User Experience: Service Design (1)

Hello internet!!!! Quick recap of the last couple weeks.

My UX group is designing an app that aids U.S. immigrants studying for the American citizenship test.

Background info:
The US citizenship test is comprised of two parts – what we are labelling “civics” and “english comprehension.” The first part of the exam (civics) involves a prompter verbally asking questions related to US government or history (ex: How many members are there in the Senate?) and the answer must be spoken back in English. During the second part of the exam (English comprehension), the test taker is given a short story, usually no longer than one page, and is required to read and answer questions on the material. This section is at a basic, elementary level of reading and understanding.
*Basic eligibility – must be over the age of 18. If you are under 18 and your parents become US citizens, you are automatically granted citizenship. Must have lived in the US for 5+ years.

User Persona #1:
Gabriel – 19 years old
student at Arizona State University – business management
language: Spanish and English
lived in US for 15 years
needs to review civics material quickly and on the go

User Persona #2:
Lucy – 35 years old
stay at home mom
language: Mandarin and English
lived in US for 6 years
needs to learn English writing skills, review some civics

User Persona #3:
Carlos – 68 years old
day factory line worker
language: Spanish
lived in US for 16 years
not familiar with technology
needs to learn civics and reading/writing in English


User map:

Research visualization:

User Experience: Youtube User Paths

*disclaimer: screenshots were actually videos – not images. But you get the idea 🙂

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Sign in by connecting to your Google account. This allows YT to store personalized history, playlists, and “channel” (profile).

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This typically consists of the search bar or a hamburger menu, where the user has a specific end goal or destination.

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Uses features such as autocomplete search or filters to help guide the user to an end result. Ex: knowing I want to watch a video about donuts, but I don’t know what the video will be titled.

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Utilizes YT’s personalized feature of carousel recommendations. These are based on previously watched videos, searches, categories, ratings (thumbs up/down), or subscriptions.

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Allows users to revisit a previous discovery. YT allows users to save videos in groups, or playlists, to return to later. For example, I could make separate playlists of recipes and music videos so they would be easier to find later.


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I think the only way for YT to be successful and functional is by having the search features. When you take those aspects away, it becomes an endless pit of videos that would be impossible to sort through and use as it was intended. At the most basic level it needs the keyboard search bar.

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Within the last few years, youtube has released their first subscription-based account system called Youtube Red. With a YouTube Red membership, users can watch YouTube ad-free, save videos offline, and play videos in the background. I think if YouTube eventually went completely subscription based and didn’t have any free account options, their audience would begin to disappear and maybe even relocate to a different site for video hosting. 

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YT has an option for users to “Restore old YouTube” and revert to an older version of the website. The change requires users to give a reason why they are switching, “something is missing, broken, harder to use, or they just don’t like it”. As a user I didn’t know this option existed, but it is a very effective way for YT to get direct feedback from users having a negative experience.

Info Architecture: Portfolio Sites

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This website stood out to me because of its unique characteristics. Viewers can see what music they are currently listening to and a list of their favorite things. One of their projects included sketches and a description from beginning to final piece. I am also a fan of the landing page having a quick statement about themselves.

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I like this portfolio website because of the simplicity. The navigation was easy to use and I was able to find everything I was looking for (biography, work samples, contact info). I think this style was successful for this designer because the minimalism is reflected in their work.

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I chose this site because of the unique scrolling effects. At some times they are a little over the top, but not so much that it distracts from the actual content. The complex website clearly shows their attention to detail and web design skills.

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This website is an example of one I do not like. I am unable to find any samples of work, or navigate past the home page for that matter. Their website is very interesting but I would like to see some work samples if I were a potential client.

User Experience: Website Users

The website I evaluated for this exercise was I chose this site because I hadn’t heard of it/used it before.

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 5.30.14 PMScreenshot of home page.

The first thing that caught my eye on this page is the red calendar object. From there, I read the header “New Event Name” and the “What times might work?” text. Without any other prompts or clear instructions, I was confused on the website functions. I selected a range of dates from the calendar, made an event name, and created the event. From there, I input my name and was taken to this screen:

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This screen was overwhelming and confusing! Eventually after messing around on the graphs, I figured out how the toggles work and how to add my “availability” for this potential meeting. I can invite others to add their availability via email, facebook, or hyperlink. When others add data to the calendar, it appears on the right.

As a first time user, I would have benefitted from some initial instruction or overview. Under the “About When2meet” tab lists information and a video tutorial. The simplicity of the website is appreciated for the complicated information, but was hard to navigate. I can see how a function like this could be useful, but seems complicated for a group of people to understand efficiently.