CtrlS (app prototype)

A new app and online community for design students to exchange equipment and tips.

This app prototype was ideated and realised with my team mate Mohamed Khaled El Sayed during a 1-week UX design workshop at University of the Arts London.


The product

Design students find it hard to get hold of professional equipment due to high costs and low availability. The university loan facility only provides a few units, meaning students need to find what they need elsewhere.

CtrlS (Control + Share, as if it was a command shortcut on a keyboard) is a new app and online community based on a points system. The more you share your equipment, the more points you earn to borrow expensive tools.

You can search directly for items or browse by categories. Product pages give you all the item specifications, reviews, location and dates availability. The built-in messaging and notification system helps you get in touch with lenders and stay on top of all your bookings. You can also download guides and watch tutorials from the support section, in case you've never used such tools before.


Getting equipment is now as easy as a tap on your phone!

The process

User interviews

To understand the problem, we held interviews with 6 students:


  • 3 graduates of Fashion Design, Fine Art and Media

  • 1 postgraduate student studying Filmmaking

  •  2 undergraduate students, studying Photography and Film

We took notes, recorded and transcribed interviews and refined all data available into specific categories.


Persona and scenario

We then summarised and turned our findings into a specific user persona and ideated a specific scenario in which they need to use the app.

This exercise helped us focus on the specific user for our app and conceptualise its features, such as the point-based system to encourage people to lend their own equipment and the possibility to find support and guidance for using tools.

BA Film and Cinema (Year 2) - London College of Communication.


Passionate about what she does and determined to improve professionally.

She comes from a working-class background and has a weekend job to help fund her studies.

Pain points

Her studies involve the use of expensive equipment and availability at university is limited.

She finds it hard to find support for using equipment.


She feels uncomfortable lending her own expensive equipment without anything in return.

She gets stressed when she needs to find the right equipment with short notice.

She doesn't feel comfortable asking money to her parents for equipment she might only use once.


Get good grades and do well on projects.

Avoid spending money unnecessarily.

Get the right experience with the right professional equipment.

Finish her assignments on time and without stressing out too much.



20 y.o. 

London, United Kingdom

Scenario (short)

Sarah is on the train home watching Instagram stories after a long day at university. Her classmate Anthony texts to warn her that the day after there is going to be a storm, so they will need to shoot for their university project indoor. Anthony's place is available, but they now need some lighting equipment they didn't factor in.

Sarah quickly checks the university equipment booking system. The site is not mobile responsive and Sarah spends much time on it to only find out that all lights have been booked already. Sarah then texts her friends and peers, but no one has such equipment available.

Both Sarah and Anthony feel very anxious and are afraid that they won't complete their project in time without spending a fortune.

Sarah then remembers about her flatmate talking about an app to share equipment, called CtrlS. She quickly downloads it and signs up using her social accounts. The app works great on her phone and it's easy to find what she needs, around her. 

Sarah selects the item, reads reviews and gets in touch with the item owner. A few messages and it's all sorted - Sarah has quickly booked the item for the following morning and agreed a meet up point.

The project is saved thanks to CtrlS.

User flow

An insight into how the app works, based on the scenario we ideated.

Group 17.png


Based on the user flow, we first created low-fidelity wireframes used for user testing. After receiving feedback and analysing testing results, these have been refined into medium-fidelity wireframes for further testing.

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