Over the course of a summer, I had the opportunity to work with T-Mobile UX designers and researchers to improve the user experience on desktop software, apps, and hardware.

USABILITY TESTING

Most of the work I did over the summer related to usability and concept testing. It was exciting to expand the platforms I was comfortable testing on, as we brought in potential users to accomplish tasks on unreleased phones and desktop/cloud software.

The desktop/cloud software project presented the biggest challenge, as the product itself was complex, and there was so much we wanted to test! I collaborated with another researcher to determine task content and importance.

I oversaw recruiting, created the tasks and protocol, ran the sessions, and analyzed the data. I presented the results via PowerPoint to the VP of Product Management and the User Experience team. I also presented my findings and low-fidelity wireframes to the development team remotely, as they were located in the UK.

HEURISTIC EVALUATION

I completed heuristic evaluations on an unreleased mobile handset UI and on soft keyboards (mobile keyboards that are not part of the hardware). For the keyboard comparison, I created custom heuristics altered from Nielsen's standard heuristics, including design aesthetic, responsiveness, and functionality. I presented findings to others in the company who influenced the products and which keyboards we chose to implement and support.

It was an eye-opening experience! There are no standards for soft keyboards yet, and I found my personal preferences (which seemed well supported by typical UX heuristics), to be significantly different from others. It was fascinating to find out how greatly soft keyboard usage varies by user. My research sparked a lively discussion and is currently contributing to a larger initiative to standardize T-Mobile soft keyboards.

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS

I conducted a competitive analysis for the IP Communications department to help them find a more user-friendly way to present a particular set of product offerings. The entities in the competitive analysis differed greatly from one another, but I was able to glean enough information to recommend best practices for T-Mobile to move forward with their product offerings. I even went ahead and prototyped innovative ways to bundle and package the services together in a more user experience-oriented manner, and presented my results via Powerpoint, with the raw data in an Excel file. The product manager was very receptive to the wireframes and findings, and I heard that some of my ideas are on their way to implementation.

    PROJECT DETAILS

  • Time Frame
  • May 2012 – August 2012

  • Methods & Skills
  • Prototyping
  • Sketching
  • Usability testing

  • Tools
  • Excel
  • Ovo
  • Pencil & paper
  • Photoshop
  • Powerpoint

  • Collaborators
  • Andrea Lindeman
  • Devesh Desai

  • Deliverables
  • PPT Presentations
  • Wireframes