Udacity: Design of Everyday Things

#tech - 2 Minute Read

The Design of Everyday Things course at Udacity was an incredible primer on user experience design and process, taking concepts from the physical world and applying them to digital.

Really, human-technology interactions in both the physical and digital worlds have their own challenges, but similar challenges nonetheless.

The final course project - designing a mock mobile app - really started taking shape when I started thinking through the user flow. I outlined in words the processes the user needed to take to complete their goals. With this written flow, I could then see where certain types of conceptual models were needed. Using that momentum, the first wireframe flow was created. After testing with four subjects, many problems were pointed out.

I learned a lot by using a variety of testers. One was an engineer, another, a teacher, and then an office administrator, and finally a graphic designer. Each tester brought their own distinct “flavors” as to what they expected in the app flow. But, they all pointed to a few key problems which were critical: one being, “is the user seeking out a service to trade hours for, or, is the user promoting their skills in order to earn hours?” It became clear that it was not obvious the path that the user was taking.

I had a lot of fun photocopying my original sketch and compiling all user input onto it. From there I began to build iteration #2, which is a far better design with plenty of possible user actions clarified.

Overall I'm excited that Udacity chose my project to feature in the rubric as a student example.


Updated May 22, 2020.