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SFU Staff
Communications Associate

SIAT alumnus Bassam Mirghani being presented with his award at the 2021 Vancouver UX Awards
SIAT alumnus Bassam Mirghani being presented with his award at the 2021 Vancouver UX Awards.
School of Interactive Arts & Technology (SIAT) students and alumni continue to see success and receive recognition for their outstanding projects and start-ups at the Vancouver User Experience Awards.

At the 2021 Vancouver UX Awards which took place on November 18, 2021, three SIAT students were awarded the UX by Students award for their app SmartExplorer. SIAT alumnus Bassam Mirghani’s Livshows AR Builder was also recognized with an honourable mention in the UX for Product category.

SIAT Students Nhi Nguyen, Marielle Wall, and Julia Yee Win 'UX by Students' Award for their app SmartExplorer
SIAT students Nhi Nguyen, Marielle Wall, and Julia Yee at the 2021 Vancouver UX Awards.

Their app SmartExplorer was originally conceptualized and designed in an Interactive Arts & Technology course (IAT 334 Interface Design) that the three students took together in the Spring 2021 semester.

Nguyen, Wall, and Yee had hikers in mind when creating SmartExplorer. Using the app, hikers can conveniently discover new trails and plan their excursions.

Built in coordination with the North Shore Rescue Team, the app is designed to help hikers stay safe and, subsequently, to combat the rising calls to Search & Rescue.

In developing the app, the three team members interviewed hikers and rescue teams, created wireframes and prototypes, and conducted user testing and with the goal of creating a user-friendly app that prioritizes the hiker and their needs.

The UX by Students award celebrates the work done in courses, extra-curricular activities, or portfolio projects and is a Vancouver UX Awards category that SIAT students have dominated in recent years having been awarded to SIAT students Helen Huynh, Clayton Cheung, Andrew Tsui, Jasmeet Kaur, and Peter Huang for their app Safe Shopper in 2020 and to Estela Xu, Nikie Zuo, Nusrath Imtiaz, Cassey Peng and Keefe Liew for their app Medilog in 2019.

Alumnus Recognized with Honourable Mention in UX for Product Category

At the Awards, SIAT alumnus Bassam Mirghani was also recognized with an honourable mention for his augmented reality builder Livshows, a start-up of which Mirghani is both founder and CEO.

The AR builder helps users build immersive experiences through a no-code drag and drop tool that makes is easy for creatives and agencies to create and publish augmented reality content, explore new channels to produce content and help them better communicate to their audience.

Mirghani’s inspiration for Livshows came from an AR/VR conference that he attended where the majority of creation tools were built for developers.

“It was a huge barrier to adoption for content creators, designers, and brands who did not code,” says Mirghani.

After speaking to colleagues in the creative community who also recognized the complexity of creating and publishing augmented reality experiences, Mirghani decided to build Livshows.

Mirghani was recognized earlier this year with the Top Idea Prize at the SFU Coast Capital Savings Venture Prizes.
Mirghani was recognized earlier this year with the Top Idea Prize at the SFU Coast Capital Savings Venture Prizes.

Mirghani, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Arts & Technology along with a Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship in 2019, was also recognized earlier this year with the Top Idea Prize at the SFU Coast Capital Savings Venture Prizes.

“To be recognized for both awards within the first year of operations is humbling,” says Mirghani. “It also shows credibility and that we are heading on the right path. We are working on incredible and exciting initiatives and partnerships that I am excited to share with everyone.”


Learn more about all the 2021 Vancouver UX Award winners and finalists here.

This blog was originally published on the SFU SIAT website on January 14, 2022.

SFU Staff
Communications Associate

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