Here are some examples drawn from the everyday experiences of students, faculty and staff. You don't need to limit yourself to UChicago-specific ideas (but we'll gladly accept those too!).
In the past, we’ve asked you for ideas that would make great mobile apps. But there are plenty more ideas that don't need a smartphone to make an impact, and this year, we're expanding the app challenge to accomodate those. Here are ways in which you, as a student, faculty, or staff member can use your everyday experience to come up with a novel solution for a new or better tool.
Example 1: As a Family Medicine surgeon at UChicago Medicine, you'd like to improve how you communicate with family members while the operation is in progress. You may end up prototyping a website to solve the problem.
Example 2: As a College student, you've taken a number of classes about psychology, and are particularly interested in the inability to recall words or names. You wonder if there's an easy tool that helps people with anomic aphasia navigate everyday life. You may have an idea for a service that solves the problem.
Example 3: As a student in the Public Policy program, you study the trends in housing prices. You want to help simplify decision-making about choosing where to live, given budget, work and educational needs of a family but that's a lot of data to look at. You may end up prototyping a website that takes all sorts of complex data, simplifies it, and displays it in an easy-to-understand manner.
Example 4: As a staff member at the Ratner Center, you know that logging what you eat for dieting purposes takes a lot of motivation. You want to help people record the amount and type of food they eat without doing any manual data entry. If accepted into Phase Two, you might end up prototyping a voice controlled food journal that knows approximately when you eat. If accepted into Phase Three, you will receive help putting together a minimum viable product to demonstrate this.
Maybe your idea for a tool makes a great web application, a service, a mobile app, an API, or something we can't even think of yet. If you're idea is good enough, we'll help you get it out there.