This whole internship has been a great experience. I was able to learn much more about user experience than I had in a classroom and got the opportunity to meet other UX professionals. Meeting other professionals made me realize that I should strongly consider creating a portfolio as a UX researcher to show potential employers that I know how to conduct research and to show my process of conducting research. The internship has also made me realize that I need to be multi-facet to be more desirable to future employers and to better communicate with developers and designers. I also realized what skills I need to strengthen along with gain. My experience has solidified my plan to pursue a career in UX. I enjoyed the research that I was conducting and liked having control on what research methods I wanted to use, this was unlike my experience in school. Moving forward, I am excited to grow as a researcher and start a career in UX. Thank you Anna, the Praxik team, the museum staff, UX professionals, and everyone else we met during this internship for all the help and advice!
I’m a senior at the University of Minnesota pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. I am passionate about research and have a strong interest in the human mind, technology, and how people interact with products. My future plans are to attend graduate school next fall to earn a Master’s in Human-Computer Interaction. I am excited to work with Augmented Reality this summer and increase my knowledge of UX. During my free time, I enjoy baking, watching movies, and traveling.
This week we made final edits to our prototype and app. We worked on creating our presentation for the Science Museum of Minnesota as well. We practiced our presentation with Anna and received useful feedback on what we needed to improve upon before the final presentation.
Our final day at the museum came and we had a demo for the museum staff and visitors. During our demo at the museum, we soon realized and found some errors with our app that we were able to quickly fix. As the demo ended, I was feeling nervous about our presentation to the museum. However, it went a lot better than I expected. We may have missed a few points here and there, but we were able to convey the general message on the slides. Overall, our final day at the museum was successful and we received positive responses to both our app and presentation.
We conducted user testing with our iPad app on Thursday at the science. Before we began testing with the visitors, some of the museum staff used our app and we received inputs on how we could improve our app.
During testing, we had visitors use our app for a maximum of 10 minutes before being briefly interviewed and given a survey about their experience with the app. Each of us got different roles during testing, I found families who were willing to test the app and administrated the surveys, Shreyas was the facilitator, Andrea took notes as families were using the app, Liam was the interviewer, and Carson took the notes from the interviews. For the most part, testing went well and we got useful feedback.
As I begun to analyze the data from user testing, I didn’t notice anything too surprising or out of the ordinary. The feedback and results were to be expected. The museum visitors commented that we needed better instructions on how to use AR. But for the most part, the families enjoyed the AR app and all of them said that they would the technology again.
We got the chance to speak with Johnathon Lazar this week. We got to learn about trends in research, what to include in a presentation, and grad school. Some research methods that he suggested that we could use for our user testing was screen record or video. We also met with John Golden with this week. After going over the user testing plan with him, he suggested that I shorten my survey. He also suggested that we could screen record the visitors using the app to get data on time and errors.
We were unable to conducts user tests on Thursday as planned because of complications that occurred with the app. We decided to move our testing session to next Thursday and hopefully by then, we fix our problems with the app and no major ones arise. In the meantime, I will be redoing the survey and taking some questions out to not overwhelm and bore the visitors when they take the survey. I will move these questions to an interview. The next week will be a busy one with creating the final presentation, doing user testing, analyzing data, and presenting our presentation to Anna.
After our meeting with the science museum, we decided that we would have two apps, an iPhone app that contained a challenge component and an iPad app with AR.
This week, I focused on research, Carson and Liam worked on the prototype, and Shreyas and Andrea were coding to build the app. I worked on creating the informed consent forms, survey, and the testing procedure.
After I came up with a rough list of research questions, I presented my questions and what I was aiming to measure during testing to Anna for feedback. I quickly realized that I couldn’t create questions on my own because I wouldn’t be sure whether it was reliable and valid. Instead, I should be using questions and measures that are already developed and have been shown to have reliability and validity. I eventually decided to use SUS and desirability testing. Myself and the team chose words from the full list of the desirability test. I selected words that were chosen by two or more people to ensure that the selection of words used were objective.
We continued to work on the prototype this week to prepare for our meeting with the Science Museum. At our meeting, we presented our prototype and got their opinions and feedback. It was interesting to hear what they liked about our initial prototype and what they thought needed some adjustments. Since the Science Museum is our client, it’s important that we take their suggestions into consideration as we continue to make progress on the project.
I had my one-on-one meeting with Anna and had the opportunity to go over my CV for graduate school with her. She had great suggestions such as using jargon and removing unnecessary work experience because it doesn’t relate to the field I am planning to pursue. I also realized the many gaps I have in my CV that I will be working on filling during my 4-5 months before I began to apply for grad school. One gap that I am currently working on filling is building upon my honors and awards section.
I went to Minnedemo this week and got the opportunity to see what products some tech startups are working on in Minnesota. Just to name a few, it was interesting to see the demos for the VR game, Squigl, ControlBright, and the Robot Rickshaw. Although all of these products related to technology, each product was for a different field whether it was for health, gaming, or music. It really shows that technology can impact different fields and that technology can have a role in various other industries that we may assume wouldn’t be relevant in.
Week 5 started with a visit to Best Buy Headquarters where we met with Fred Beecher. We got to speak to various UX professionals and learn about the work they do. We also gained insights and tips from Fred on creating a UX portfolio. This was helpful for me because I learned that UX researchers should generally have a portfolio to show that they know the process of the conducting research.
We analyzed our data from our museum visit and I created graphs from our data that we could use during our final presentation for the Science Museum. With this data, we can finally start prototyping this week. During our team meeting, we brainstormed ideas for our AR product. Although we had plenty of great ideas, we had to narrow down our list after taking our constraints, such as time, into consideration. I didn’t realize how long certain AR features can take to develop and code until getting feedback from the Praxik team. Some of our ideas weren’t feasible since we only have about 6 weeks left on this project, 3 of those weeks will be focused on our prototype and 1 week will be focused on testing.
Some of the team members created the prototype this week. We have an initial prototype that will need refining during the next week before we can began the testing process. We generally all have roles now at this point to help ensure that we are successful in creating our prototype and are able to test it during our remaining weeks left.
We visited the Science Museum on Sunday to conduct observations. Each intern was given an observation task (visiting behavior, time, and social interaction) to collect data on. At first, we all collected data on the same family. However, after 4 families and around an hour and a half left at the museum, we decided to split as a group and collect data on different families. Overall, the visit went well. Once we analyze the data we collected from this visit, we can finally start the prototyping phase during week 5.
The reading assigned to us this week was chapter 3 of “The Design of Everyday Things”. It was about knowledge in both the world and the human mind. Understanding and knowing the types of memories people have is important when designing because memory can influence the way people behave.
We got a chance to review each other’s resumes this week. This was helpful to not only get suggestions for improving my resume, but to also get ideas for what I can add to my resume to further strengthen it.
We started week 3 off with an interview with Jeff Johnson. The interview went well, Jeff provided us with great information that will help us during our research and design process. We must research before we can design. Before conducting research, it’s important to plan and establish goals. In terms of designing, it’s important to create conceptual models before designing because it saves time and efforts sketching.
On June 18th, Andrea and I focused on the research questions for our upcoming visit to the Science Museum to conduct observations. We formulated an overarching research question and reduced our list of 15 observation questions to 3 questions. We also created the observation tables that will be used to collect data on museum visiting behavior and time spent in the six different areas of the Paleo exhibit. Liam, Shreyas, and Carson made edits to the timeline.
It is currently a bit difficult to decide or have a clear idea of how we want to incorporate AR into the Paleo exhibit because we haven’t conducted research yet. However, after our visit to the museum and analysis of the observation data, we will be able to progress further into the project and hopefully decide on an AR idea so we can start prototyping during the next week or so.
The readings for Week 2 revolved around research methods and ethical concerns with conducting research. Most of the materials presented in the articles were familiar for me because of my psychology coursework and experience as an undergraduate research assistant at the U of M. However, there were some methods that I wasn’t familiar with. Some of which included cognitive walkthrough and heuristic evaluation.
We have begun creating research questions to help us with the research process. What we have to do next is identify which research method we should use to obtain data that allows us to answer our research questions. Additionally, we created a timeline for the project.
We have also started learning Adobe XD to later use for wireframing. I am new to using Adobe XD, but I am excited to gain more knowledge and experience with the program over the next few weeks.
Week 1 began and I got to meet the team along with learning what project we will be working on, which is creating an AR experience for the Paleo exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota. I am excited to see what we will create by the end of the summer.
We have started reading articles to get a better background in Augmented Reality and how certain museums have incorporated AR into their exhibits. For the museum articles, each intern read two different articles to later share a brief summary and what we learned from the articles that could be applied to our project. From one of the museum articles, it was discovered that although 66% of people said they would download an AR app, only 20% had actually downloaded a museum app before. I also learned that it’s important to understand what museum visiting behavior visitors have to better provide an experience that is favorable. What myself and the rest of the team had learned about AR in museums will be an influential factor in determining what type of AR experience we will create as we dive deeper into the project in the following weeks.