UX4UB

UX4UB

Upward Bound is an opportunity that I never had the chance to experience growing up. So, when approached to help with this project I didn’t exactly know what to expect or its purpose. Fortunately,  my colleague Rashida Peete did. Giving a bit of background, The Upward Bound Program provides high school students from low-income communities the ability to learn about and explore new ventures regarding higher education. The goal is to set the foundation for students to succeed in their pre-college pursuits. As Muncie Central High School accepted the opportunity to join the Upward Bound initiative, we were asked to provide assistance. As graduate assistants for Ball State University’s Center for Information and Communication Sciences (CICS) department, we were eager to help. Being the test pilot for the programs existence in this region, all involved wanted the first experience to be exciting for students, participating instructors, workshop leaders, and the planning committee. Having a strong foundation in technology and communication through our CICS program, our goal was to provide the students with more exposure to the world of technology. With the guidance of Dr. Rebecca Hammons, Rashida and I assembled an extremely solid and passionate team, members including:  Marcus Berry, Cheria Averitte, Rashida Peete, and myself (Alex Peczynski), to carry out a four-day workshop on the concept of User Experience and Design.

Fundamentally, User Experience is broken into four main phases: Contextual Inquiry Analysis, Design, Implementation/Prototyping, and Evaluation/Testing, known as the UX Lifecycle. During the course of the workshop, we covered each phase (one building upon the next,) allowing students to understand the importance in every step. To maintain momentum,  this was a very hands-on and interactive experience with group projects. We tasked students with creating a “Smart Container Home” using a pamphlet full of Internet of Things (IoT) devices found in homes. By the end, each Smart Home would be taken through all four phases and judged. Using group rotation for versatility, students had different users evaluating their design requirements. Next, they took their user requirements putting pen to paper sketching out how they would design their smart homes. On the third day, using the previous days drawings and a slew of art supplies and cardboard boxes – each group brought their smart home design to life. We ended the last day with the final UX stage – evaluation. At this time each group finalized construction and received user feedback from the rotated group of users who initially evaluated their design requirements.

This opportunity can be described in one word – Enjoyment. Hopefully, this project not only inspired, but taught and encouraged students to pursue User Experience and Design in the future.

Upward Bound is an opportunity that I never had the chance to experience growing up. So, when approached to help with this project I didn’t exactly know what to expect or its purpose. Fortunately,  my colleague Rashida Peete did. Giving a bit of background, The Upward Bound Program provides high school students from low-income communities the ability to learn about and explore new ventures regarding higher education. The goal is to set the foundation for students to succeed in their pre-college pursuits. As Muncie Central High School accepted the opportunity to join the Upward Bound initiative, we were asked to provide assistance. As graduate assistants for Ball State University’s Center for Information and Communication Sciences (CICS) department, we were eager to help. Being the test pilot for the programs existence in this region, all involved wanted the first experience to be exciting for students, participating instructors, workshop leaders, and the planning committee. Having a strong foundation in technology and communication through our CICS program, our goal was to provide the students with more exposure to the world of technology. With the guidance of Dr. Rebecca Hammons, Rashida and I assembled an extremely solid and passionate team, members including:  Marcus Berry, Cheria Averitte, Rashida Peete, and myself (Alex Peczynski), to carry out a four-day workshop on the concept of User Experience and Design.

Fundamentally, User Experience is broken into four main phases: Contextual Inquiry Analysis, Design, Implementation/Prototyping, and Evaluation/Testing, known as the UX Lifecycle. During the course of the workshop, we covered each phase (one building upon the next,) allowing students to understand the importance in every step. To maintain momentum,  this was a very hands-on and interactive experience with group projects. We tasked students with creating a “Smart Container Home” using a pamphlet full of Internet of Things (IoT) devices found in homes. By the end, each Smart Home would be taken through all four phases and judged. Using group rotation for versatility, students had different users evaluating their design requirements. Next, they took their user requirements putting pen to paper sketching out how they would design their smart homes. On the third day, using the previous days drawings and a slew of art supplies and cardboard boxes – each group brought their smart home design to life. We ended the last day with the final UX stage – evaluation. At this time each group finalized construction and received user feedback from the rotated group of users who initially evaluated their design requirements.

This opportunity can be described in one word – Enjoyment. Hopefully, this project not only inspired, but taught and encouraged students to pursue User Experience and Design in the future.

– Rashida Peete & Alex Peczynski


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