How I Feel about the User Experience Design Project
ITE121: User Experience Design. A subject I enrolled to because I want to minor in IT. I didn’t know what to expect since this is not my major. I knew myself that I am not well adept in terms of IT-related matters so I was a bit anxious at first but also I was interested on the course since it is different from what I usually take with my majors. And to be honest, I really enjoyed the lessons I learned in this class. I was really looking forward to the lessons even though it was a 6–9 pm class. As much as I like the subject, I don’t feel the same way with the project. It’s not at all bad, but I faced a lot of challenges due to many factors.
My experience with the User Experience Design project was both similar and different from other things I experienced before. It was similar because I had to work with other people to work on a product using scientific method. We had to research, iterate, get feedback from people, and iterate again. But what was different was the skillset, or the lack thereof, that I needed for the project. Before, if my groupmates were not responsible, I can still work on the project because I have the skill to finish the product we are working on. But this time, I really am not fluent with software applications and therefore, have to rely on my groupmates whatever happen. Even if I want to, I didn’t have the time to learn these software applications due to the heavy workload of my other subjects.
Our group process or dynamics was “different” from what I usually experience. To be honest, I wasn’t that fond of our group dynamics especially on the first iteration. I was used to groups with all group members working together because mostly I had Management Engineering students as my groupmates. With a course that has a retention grade and a good reputation, students do not want to fail the course and therefore do well in the projects. But I also had a group project for another subject with non-ME students and it worked well so far. But with this project, I was just really disappointed with my groupmates. They didn’t necessarily contribute nothing, but for the first iteration, most of them were very unresponsive. One of them, I will not name, even made school requirements as an excuse not to help. For me, I felt hurt because I was also going through a lot of requirements on my other subjects and yet I am giving all my effort also in this project. As a result, I was not satisfied with our output.
Things got better on the second iteration. They started contributing on the project. But I had to step up and lead the team. I had to properly delegate tasks as to maximize time and effort. And I think this is what I can apply to other aspects of my life or learning. First, it taught me how to compromise with the resources that I was given. For the first iteration, I was only able to squeeze small efforts from my groupmates and I had to work with those to complete the puzzle. Second, it taught me to be more patient with people. In the future, I will also work again with people that may seem unresponsive. And I will be more prepared to understand their situation and to adjust to the situation. Lastly, I was able to enhance my leadership skills. Maybe I need to improve my motivation skill to keep my group moving. I believe that motivation is very important for a person to act.
In conclusion, the process was still an overall good experience. Making a relevant product for the users is something I like about the process. On the other hand, nothing really struck me as something I would hate about the process. But if I were to choose and I choose the word “dislike” better, I dislike the group dynamics we had for the project. For my next redesign project, I still cannot control the attitude of my groupmates. But one thing I can do better now is how to adjust to the situation. For example, if needed, we can start early to offset the unresponsiveness of the group. But definitely, I learned a lot from the course and the project.