embry-riddle campus solutions ux design

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  • 1. Campus Solution Redesign:The Importance of User-Centered DesignHF 490Paulo DavilaGuided By Dr. Kring

2. Abstract When designing a system it is always important to know how to engage the user.This revolves around the concept of User Experience Design. It is important to know thatone does not design a positive experience but creates the tool to guide the user towardsthe positive experience. Once the user is engaged it is vital to provide them with afeasible way into immersion, which can then help the user achieve a flow state. The flowstate and immersion are two distinct terms that often get interchanged. Immersion isdefined as suspension of disbelief in an activity, where as a flow state is, in laymansterms, an in the zone state. A designer can effectively guide the user into immersionbut the flow state primarily depends on the user. Due to a limited amount of time andrestriction of resources, further assessments may have to be done before productdeployment. 3. UX Design and its Application in Campus Solutions This section of the assessment contains my report done for my HumanFactors in Entertainment Systems course. The reason behind this particular report is dueto the fact that it encompasses the development process and approach I have performedin order to create a prototype.Before diving into depths of various applications of UX Design, first we must learn whatis UX Design. UX Design, or User Experience Design, can be derived from human-computer interaction studies of the Human Factors field. Although there might not be apinpoint date on when UX Design emerged, several experts say that it flourished in thetechnological industries around the 1980s and 1990s. The discovery of the benefits ofthis field created a dire need of UX designers, which caused the definition of UX designto become vague. Over the years, experts have been debating over the content of UXdesign and its necessity. (http://community.infragistics.com/pixel8/media/p/95683.aspx)What is UX design? There is no standard definition, which causes everyone to givetheir own perception of what it is. Several experts say its Every aspect of the usersinteraction with a product, service, or company that make up the users perceptions of thewhole.(http://www.usabilitybok.org/glossary). By definition, this is quite vague incontent, which causes an immense amount of confusion. This confusion causes adistorted idea among companies. For example, website designers often think UX designis solely aesthetics and emotion. Where as more technical industries view it asprogramming. Although I might not be an expert with a wooden gavel to set a standarddefinition, I have come up with a simple introductory concept of what UX Design is.Before going into further detail I would like to state that the following content are myopinions based on research and articles I have read and done. 4. UX design is the collaboration of various fields in order to create or enhance an existingproduct. An article by Aaron Weyenberg (Free Lance Front End Developer), states thatthe idea that a user experience can be created is false, but rather that What is actuallybeing designed is a support system to facilitate the formation of user experiences.(http://aaronweyenberg.com/1934/why-im-not-a-ux-designer-and-neither-are-you). Inother words, designers are developing products and tools that allow us to create our ownexperiences. I agree with his statement due to my perception of UX design. A userexperience is individual, not every one person can have the same exact experience.Although the experience is unique towards each person, designers can aim towards acertain range of experiences. This can be done in several ways, such as analyzing theusers mental model to a simple task analysis. The User Experience is generallycomposed of a combination of visual design, interaction design, information architecture,system development, programming, and information content. Depending on the nature ofthe product, the emphasis of each portion fluctuates. UX design also emphasizes on theoverall mood it sets for the user when executing tasks.How does UX design apply to redesigning Campus Solutions? First and foremost, UXdesign is used initially to engage the user, usually via visual design, of the overallproduct. It can range from appearance to tactile attributes of the human-computerinterface or much more tangible characteristics, such as the specific type of glass Appleuses on their IPhones. This is much more than making a product aesthetically pleasingbut rather attracting the user via biological responses. This is as simple as feel; forexample, if you introduce a two types of controls, one rough and one soft (or smooth), toa user , inevitably the user would prefer the control with the smooth or soft exterior. Why 5. is this? This is due to the fact that rough is usually synonymous with pain and discomfort,while smooth or soft is usually related to comfort. By nature we analyze objects throughbasic stimulus and senses, such as touch. You can easily see this idea come into playwhen infants are wandering around trying to touch everything. According to a UK userexperience consulting firm, Webcredible, people arent able to distinguish usable andless usable objects, believing the aesthetically pleasing ones to be mostusable.(http://www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/web-usability/aesthetics-usability.shtml) They came to this conclusion based on a study done with multiple ATMinterfaces, where users were asked to give a usability rating for each interface. Thestudied showed that users werent able to tell aesthetics and usability apart but rather onein the same. This is what they refer to the Halo Effect; which Google dictionary refersto The tendency for an impression created in one area to influence opinion in anotherarea.Although aesthetics gives the first impression, much more is needed. Webcrediblecontinued on stating that This halo effect doesnt hold for long... and Usabilitybecomes an important factor after a limited interaction with a product.I am going to deviate from the artistic feel portion of the UX design and enter into themore technical aspects, such as information architecture , programming , and userresearch. UX designers are usually confused as programmers with an artistic backgroundamong the technological industries. Although that might not be the case, it is always goodto have programming skills when creating prototypes. There is obviously an immenseamount programing gone into hardware and software but the programmers projects haveto be given parameters in order to create a functional prototype. The main reason behindthis is that once the programmers have created a product without parameters from user 6. researchers, the project usually becomes more technology-centered rather than user-centered. This will call for corrections to be made, which causes negative effect onbudget and time constraint.User researchers are an essential need for a UX design team in order to assess the usersneeds. User researches in video games asses the physical and cognitive interaction that auser under goes thru when executing a task. They find ways to make actions much moreintuitive rather than robust. This bridges the gap between user and designer. The usersmental model allows the designers to make system much more adaptable to the user. Italso allows the designer to know where and how to prevent users from committing errors. Before the actual design process begins there is essential information that has tobe acquired to lay the foundation of the overall product. First we have to identify theusers needs by establishing a set of requirements and identifying the users. Based on theproduct and users, proper methods have to be chosen amongst the large selection that can 7. Phase 1: Concept Exploration and Definitionretrieve this information. The appropriate methods for the Campus Solution Database areAnalysis of Similar Systems, System Usability Scale, and focus groups. There are twotypes of users, students and professors, and each encounter different interfaces based onthe nature of the tasks; this assessment will focus on student users.. Due to the differentinterfaces between the two users a different assessment will have to be performed for theemployee (professors) interface. System Overview University databases are a traditional medium in which both students and facultyaccess information, communicate, and perform university related tasks. Embry-Riddleuses two databases: ERNIE and Campus Solutions. The database that will be reviewed isEmbry-Riddles Campus Solutions. The purpose of this study is to conduct multipleusability assessments using Human Factors test and evaluations and interaction designconcepts to enhance user experience, run optimally, and to reveal the importance ofhuman centered design. Campus Solutions is a database that consists of a home page that can be accessedthrough Embry-Riddles primary database, ERNIE. Once entering the Campus Solutionshomepage there are several links, task based applications, and search bars that redirectsthe user to certain information and tasks. Within the actual interface lies plenty of roomfor revision from information structure to visual design. Each aspect of the interface, suchas font size and information structure, do not seem to have an immense negative impactindividually but when cumulated they have a damaging effect on the user experience and 8. task performance. By enhancing each and every aspect we eliminate the need of constantrevision and change of databases. The key for a system to run optimally is to remember that the user is also part ofthe system. If the user cannot properly achieve the optimum task performance, the overallsystem fails to accomplish its purpose. During the usability assessment, human factorsmethods will be implemented on every phase of the system design. Mental and physicalactivities will be measure


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