Examining problems through a sociological lens, I design around observation and exploration of human interactions in all its messy and complex glory. My design joy is finding connections among the research that lead to meaningful solutions.
Horizon brings together online content regarding new skills, knowledge, and experiences to help you explore and discover who you could be. Expand your horizons by choosing from millions of articles, videos, and courses. Then, indicate how much assistance you want with goal-setting, tasks, and reminders.
What does it mean to “expand your horizons”? The answer usually revolves around experiencing or learning something new. And we typically agree that this helps us grow. And yet, for many of us, we often stick to our typical routines and habits… even as we complain about feelings of boredom and unfulfillment. So how might we encourage people to explore beyond their current comfort zone?
Research uncovered a subset of people we hadn’t taken into consideration: those who were attempting a career change on their own. Although they knew what they wanted, most of them reported being lost and overwhelmed by the amount of unstructured information they were sifting through. It became clear that it wasn’t enough to simply encourage people to explore new interests; we also needed to offer guidance and structure as they explored their area of interest.
First and foremost, Horizon prioritizes ways to discover interests based on user inputs and in-app exploration. And for those who are consumed by indecisiveness, users can even let Horizon make decisions for them. However, once an interest is being pursued, the app can then be used to help set goals, structure tasks into manageable chunks that build on one-another, send reminders, and provide motivation and positive feedback.
Using a physical wall with a digital platform, 12Stories inspires community college students to connect through storytelling as a way to build community and affect campus change.
IDEO & Beyond 12 had provided a straightforward brief about mobilizing community college students so they can redesign their institutions to be more inclusive and equitable. But our data revealed an issue that complicated this desire for student mobilization: students didn’t feel a sense of connection to their colleges.
The stories we heard from students about their disconnection from the college were powerful. We realized we needed to find a way to leverage the power of these stories as a way to not only build community but to affect change as well. What if students could hear one another’s stories? And how would the college react if they could hear these stories as well?
12Stories folds in the issue of community building into the larger goal of advocacy by combining a physical campus story wall with a digital experience that allows students to read about, interact with, and contribute to shared student stories. While this helps to build community, the backend aggregates the stories around topics and keywords, allowing Beyond 12 to share qualitative and quantitative data—as well as recommendations—with the college.
Movist is an app that helps users manage and organize their digital and physical media. Although visually appealing, my continuing frustrations using the app finally compelled me to address Movist’s poor user experience with an unsolicited redesign.
Movist has a lot of potential: it’s attractive, taps into IMDB's database, and...well...did I mention it looks nice? Someone just needed to spend a little less time on the visual design and more on the UX to improve the user experience.
As a user myself, I began this redesign with my own ideas for improvement. Most of my frustrations were mirrored by others who tested the original app. But those tests also revealed an additional problem I hadn’t thought about: the app’s “one size fits all” design alienated some of its potential audience.
While the general visual design was retained, hidden features were brought forward, affordances were made more obvious, flows were simplified, and most importantly, new features were added so users could tailor for their own unique needs. This included adding multiple user profiles to one database, allowing customization of metadata, and including features specifically for households with children.