I was accepted into the User Experience graduate program at the Maryland Institute College of Art in the Fall of 2016. The 15-month program ended in December 2017 and I was able to explore all aspects of UX design. Many of the projects were open ended, where we explored a problem, figured out where to get users, researched, and tested. These projects were similar in structure but taught me many different things in regards to tools and methodologies I can leverage as a UX designer. I also wrote about my classes on Medium, to help communicate my design process and inform others about the program.
In Technology Intensive, I decided to redesign the Spotify TV Interface. I purchased a Fire TV stick and loved the ability to stream Spotify from my TV, although I was not of a fan of the UI.
This project allowed me to explore designing a 10-foot UI, a UI experienced from 10 feet away. I looked into design guidelines for designing for TV screens from Apple (tvOS), Google (Android TV), and Amazon (Fire TV).
I sent out a survey to redditors on r/spotify and got 98 responses with insight on how listeners listened to their music, so that I could create a useful information architecture.
I also analyzed the current interface against heuristic standards and saw where and why problems arose.
The solution was to create a grid layout, 6 columns wide. This layout was much easier to scroll through than a single line of items and at any given time, there were 12 items on screen. Multiple hierarchies let listeners change categories quickly, as opposed to having to 'go back' which loaded a new page.
This prototype was made with Framer and controlled remotely through a 4-way directional pad interface on a smartphone.
This experience is slow and frustrating to use, involves an unintuitive form that is difficult to fill in, and includes too many fields which cause information paralysis. The site is not mobile friendly, which is crucial since people will likely only have their smartphone when finding out they've been towed. The load times are also ridiculous because it loads *all* of the results and doesn't use any pagination.
Luckily, I haven't experienced this firsthand so I decided to talk to people who have. I started discussions with people on r/Baltimore who wanted to share their stories and submit a survey. I understood their emotional states, their thought processes while they were getting towed, and their mental models (what they knew and didn't know at the time regarding the towing process). Afterwards, I created a set of personas to understand user frustrations, situational limitations, and information they may or not possess.
I proposed a solution that lets users enter just enough information to search for their car, lets them clearly see a scannable list so they can find their car, and a helpful information screen which lets them figure out what to do next.
Splitting up the make/model and the date/time they were towed lets the user perform a quicker search with the information they know. Results displayed in modular cards can adapt to show information about the car that the user will likely recognize—So displaying make/model first if that was searched for by the user. The current towing website does not include information about the location of the lots, the fee involved, and the lot hours, which was crucial information that people only obtained after a phone call.e
REI for the Apple Watch
In Foundations of UX Design, I designed an watchOS interface after creating an information architecture based on a card-sorting exercise.
I collected all of the aspects of the REI website and let participants organize that information how they saw fit using notecards. This helped me create a new information architecture, which led to quick sketches of an interface and then an interactive Framer prototype.