Our whole group was composed of students that have taken computer science courses before so we were all familiar with the current system that the tutoring center had in place. We also conducted interviews with both tutors and tutees at the center to get a better understanding of how each of them interact with the current system and how they feel about it.
The Computer Science tutoring center is a single room filled with desktop computers and desk space for students. All tutors are undergraduate volunteers from the Computer Science Club on campus, and anybody can come in as a tutee as all appointments are walk-in only.
Tutors would write their name in the "Tutor" column anywhere when they are at the center, and tutees write their name and course in the column at its left.
From the observations and data we collected, we transitioned from empathizing with users to defining the problem statement. To help us organize what we’ve collected so far, we made a persona for the tutor and tutee users first to better direct pain points. From this, we addressed the overall problem:
How might we replace the existing queueing system by implementing a protocol so more students can receive the help they need from tutors in a timely manner?
In brainstorming solutions for our prototype, we wanted to create an organized system that:
We created our first low-fidelity prototype using digital sketches on my iPad device, sketching each screen that we would have users interact with and see. We made sketches of common interactions that users would have with the web application including checking in for the first time, changing or removing themselves from the queue, and tutors interacting with the queue to know who to help.
After making our first prototype, we performed user testing with two Computer Science students. We tested by simulating interface interactions with manual screen changes performed by our team based on what users would “press” on the screen. We asked them to perform the set of common tasks without any suggestions and evaluated their decisions by asking them to “think out loud” when navigating the interface.
From the first round of testing, we discovered some systematic flaws in our organization of the queue, so we created a second draft of our low-fidelity prototype to reflect those fixes for the second round of testing.
We then turned to Adobe XD to create our high fidelity prototype of TutorQueue. Unfortunately we did not have the time to perform user testing following this stage, but we finally composed a final report of our project which can be accessed here
This Human-Computer Interaction course was offered mainly to Computer Science students so this was my group’s first experience working through the design process and user-oriented design. Nonetheless, this project was the perfect introduction to learning this type of thinking and perspective as our project had real world applications to it.
This course set the foundation for design thinking for me and showed me that design is so much more than just aesthetic. This course introduced me to the idea of design being used as a form of problem solving and creating a desired experience for a user that is more than just “good”. Although the project group and I have since gone our separate ways, this is a project that I hope to revisit as this can be something that can be definitely implemented in our Computer Science tutoring center.