We Start Our First UX Project for HCI Application/UX Design Internship

Inspired by the Open Design Critique with Facebook, I came up with an idea of weekly seminar and invited my friends who are also on the way to be a UX designer into a study group.

One of the most reliable ways to strengthen our work as designers is by sharing it with others.

Since the first seminar was unexperctly inspiring and productive, which I believe deserves to be documented and shared to anyone who just starts to access the field of UX design, I decide to write a series of stories to explore how our weekly collaborative seminar went, also hoping to have you join us!


Introduction of Us

We have various educaiton background: Chang is majored in literature; Gong and I are architecture students; Zhou Yue is now enrolled in Math major. No matter what background you have, make it a glittering “Plus” to design process.

We are now all enrolled in Human-Centered Design: an Introduction on Coursera, which is performed like our studio lecture class. We agreed on talking about the lecture-based questions every week to ensure we inquisitively understand the class. For people who currently don’t have the chance to go through a design program like us, there’re numerous learning resources of high quality online as recommended in A DIY Design Education.


What Did We Say in The Seminar

1 We Compared the Pros/cons of different methouds like surveys, focus groups, feedback from experts and etc.

In this phase, Zhou mentioned her experience of open-ended interview when doing software design. The good thing you can do with open-ended interview is to explore more authentic and accurate opinions in a flexible way. The shortcomings of it is time-consuming, expensive, sample quantity limited and difficult to process the data.

2 We Shared Our Understanding of Basic Terms, Like Prototyping.

Prototyping is basicly a rough model of your product in my opinion. For architect, it could be a handmade foam massing model ; for auto designer, it could be a bionic leopard-like creature; for UX designer, it can be wireframe, drawing in AI, an app demo and etc.

3 We Decides to Start Our Own Project And Brainstormed Possible Design Topics.

We cannot alway set unreal senarios to discuss about things like personas. A real project provides valuable insight in to if and how user experience works. The most important thing that we all feel excited about is that it can be something impressive in our portfolio.

I put forward a possible design topic: Redesign Youdao Dictionary App for the reason that user research can be easier given it’s large amount od users and our student identity.

The mian interface & The post interface
Then Gong and Zhou argued that it’s UX design should already be iterated to optimal version since it has UX design experts and enough user feedbacks. So they prefer to start a totally new project.

Redesign or Start a Brand-new Project? I agreed that redesign means limited design space but also believed that it has overwhelming advantages. For instance, the process of redesign is also a proess of case study. For a study group without mentor, a existed produce itself is the best reference. Not to say as applicants for fall 2018, we don’t have too much , so it succeeds if we can dive into refination of one point.

To demonstrate my opinion, I pointed out one issue that results in bad user experience in the app: the editor’s post on the main interface never updates. It doesn’t make any sence that the posts are meaningless but occupies the biggest area of the interface. Why they are still there? Because they are containers for ads, which make profit. So here is the design space: considering the critical business factor, how can we refine the user experience of main interface?

Chang also supported to do redesign. She came up with a app she also felt has a interface problem: Apple Music. It’s mission impossible to find the repeat/ lyric button.

Agreed! LOL. I felt that refination of Apple Music in China region could be a great design point because one obvious chinese audiences’ design pattern is listening to music in different languages, like Cantonese, English, Japanese and so on. However I feel like people in English-speaking region are more homogeneous when I find the Top Hit Canada/ United States/Australia are almost the same chart in Spotify.

Gong also showed interet in this topic. Chang put another problem of Apple Music is that it couldn’t be played in China with 4G. It could be frustrating for users in such a mobile Internet age.

At the end we scheduled for next week that we should start designing basing on lecture.


To Be Continued and See You Next Week!

If you have any comments on our discussion, please leave with a message through Facebook, E-mail, or comment box underneath!