Context: During the spring 2013 semester, I took a course called "User Interface Design." For our primary course project, our professor asked us to either devise a system that would be useful to help a specific user population, or to improve upon an existing one.
As someone who was both a college student and a pianist, I had realized that there didn't appear to be a good tool out there that would help people from different walks of life choose a piano. One of the biggest struggles for people who want to learn piano is having a place to put one. Smaller keyboards and electronic options exist, but it is difficult to compare them or understand their options. So, I figured a useful interface could be a tool along the lines of the Piano Picker.
Skills and Tools Used:
Challenges:In particular, I had trouble writing the task analysis portion of the project - I did not enjoy trying to granularly break down the tasks, yet I know that it gave me more insight into how a user might be interacting with the system. It was difficult not to make assumptions from my own perspective as a pianist.
Process:Each portion of the assignment had a specific due date. Our professor gave us feedback (as did our classmates) and we were expected to iteratively improve our final assignment.
Contributions: With intermittent feedback from my professor and classmates, I wrote everything for this project, including:
The final write-up of the system description is here. Given that the project was conceptual, it was never built as a full interface. However, I feel as though the project taught me the basics of many skills that I currently use on the job, including writing user personas, conducting task analyses, wireframing, and just general basics with Adobe Illustrator.