© 2018 Evelyn Flores

The Goal: 

The DePaul Showcase App was created for my ISM 220 class at DePaul. The aim was to design and prototype a mobile application that could aide students. The theme was art and design critiques. 

My Role: Researcher, Designer

Tools: Axure RP, Photoshop

Skills: User research, prototyping, wireframing

Context: Group Project

Sharing and presenting one’s work....

in a classroom is important for many students in order to grow as a designer and further develop their skills. However, often critiques do not allow room for students to receive helpful feedback or they simply have trouble showing their work to their fellow colleagues and professors.

The purpose of this research was to investigate students’ needs and motivations related to sharing and critiquing their work.

 

Students were interviewed about their personal experiences in and outside of class in terms of showing their work using different platforms and their overall effectiveness. The main goal was to find out which way students prefer to showcase their work. 

Gathering the Data

Once we focused on a specific group of students, we conducted individual interviews and observations to gather information. Students from the College of Computing and Digital Cinema with a focus on creative fields. 

Students use their mobile phones mostly for entertainment and to use apps. While they like to use their laptops for school related work. They are often hesitant to show their work in their classrooms and are more comfortable presenting work in smaller groups so they can receive better feedback. Students prefer to get critiques from their professors over their peers. However, many students acknowledge the need to get critiques from a broad range of people. Students are very comfortable publishing their work on the internet.

An empathy map was used to organize data and create insights. 

Insights 

  • Students are hesitant to show work due to fear of criticism.

  • Students seek physical events to attend.

  • All of the users are in creative fields.

  • Students actively seek inspiration on other apps and websites.

 

  • Through feedback, users feel they can progress; they feel comfortable publishing their work.

  • Students display need for feedback and critiques outside of classes.

Design Principles

​“A successful solution will…”

  • provide a space for inspiration and be informative of social events.

  • provide a place for feedback circulation for physical and digital creative works.

  • allow the user the option of maintaining anonymity.

 

  • provide a space for creative students to come together as a community.​

Target Users

Concept Designs

Low- Fidelity Testing

Using the concept designs, I created several low-fidelity wire frames that focused on the main pages that we wanted to test out its flow with students. The team created several task scenarios to guide the tester through our app.

Task Scenario 1

Task Scenario 2

​Imagine you are a freshman (first time user) majoring in Illustration and want to navigate to a student’s work page to give feedback. How would you go about it?

​Imagine you want to attend and see the band Peaches. How would you go about and save the event to your calendar and know that you saved it?

High-Fidelity Prototype

After taking into account specific aspects the team needed to focus on, we moved on to designing for high-fidelity prototypes using Axure. 

Site Map

Features

Reflection

After taking into account specific aspects the team needed to focus on, we moved on to designing for high-fidelity prototypes using Axure. 

This was my first project where I conducted user research and designed a high-fidelity prototype  using Axure. At first, it was challenging to begin the first stages of user research (interviewing), but once my group and I gathered information it became clearer what steps we needed to take to design for a problem students faced. There were challenges in learning how to use Axure, however, after using it more it became helpful in bringing the prototype into a more realistic application. I enjoyed the process of user research, concept exploration, and prototyping. This experience helped me in understanding strategies to getting to know the user more for them to find an application useful. As followup for this iteration, I worked on using design principles and patterns to look for improvements in the design. In addition, conducting more comprehensive usability testing would also strengthen the experience of this app.