Team IHG : GHI meaT

Project 3, very interesting and engaging. The excitement to find out who I was going to be paired with was palpable, along with what sort of project was going to be had. Over the weekend before we found out the group pairings I was able to get a bit of rest, which was very welcomed; however, that is not necessarily what is being looked at here. So project 3, the team members Shanice and Stephanie, great partners through and through. I’m very appreciative of the team work we did together. Myself not being a mainly a face to face person when it comes to research was happy to have help in that department. During the early parts of the project, we made sure that we had a specific plan of action to address some of the issues that would be ran up against. This really helped our ability to get to some massive amounts of user testing that helped see us through to the end. That being said there were some hiccoughs due to Stephanie not being able to be on campus for a few of the days, but we worked through that via slack. This was also during the time that we did our initial research for the project, so that we knew what we could compare to and gain ideas from and to see what was already out on the market. So….Surveys. Surveys were interesting to say the least trying to figure out what medium we were going to place them on. Of course we had the paper surveys to get the ball rolling, which was great to get some of the analog sketches done. Then the predicament came on what form of software we would want to use to get the digital copies out, so that we had a larger testing pool. At first we decided to do typeform but after realizing that we could not get what we wanted from the program, Stephanie came to the rescue with a survey software during her stint at Auburn. So we got our first round of metadata in…woot?! This helped us pair this with our analog copies, so that we knew we were going the right direction. We continued to work on our sketches to get more of an idea, and then created pseudo-paper prototypes to get some better direction with where we were going. Sketches! Woot! So sketches one of the most crucial parts, so we as a group of three people decided to have a “mini-competition” in our group and each of use based on the first surveys create our vision of what the app could look like. Well this worked and didn’t work, to the best of the case anyways. That day was on one of the days that Stephanie could not be there, so we had to come to some compromises in regards of how the initial prototype would look like. We took ideas from each of our concepts and places it into the initial paper prototype. I believe we came up with a good direction that followed the brand as best as could be without a branding guide sheet.

Prototyping! Woot, gotta love prototyping, gotta love Axure. So since we were still compiling some of the data from early on in the project, we decided by the weekend that I would be taking over the prototype creation, as I had the most extensive experience with Axure, and we wanted to get the prototype purring. The reasoning behind this decisions was because we came to the consensus that having everyone taking a bat at the prototype would just bog down the process. Having more than one person working at the prototype at any given time, would cause the other person who is also working on the prototype to maybe change something in the region that the other person would be, thus causing more convolution then what was needed. We also had no really easy way to communicate and transfer data in a manner that would help facilitate ease of prototype changes. So, that being said, I went to prototyping and creating the first iteration for Monday of the second week so we could begin user testing.

User Testing, what a great thing many iterations. So as stated in the presentation we had three distinct testing sessions that allowed us the ability to iterate some big and small changes across 6 versions of the app. These changes came in the form of simple color changes, to entire page redesigns, all for the betterment of the user experience. I enjoyed this process, since I especially know that I am divorced from my work and these aren’t my babies and I can easily cast one version off for a better version. So those six iterations, I learned a lot from this, with that being said the one clear thing that I can take from the experience was that dynamic panels really are your friend, without those Axure would just be like Sketch, so sad….. So project 3, was a lot of fun. Learned a lot, and got to understand the process even more. I now really know that my T-shape is heavy in visual and prototyping/development. I know that the user comes first and that is the importance of the testing, one thing that I will never forget to make use of. That being said! Let’s get on to the Three Doings:

Stop Doing:

  • Wasting a large amount of time on aspects of a prototype that might be near impossible to do without actually coding the function.

Keep Doing:

  • Planning the course of action
  • Learning
  • Keeping Calm
  • Keeping communication lines open
  • Coordinating changes with group members
  • Prototyping, and learning other forms of prototyping
  • Sketching!
  • Researching!
  • Iterating

Start Doing:

  • Planning more precisely
  • Branching out to other forms of prototyping
  • Working on things in a more timely manner
  • Fail faster, so I can fail forward when creating a prototype.

So that pretty much sums up my experience with project three, it was very enjoyable and still learning a lot, but I believe I now know where I need to focus on and get some experience in.