Penelope Rance

My UX research & design ramblings

UXDI Week 4: 21 - 25 Sept 2015

Me with Walter, Liv and Zein
Team Quora

Week 4 and I think everyone is starting to feel it a bit. We are all tired and some of us are ill (yep me too) and we’ve had our first drop out taking us down to 17 students. (I think this was a joint decision as I don’t think her English was good enough for the pace of the class)

This week we start on Project 3. This one is a team project and I’m working with Liv, Walter and Zein.

Zein and Walter
Zein and Walter discussing personas

Not living in London hasn’t been an issue, and I’m not sure it’s an issue now, but it has meant the team have had to plan more. On Sunday we had to meet up to discuss the project. But I couldn’t really afford or face the hour and a half journey up and back for an hour and a half meeting. Luckily Skype stepped in and allowed us to meet to discuss everything we needed to be ready for Monday. Then during the week Trello and Slack have helped us keep in touch out of class hours.

Lessons over the week included project planning, user research and its deliverables, creating surveys, contextual inquiries, mobile design, personas and designing to be accessible. All fascinating stuff.

Photo of lots of post-it notes stuck to a white board
Affinity map of our research so far

Our brief looks at the website Quora so our research needed to look at Q&A’s and AMA’s (Ask Me Anything). First things first we needed to create a survey to send out to as many people as possible.

A big thank you for everyone who took the time to fill it in! Without your answers we would have nothing to base our design on!

By the end of the week we had enough survey result and user interviews (thanks to anyone who allowed me to interview them too!) done to allow us to run another design studio - to help us come up with ideas before making our first paper prototype.

Purely by chance I attended the monthly UXPA event this week, which happened to be a panel Q&A discussion on ‘Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about design (but were too afraid to ask)’. Perfect for our project! It was a great event and I took many notes on how a real life Q&A session works.

I’ve been volunteering with UXPA for about a year now - normally I’m on the door handing out name badges and ticking people off the guest list - for doing this I get to sit in some really interesting talks and discussions. All of which have helped with my understanding of UX and Design.

flip chart paper with all our notes for the 4 personas we were working on

On Tuesday we also had a panel of ex UXDI student come and speak to us about life after GA. They are all doing some really cool stuff now and look pretty happy. Maybe in the future I’ll be able to sit up there and try to inspire and reassure some future students. That would be really cool.

And on Friday we had a guest speaker, Ross Robinson who was a recruiter before he did UXDI. He came to give us tips on working with recruiters to find a job after the course, or as he said why wait till then - get looking now!

Friday was also Graduation for the UXDI7 cohort - the guys who did this course over the summer. GA is all about community so we were invited to come along and meet them and celebrate with them. But before that we were kicked out so they could get the rooms set up, so we went for a class dinner together at a local pizza place. So nice to just chill together with no deadlines or need to talk UX. These guys are all amazing.

uxdi8 eating pizza
Class dinner before going to graduation

Then back up the 4 flights of stairs to the party. I didn’t stay too long as I was starting to feel pretty ill (its just a head cold), but the bit of the party I saw was great. It's weird how big the classrooms look without tables in and no post-it notes on the walls.

I’ve plenty to get on with over the weekend, but hopefully I can catch up on some sleep too and feel better for Monday.

[Originally posted on my creative blog - Wild Creations]

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