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Introducing Disaster Design Principles (and how we got to it)

TL;DR

With the goal of using interaction design to improve people’s decision making in disaster situations, designers Amelia Koster, Brittany Williams and I created a library of disaster design principles.

Municipalities are usually in charge of putting together preparation programs and responding when events arise. However, not all municipalities have the resources or designers on their teams to bring forward user research or behavioral economics. Disasterdesignprinciples.com acts as a starting point or as a user-centered checklist for municipalities and teams working on their own people facing systems.

It’s been presented to the British Columbia government and is moving towards becoming an official resource for BC municipalities. …


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Cards for Humanity: Finding connection through food and memory.

An act of care by Augusta Lutynski, Shamara Leonard, Mitra Mahmoodi, and Catherine Legros, Emily Carr University students.

After studying and exploring the connections between colonialism, racism, and culture through food this semester, it was time to find our own way to change the narrative through food.

“Food is a necessity, a communication tool, and a relational object” (Amanda Huynh, Race & Food, Emily Carr University)

Based on this premise, we designed an experience that leverages the space that food offers and aims to create meaningful conversations around food, identity, and heritage. Too often, the lack of mindfulness in the very act of eating (done alone or alone together, on phones) makes it difficult to recognize the rich meaning of the food we eat (what it took to bring it to our plates — geographically, historically, and culturally). …


How to get unique insights and exceptional engagement from research participants

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In the context of a university Design Research and Methods class we learned co-creation and several research methodologies. The class revolved around environmental health and measuring the impacts of an environment’s influence on people’s behaviours. With a multi-disciplinary team (Industrial designers Cora Hall, Benjamin Mills, Gian Fernandes and Communication designer Marcos Lopes), I designed cultural probe kits to learn more about food habits and philosophies of 20–30 year old Vancouverites.

What are cultural probes?
Cultural probes are a qualitative research tool, where open ended activities are given to a group of participants to learn more about their daily lives and environment. …


Celebrating victory and supporting a healthy lifestyle through service design.

Context

When cancer patients complete their treatments, they often feel a gap in care as their next appointment will only be 3 months later. Throughout the semester, I worked on an interaction design project attempting to fill in this gap in care for cancer survivors. This article is specifically about how motion in the UI helped us reach our design goals and how we displayed the product using AfterEffects to create an intro video, seen above.

We worked closely with CancerBC and HealthlinkBC to research the problem space and the video is a proposal intended for them.

A section about the rest of the process can be found below.


When generative user testing guides a project

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What started as a university project for ESL (English as a Second Language) students brought me to a larger design opportunity: Re-designing transcriptions. I recognized real-time transcription AI-software, like Google’s Cloud Speech API, are more accurate and cheaper than ever and the textual support provided by transcriptions can be an answer to several issues of accessibility and efficiency.

I created some design guidelines for designing transcriptions, through a live transcription mobile app. I imagined this product in the context of lecture halls and conferences.

The goal of the exercise was to start with a specific problem (in my case ESL students in the lecture hall) and let our generative user testing guide our future iterations and direction.

Process

I started with the following high level design principles based on the context and the users: Feedback, Simplicity, and Non-Disruptiveness. …


Conference journal — Orlando, October 2017 🍊

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Why and how to get a UX internship

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Interning at Google in NYC last summer.

This piece was originally written for my classmates at Emily Carr University.

Here we are, 3rd year Interaction Design. This means you’re more than halfway through your degree. It also means this summer is most likely your last chance to get an internship at a (big) tech company.

Why does that matter?

  1. Some jobs are famously difficult to get (Google, Tesla, etc.)
    One way to hack your way in, is to get an internship while you’re at school. For them, internships are just a part of the hiring funnel. It’s basically a 3 month interview geared towards making you grow, sot they can offer to hire you once you’ve graduated. (How sweet would it be to start 4th year with a full time job offer for once you’ve graduated? …


Storytime

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This is an adaptation of a talk I gave at the Montreal Dribbble Meetup a year ago.

September 2014
My friend Tim and I left Montréal, our hometown, for an undetermined amount of time. Destination: Asia. More specifically, Bali, as we had heard it attracted digital nomads from around the world. After running a business together for the past year, I convinced Tim to drop out of business school that fall, before even starting. …


Case Study

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I worked on Cover Design History during the CODEX Hackathon (books and publishing hackathon) while at the M.I.T. Media Lab in Cambridge.

My small team consisted of university professors, one publisher, and front and back-end developers. As the only designer in my team, I had to create a brand identity and product design in less than 24h for our concept. Very little sleep happened that weekend!

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1. The Concept

Problem Statement

Book covers have no library. Dust jackets are often lost, ignored, and tossed in the trash. The artists and designers who created the book covers of the 20th century are often forgotten.

How do book covers change over time and what might this tell us about cultural shifts in reception, production, and design? These are just a few of the questions that “Book Cover History” hopes to answer. …


Case Study

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I redesigned the Yelp user profile in 4 days as a challenge. No user or market research was performed for this project, I was instead encouraged to go with smart assumptions. I documented every step of this project below, from goal to final solution.

1. Design Goal

Optimize user profiles to promote social behaviour between existing users and increase user sign ups.

2. Research and Analysis

In order to create a solution that would work for every Yelp user, near-empty profiles of new users and review-packed profiles of elite Yelpers were analysed.

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Problems found on Yelpers profiles, that might have a negative impact on social behaviour.

3. Assumptions, Challenges, and Ideas

Assumptions

Users want to interact with one another on Yelp.
User profiles are a good place to foster these interactions.
Fostering social interactions will increase user engagement.
Reviews, feed, compliments and votes are the most social features and should be put forwards. …

About

Catherine Legros

Designer @Microsoft, previously @Google, @YouTube, and @EmilyCarrU www.catherinelegros.com

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