This page showcases the variety of user experience methods and techniques I've employed to solve problems and create user-centered designs for my projects. All of the projects listed below were collaborative team projects, and most were also conducted for outside clients.
The following projects were all completed during my junior and senior years at Iowa State University. I am including them now, even though they show some of my more primitive designs, because they show how far I've come in my understanding of user-centered design.
For a course on computer vision and related AI topics, my team of three tackled the problem of hand gesture recognition - something we were interested in because it presents a novel form of interaction beyond just the keyboard and mouse. We built off the work of a researcher from Microsoft Research, and coded an application in C++ that allows users to drag and resize their open applications and windows using a 'pinch' gesture with one or both hands. At the end of the semester, we tested the usability and concept of our application with 10 users.
Our project was voted "Best Project" by our fellow students in the class.
As the Director of IT for Iowa State's student body government, I helped to finally implement an online system to manage the student senate's process of submitting and voting on bills. I coded the site using PHP and MySQL and worked with senators to get their buy-in. The site is still used today, and has enabled greater communication between senators and increased transparency to the student body about the work of student government.
Also during my tenure as student government Director of IT, I hired two students to work part-time with me on creating a ride-share board that students could use to find carpools or rides home for trips or school breaks. We worked with several Iowa State administrative departments to create and implement the site successfully in only four months. My work was mainly as project manager, which included overseeing the site's development, and working with university departments and the campus newspaper to publicize the initiative.
For my Senior Honors Project, I chose to undertake the ambitious task of completely redesigning the student government's website using a user-centered design process. The old site was not geared towards students and the information they wanted to find, so I used methods including surveys, cardsorting, and sketching prototypes before I implemented the site using HTML, PHP, and MySQL. With guidance from my advisor, the entire process was successfully accomplished in only four months.
My first project that employed a user-centered design process was for a class I took my junior year. We were tasked with redesigning a website for a non-profit in the community, and my team chose to approach CyRide, the campus bus system, whose site gets over a million hits per school year and was badly in need of a redesign. With little latitude from CyRide (which faced constraints such as lack of resources and technical knowledge) we successfully implemented a new version of the website that made the most frequent and important tasks easier for users to do.