Information Experience Lab (IE Lab) Internship (2018)
The IE Lab is a usability laboratory that conducts user experience research and evaluates technology for clients in diverse fields such as journalism, healthcare, and education. The mission of the IE Lab is to improve digital information and communication systems through research methodologies that blend traditional usability evaluation with user experience data, human information behavior research and socio-technical integration design.
Personal Internship Goals:
Learn how the Lab operates
Write a client proposal for a usability project
Create Usability Protocols
Conduct Usability Testing using various methods for data collection and analysis
Learn how to use Morae and Eye Tracking Software
Deliver results and report to client
The Project I worked on was User Experience and Efficacy Study of the Mobile Micro-learning Course 'The Five C's of Writing for Mobile Audiences.' Due to the nature of client confidentiality I am restricted on sharing information from that project. I have provided a sample project where I wrote a client proposal and developed protocols for a possible project.
“The whole point of human-centered design is to tame complexity, to turn what would appear to be a complicated tool into one that fits the task, that is understandable, usable, enjoyable.”
All Things Missouri: University of Missouri Extension Data Profile Reporting System
Task: One of the goals for “All Things Missouri” web portal is to support Extension field specialists in understanding community needs through data resources. Evaluate the usability of the recently launched All Things Missouri website portal, mapping room, and reports and obtain new knowledge about how MU Extension faculty want to use the data visualization tools within their job descriptions.
PhD Seminar: Human Computer Interaction
Task: Evaluate the current interface of the Metro ticket machine and design a new interface that supports the various users and improves performance for infrequent passengers who will begin their ride at the Washington National Airport.
Seminar Research Project: Exploring Smartphone User Needs and Preferences Towards Making Major Online Purchases
Recent studies have shown that 80% of Americans are online shoppers with 50% using smartphones to make purchases. (Pew, 2018) Smartphone characteristics are appealing to many shoppers because they are portable, interactive, instantly accessible and provide real-time product descriptions, reviews and price comparisons to support consumer’s information needs. Our study focused on active duty military personnel researching online VA home loans and lenders, a major purchase activity for most people. Using a mobile ethnography screen and audio recording tool, subjects recorded their smartphone home loan research activities while searching and vocalizing their VA home loan journey. 193 ethnographies were collected paired with 14 semi-structured interviews. Findings indicate that to support an online major purchase journey, users have specific device preferences for that journey as well as relying on distributed cognition tools as research support. Study results suggest there are drawbacks of using smartphones to support major purchases online.
image created by: Michele M. Kroll