I joined UX Lab during my final year at the University of British Columbia. UX Lab is a team of UX researchers under UBC Student Communication Services tasked with running user research and testing to enhance the user experience of UBC’s digital services.
The exam page serves the purpose of redirecting users to the appropriate subpages depending on their needs or issues. It includes:
From a quick glance, a number of things stand out such as the amount of text used, the proclivity for hyperlinks over buttons, as well as the use of undefined terms such as “Standing Deferred” and “Exam Policies & Cancellations”.
For our user testing, we had a total of 16 participants from a variety of year levels, faculties, and backgrounds including graduate students and international students. Because the UBC support sites mainly serve students, we decided it would be appropriate to only test this user group.
We developed an online questionnaire that asked students to rank a set of exam related categories by importance. We used this information to help us narrow down the categories and topics users found most necessary.
For our user testing, we implemented a scenario test to see what users would do given a prompt. We used a scenario test because we wanted to study how students were navigating the pages and arriving at their respective solutions.
Additionally, we asked them to verbalize their thoughts and feelings as well as some follow-up questions regarding what they found helpful or what could be improved upon.
Using an Affinity Diagram, we took each of our data recordings of user feedback and responses from the testing sessions and put them onto a virtual sticky board. From this, we grouped together the responses based on themes that emerged, putting together things that seemed similar then labelling the respective categories by issue and area of concern such as the design & layout, quality of information, and general comments about the interface.
Through our research, we were able to uncover a couple of issues and pain points needed to be addressed, as well as some things that users found helpful or beneficial.
Based on our findings, we developed a high-fidelity prototype redesign of the exam page. We came up with five new features to address the issues presented to us by our users.
Working with my partner and UX coordinator, I learned to work with my team towards a shared goal, all while picking up as much as I could about UI/UX design. While conducting user tests, I learned how to interact with participants in a professional and respectable manner to create a comfortable atmosphere and eliminate any experiment bias.
My project partner and I faced many unforeseen obstacles throughout the project, including issues we uncoverd during pilot testing, conflicts with scheduling research and testing, and making sure all our design decisions were sound and user-centered.
All of this, we did to ensure no stone was left unturned in our mission to report on the necessary changes that would eventually have an impact on our fellow students.