been produced by people for ages using natural resources such as shea fruit and plantains. A specific wooden Soap Shish mould enables any length of stick to be used to make any amount to soap bars. 1 to 5 sticks can be assembled by using a rope and existing tying techniques known and used by local people.

shea fruit

plantain skin

cooking the soap

Š 2014 Cansu Akarsu

Soap Shish was pretotyped with 3rd grade students in a Korean primary school.

Watch children’s response to Soap Shish with no introduction!

INDEX: Design Challenge and UNICEF Chosen among the 7 finalist from 115 projects, Soap Shish is carried to the INDEX Design Challenge Workshop held in Copenhagen. The workshop consisted of experts and jury members from several companies including INDEX, UNICEF, Cisco, World Toilet Organization, IKEA, who helped us develop business models and find ways to execute our projects.

Building the booth with Eunjung, my team mate

Presenting the business plan

Useful Links Index: Design Challenge Special Jury Award

Prezi Presentation

Project Report

Pretotyping Videos and

Š 2014 Cansu Akarsu

a pencil connecting tool that enables motion Winner of the Felissimo Pencil Case Design Competition End-to-End is a pencil case that connects 500 colored pencils one after another. The case enables the pencils to move freely, keeping them attached. It is not only a way to store and transfer the pencils, but also a fun way to combine colors and build 3D structures. type

Competition Project


two weeks



Motion of sticks/pencils and building structures for creativity are inspirations.

Felissimo 500 is a colored pencil company needing a pencil case design.

Š 2014 Cansu Akarsu

End-to-End End-to-End is a dynamic tool that attaches two pencils to each other, allowing them to move freely in all directions. This tool makes it fun and easy to carry any amount of pencils. For 500 pencils, 499 plastic case couples and a metal pencil sharpener is required.

+ 499 plastic case couples

1 metal pencil sharpener

How to make and use

How End-to-End can connect pencils and how these pencils can move in all directions

Felissimo Design Competition End-to-End was selected as the winner of the Felissimo Pencil Case Design Competition and exhibited at 100% Design Tokyo.

Useful Links DesignBoom Article

Video of the movement of pencils

Š 2014 Cansu Akarsu

an earphone set that can turn into speakers Concept design project after the findings from Moving from Data to Insights to Opportunities Workshop Outloud is the concept design of an earphone set that can turn into speakers. The design suggests a small change in the drivers with a single hand movement. With Outloud, people can share music with three or more people within a small space. type

Bachelor’s Course Project


one month


Istanbul Technical University

Problem Finding Sharing earphones with a friend is a common habit among people; but people cannot share a pair of earphone with more than two people.

A friend comes by. -Which song is it?

-Oh it’s the new song of Muse! What if more friends come?

Š 2014 Cansu Akarsu

How to turn earphone into speakers

Loud speaker vs earphone

When the rubber shell of Outloud earphones are bent back, the rubber shell becomes convex, letting the spider (red part) and the surround (black part) move freely through the magnet in the driver and vibrate. Earphones turn into speakers that give out sound within a small space.

Compared to earphones, the spider and the surround in the speakers are let free to vibrate to give out bass sounds.

ear holder rubber shell surround & cone

front shell

spider & voilce coil


back pole

top pole

magnet ring

wood cylinder to reduce cavity

bendable part connecting the driver with the shell & triggring the micro switch


ZONE 2030 city bus journey in 2030, launched by ISUZU

‘What kind of a bus trip do I want my 14 year-old son to have in the future?’ Zone 2030 addresses different user preferences of the citizens, ones who want to spend a quiet bus trip in the silent zone, and ones who are open to interaction in the free zone. Passengers experience interactive tools, such an an on-board museum. The value of the time spent in the bus is increased. type

Bachelor’s Degree Project


four months



Redefining the Design Brief

14 year old son

The brief given by ISUZU and ITU was to design a city bus for 2030. I redefined the brief by picturing myself in 2030 and designing the bus journey my future kids would take.

10 year old daughter


Design Student


Mother of two kids

What kind of a bus do I want my kids to use?

Future city scenario As populations increase, cities taller and wider. People will live in high buildings; they will be able to see the top of the vehicles. The upper part of the bus can be used for specific informative purposes.

Š 2014 Cansu Akarsu

Technology embedded in daily life

Access to personal data

When games invade real life Augmented reality Kinect by Xbox Uniqlo showcase Intel transparent Reality is augmented when it feels different not when by Jesse Schell using no controller by Berg touch screen it

define s

Human behavior is defined by the use of technology. There are social behaviors that make us human. Technological devices will adapt to our social and emotional needs.

Drawing on the wet window and on the back of the seat

Sharing or offering a seat to an elderly in a public transportation

Encountering same people, possibly from the neighborhood

looks Ke

A bus journey in 2030

This is my 14 year-old son Mete, and his journey of going to school by bus in 2030.

BUS 21U gets the information sent from the bus stop, and stops to pick him up.

Mete walks to the bus stop. His interaction with the bus starts at the bus stop.

Mete gets on the bus through the safe, sliding door.

To stop the coming bus, he selects the bus number he wants to get on. Some buses are already selected.

Mete wants to check out what there is at the ‘on-board museum.’ © 2014 Cansu Akarsu

A bus journey in 2030

His friend Liza gets on the bus and wonders what Mete is doing with the touch-screen window.

‘Hey this is a very cool illustration, I would like to post a comment,’ says Liza.

Liza opens a post-it note by dragging with her fingers. She leaves a comment for the artist.

They hear the announcement that the coming stop is their school.

Liza touches the STOP button to inform the bus that they need to get off at the school.

Mete and Liza get off, having seen something new at the on-board museum. © 2014 Cansu Akarsu

Features inside the bus Mount-in speakers in the free zone announce the coming bus stop information. In the silent zone, they are used for active noise reduction technology.

Coming bus stop is displayed above the front window and the rear window screen. Blue bar’s diagonal shape allows different height passengers, including children, to hold easily.

Touch screen window created an interactive space for an on-board museum, social public games, a drawing board, etc.

Blue holding bars, integrated with floor graphics, are fluorescent material, useful in emergencies Space for wheelchair users, baby trolleys, or luggages

Standing space where different height passengers can hold the blue bar

Front lounge

Information screen one

Z ree


Windshield seat is turned into a lounge where people relax.

nt Sile



Information on the coming bus stops are displayed on a touch screen. Passengers can select their destination by touching the screen.

Š 2014 Cansu Akarsu

Passenger distribution in the bus

8 sitting + 4 standing

SILENT ZONE 2-3 people can lay on the front lounge, while 6 people can sit on the regular seats. During busy hours where passengers have to stand, holding the blue bars around the seats, the space can cover a total number of 12 people.

14 sitting + 14 standing

40 people in total

FREE ZONE An empty space for a wheelchair user, baby trolley, or luggages is created in front of the front door. In case there is no particular user, 2 passengers can fit, holding the blue bar and standing.

8 people can sit on the ‘benches’ on the left and right sides of the bus, where they can see each other and communicate. 5 other people can sit on regular seats, above the wheels, and another person can sit in font of the back door.

The rear part of the bus is dedicated to interaction. Passengers can stand and play with the screen. During rush hours, the free zone can accommodate 28 people.

© 2014 Cansu Akarsu

Zone 2030 Hybrid Vehicle and In-wheel Motor The energy resources in vehicles depend highly on different country regulations. For ISUZU to compete in the global market, ZONE 2030 is a hybrid bus that can be assembled with either ICE or FUEL CELL in combination with a BATTERY.



Brand identity on top The research phase shows that cities grow higher with skyscapers, so people will be able see to vehicles from different views. Brand identity curves are placed upper for better visibility.

2012 front view

2030 front view

2030 top view

Useful Links ZONE 2030 User Scenario Video Istanbul Technical University Graduation Presentation

ISUZU exhition



Next Project

Š 2014 Cansu Akarsu

Voting app for people with disabilities Winning concept in OpenIDEO in collaboration with ITIF ‘Creating an Accessible Election Experience for Everyone’ Vapp is a voting app operated by the poll clerks to easily suggest different methods of voting for people with various disabilities. Vapp supports the right of everyone to vote self-sufficiently, not requiring to share their own politicial preferences. type

Free time project


two months



Jeannie lost her eyes and one leg during the last war. She is staying at a Veteran Nursing Home during the elections. A group of poll clerks visit her with a mobile voting unit and use Vapp to help her vote.

Minjun is an immigrant and English is his second language. The poll clerk changes the language from the Voter Profile Settings. When the poll clerk shows the Chinese interface, Minjun approves.

Mikkel broke both of his arms while paragliding, but he can walk to the voting place. Visual guide and voice voting enables to use the app without touching. For privacy, one time use words are generated to vote.

Š 2014 Cansu Akarsu

Online budgeting tool for web entrepreneurs Winning concept in OpenIDEO & European Commission ‘How might we support web entrepreneurs in launching and growing sustainable global businesses? ’ Start-up Wallet is an online tool for web entrepreneurs to calculate the total start-up cost of getting their idea off the ground. It suggests different fixed and variable costs that the entrepreneur can collect in his virtual wallet, such as hardware equipments, rents, license fees, recruitment costs, travel costs, etc. type

Free time project


two months



Deniz is a young designer who has a brilliant web start-up idea!

His main challenge is to find the start-up costs to communicate with investors.

Start-up Wallet takes Deniz through a set of questions to estimate the costs.

Deniz finds out about fixed and variable costs and puts items is his virtual wallet.

After struggling for hours, he finds Start-up Wallet, an online budgeting tool!

Start-up Wallet prepares a budget sheet that he can download and share with investors.

Š 2014 Cansu Akarsu

Online endless canvas to interact on Awarded as the Most Creative Concept during the Human Computer Interaction Course in Coursera Instant messaging allows people to think and type simultaneously, causing a phenomenon called ‘parallel chatting’. Chatboard is a new chat interface, an endless canvas for users interact on, a visually friendly tool which maps out messages according to topics rather than time. type

Coursea HCI Online Course


nine weeks


Scott Klemmer, UC San Diego

Need-finding Phase The way instant messaging (chatting) is visualized on our screens today is a linear format listing messages chronologically. However, instant messaging allows two (or more) people to think and type at the same time, which muddles topics and leads to misunderstandings.

‘How might we design an interface for instant messaging that prioritizes topics rather than time?

Observing and Interviewing

Diary Study

In-context immersion

Online Survey

Learning about general chatting habits, how parallel chatting starts and how the users feel

Collecting chat histories from my users and analyzing their conversations.

Chatting for an hour with one of the extreme users on a blank canvas to pretotype the idea

Learning what kind of device and existing instant messaging services are used by different age groups

Š 2014 Cansu Akarsu

Low-fidelity prototypes created in Balsamiq and user tests with paper Prototypes refined and turned into interactive with JustinMind

Sara is out shopping groceries. Meanwhile, she is in a group chat with Lisa and Peter, discussing where to meet tonight.

As they continue chatting, Sara needs to go to the counter to finish shopping, so she puts away her phone.

Meanwhile, Lisa and Peter continue chatting in the group chat. One subject overtakes the other as they interact.

Sara comes back home and wonders if her friends decided on a meeting location. She takes out her phone to ask them in the group chat.

She sees that Lisa and Peter had been talking about many subjects and now they are offline. Sara needs to find where they will meet.

Chatboard gives her an overview of the discussed topics, so she easily moves to the ‘Meeting Location’ to find out what she needs.

© 2014 Cansu Akarsu

‘Design & Tabula rasa’ Talk at Turkish WIN

Happy Baby Project Video from Uganda

My Resume and Reference Letters

More projects on

Thank you for taking the time to go through my portfolio. Feel free to contact me at CANSU AKARSU

Start over

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.