During my UX module I learned about the pros and cons of different research methods. 


PACT analysis

I conducted a People, Activities, Context and Technologies analysis of the Student Union (SU) at my University to see if I could get a picture of how people use the space. I created a rough mind map and then fleshed it out using MindMeister. I noticed that a certain area of the SU was not being fully utilised and created a report that put forward the idea that using more technology in this area would help. Touch screens would draw people in and help them to interact with one another (in the form of playing games) and to interact with the University more (by accessing information on societies, sports, events etc).

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Proto-Personas

I learned how to create proto-personas and scenarios to test if a project or a service will be of use to its user base. My proto-persona was a student attending an open day that needed help during her visit. I needed to think about her as a well rounded person and come up with what issues she would have and how best to solve them for her. I then carried out a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis of proto-personas.

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Card Sort Analysis

As a class we participated in a card sort exercise to categorize films by genre. We then took the results and used a participant centric analysis to show the differences and similarities in what choices people made. I then had to conduct research on the best methods for categorizing content and evaluate the positives and negatives of each.  Open card sorting is better for getting a larger sample of more diverse categories which is great if a website or app has a lot of content. However the results might be scattered so conducting a closed sort can help to narrow down choices and check the validity of the categories.

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Non-Visual Design

I conducted literature reviews to develop an idea for partially sighted or blind people. The idea was to allow people to share their favourite meals and  inspire others to cook based on smell instead of using pictures.

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Persuasive Design

I applied the principles from the Fogg behaviour Model to two apps that focus on helping the user change their behaviour. It was interesting to see how both apps (Google Fit and Headspace) use simple visual designs to motivate the user to keep using the app and in turn keep up with the desired behaviour.

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Data Gathering

I conducted research into the Universities existing infrastructure for student transport and interviewed a student on their experience of getting to and from campus. The student that I spoke to said that he did often struggle with unreliable buses but was unaware of the university bike scheme. After conducting further research I realised that the scheme was not being advertised as well as it should be and this may have been a solution to his problems had he known about it. I wrote a report on how, although this scheme is great for students, it needs better marketing as many students are not aware of its existence.

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