Here are some things about me:
Usability evaluation and redesign
In Engage: survey making tool of K12 Insight, the main account settings have too many options to choose from which takes away attention from the important settings. When it comes to finding a particular setting, it takes a user to scan through the entire side menu and make an intelligent guess to get to what they are looking for.
Myself being the sole designer working on Engage, I was responsible for understanding the brief, identifying the usability issues, come up with creative ways to solve them and then prototype them to show how they would fit in the existing platform.Research constraints
Since K12Insight actively discourages user research, I had to rely on other ways to do my research and making sure I am solving the right problem.
There were a lot of other small issues identified and reworked on but to keep this case study concise, I will mention some of the usability issues identified and resolved.
The designs were discussed with the PM team as well as the developer team to see if they could point out any loopholes or any part that we may have missed.
All the designs went live with Engage 17.0 on June 21, 2019 and can be accessed by creating an account on SoGoSurvey.
AR game design
To come with a prototype for a game that is fun, engaging, conveys all the learning points and can be tested with the kids at C.S.Mott children’s hospital.My role
This is the actual kit used by Type 1 diabetic kids. Just by looking at the kit it can become extremely overwhelming for a 8 year old kid.
An insulin pump: currently used by Alexis to calculate the amount of insulin ot give herself.
Glucagon: Whenever the patient’s diabetes becomes too high and gets out of control, glucogon is injected into them to get it back to normal. But it has to be done by someone else.
Educational material provided is too much for a kid to grasp and remember.
We worked in 2-3 week design sprints following a strict agile methodology. At the end of each sprint, we tested the prototype with a participant.
During the sprint, we started off with a brainstorming session, sketching the level design and then prototyping the same in Unity.
Rather than having conventional pets, we decided to have a dragon as a pet.
Having a mini game where the kids would toss the food to boards with a random set of numbers with one of the number being the correct carb amount of the food.
Helping the kids, plan a meal of 100 carbs by making it as a mission of the level
Introduced a timer to have a sense of urgency and a Health Bar to get an accurate feedback of their actions.
Have a set of fireworks to have a sense of accomplishment when a kid completes the level.
The first level acted as a tutorial for the kids in order to adjust them to the game settings.
Explaining the basic concepts such as target blood sugar level, to the kids.
Making the kids remember the carb amount in a food using practical scenarios.
For conducting usability testing of the game, we tested it by making the kids play the game before we received it with the one that we received afterwards and having them take a survey. We conducted this test with 6 target (or close) users.
A list of questions we asked the kids while conducting usability test to measure our initial goals.
After compiling the results of the survey, we were able to increase the engagement by 2.5% and the educational value by 5%.Next steps
We had started with the design of next level but due to time restrictions there were many things we would have liked to do but were unable to complete.
The Honors program is a department within the College of Literature, Science and the Arts at the University of Michigan. This department maintains the LSA Honors website, which contains information for prospective and current students, faculty and staff, and alumni.Context
The Honors program recently shifted its website to a new Content management system. Thus the staff is forced to transfer all the information from the old website to the new website template which has caused problems in the way information is organized and presented.
This problem exacerbated when the number of emails from students unable to find information on the website; to the Honors staff increased. Thus, the staff realized the potential usability issues with the website including confusing navigation and text heaviness on some of the pages.My role
As we started, we had the goal of making the LSA Honors website more usable and useful for current students.Success criteria
Reduced number of emails from current students, asking about the information already listed on the website.Scoping
Upon recommendation from the client and the current students being the major users of the website, we decided to narrow down our scope and focus only on the current students’ section.
Method #1 : Interaction Mapping
A static representation of the LSA Honors website highlighted all the possible action states and thus any navigation issues (if 2 actions lead to the same place) with the website.
Method #2 : Interviews
We conducted interviews with 5 current LSA Honors students to find out about the kind of information they look for and the methods employed by them in order to find it.
Method #3 : Comparative analysis
Through this, we wanted to see how other similar websites handle the issues related to information hierarchy, navigation structure etc.
Method #4 : Surveys
To find quantitative data about the information seeking behavior and the overall attitude of current students towards the website. Received a total of 28 responses.
In person help was the most frequently utilized method for finding information on the LSA Honors website.
Method #5 : Heuristic evaluation
Our goal here was to identify usability issues and areas where the site could be improved. We used heuristics like Visibility of System Status, Consistency and Standards, accessibility etc. to conduct our evaluation.
Using WAVE Accessibility system detects issues such as missing alt text, empty heading and links, problematic alt texts, etc.
Method #6 : Usability testing
We conducted usability tests with 5 current students to identify how several features of the website like top-level and side navigation menus, quick links, search bar, accordions, headings etc. are helping the users to find the information they are looking for.
Due to large amounts of text on pages, users used Ctrl+F (browser find functionality) to look for information.Main findings and recommendations
Navigation terminology could be improved: Information about some topics could be found at more than 2 places which makes it hard for the user to remember where to find it. Also, when asked to find out about the Sophomore Honors award, all our usability test participants looked under Honors Awards and Grants page, which is understandable. However, the information is located under the Sophomore students page or the Honors requirements page.
Recommendations for finding #1
The Graduation for Honors Majors page talks in great detail about the process of completing an Honors Thesis, which is something that users may not be able to guess from the page title.
Unclear information hierarchy on a page, which makes the pages hard to skim and thus relevant information being buried in a heap of text.
Recommendations for finding #2
LSA Sweetland writing center’s website uses bold texts and headings which makes it really easy to locate information.
Accessibility issues - Recently, University of California Berkeley was asked to take off some of its free educational content as it was not accessible to people who were blind, deaf or hard of hearing. Read the complete article here. Owing to that, we checked the website for accessibility standards and found several issues:
Using WAVE Accessibility system detects issues such as missing alt text, empty heading and links, problematic alt texts, etc.In addition, Heading levels are often skipped, and b tags are often used instead of h headings, which keeps screen reader users from skimming the webpage.
Recommendations for finding #3
Memorabilia is a novel social computing application which allows people to share memories at a particular location anonymously. Our team created this app concept as a part of the course: Developing Social Computing at University of Michigan.Why is it a problem?
The university of Michigan diag is a very popular place on the campus showcasing a big M and offers a very scenic view of the different campus buildings around it.Figured out the problem yet?
Devising and designing a novel social computing system, validating it and then developing and deploying the same on Amazon AWS.My role
Thus we began brainstorming into potential ideas for sketching and came up with a preliminary set of sketches to lay out the design of the idea.Brainstorming
We tested the main features of the app by showing users wireframes and asking questions like interesting features, kind of memories, sharing memories with anonymous users.
Based on the concept testing, feedback from other designers and considering the timeline of the project, we defined the scope to reach the MVP.
Thus we focussed on 3 main features of the app, that covers and explains the important aspects.Feature #1: Ability to create a memory at any location
This feature allows users to create a memory at a particular location which can be accessed by anonymous users. We also gave the users ability to tag the memories as from our research we found that: Memories are multifaceted (moments, long term, different representations).Feature #2: Discover memories at a particular location
From our research we found that: Location is worth a 1000 stories. So in order to incorporate that as well as being the USP of our app, this feature allows users to access memories created at a specific location by anonymous users.Feature #3: Collection of memories created by a user over time at different locations
Based on our research, personal (unusual, identity) experiences matter. Thus another important feature we added was to allow the user to have a look at all the memories created by them throughout their lifetime.Learnings from the process
Some of my graphic design works. Complete collection can be found here.