Design Thinking: Crash Course

Design Thinking: Crash Course

The purpose of this design sprint is to introduce students in this course (Principles of User Experience) to the Design Thinking process. Each student partnered with a classmate, taking turns interviewing, evaluating, and working through the steps in the process. The mission of this crash course is to improve the educational experience at Quinnipiac University for our partner.

My partner, Alexis and I met via Zoom and discussed our experiences at Quinnipiac University so far. I am in my last semester of online classes in this program, and Alexis is in her second semester. It is important to note that the Interactive Media and Communications Graduate Program at Quinnipiac University was an entirely online program before Covid-19.

Design Thinking Process

Define

Alexis and I interviewed each other about how we were doing so far in the program, what we liked about it, and what we thought needed improvement. This was the beginning of the Define phase. I needed to define the problem she had during experience with the program so far. By empathizing with her, I was able to focus on a few key issues that she had revealed. After listing my findings, I created a problem statement:

Research on the program was a challenge for Alexis because the website sends mixed messaging.

After creating the problem statement, I created a How Might We statement. This statement is based on the problem statement and gives you a greater chance at making a solution.

How Might We: ensure that QU’s website communication is trustworthy, streamlined, and personal?

Ideate

Next, I researched some examples to solutions to the problem statement and created some sketches. I checked out websites that I have used for online learning like LinkedIn Learning and Skill Share. Then I generated different sketches for three ideas that I had and explained them to her.

(A PDF of the full document is available at the end of this blog post)

My (not so great) quick sketches

Decide

After I presented my ideas to her, I received feedback and she picked one of the ideas that she liked the most and felt best solves the problem. I took notes on the things she liked or didn’t like about my ideas so I could improve on them in the next phase.

Prototype

Now it was time to create my solution from the revised ideas. Since this was a Design Sprint, I didn’t have time to create a pretty wireframe or mockup of what I was envisioning, just my pen.

My (not so great) revised sketches

I went into more detail on what content I thought should be on the page to help solve the miscommunication and lack of information. I explained that these additions could help align messaging and create transparency by previewing courses and expectations.

Test

Again, since this was a crash course, there isn’t any real testing here. I haven’t created a real web page to test! During this last phase I presented my final prototype idea to her and explained my thoughts behind it. I gathered her feedback and we were excited to imagine what the web page would look like with these features!

As promised, here is the full PDF with more of my sketches, thoughts, and explanations.

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