IADT MSc UX Design Assignment — Reflections from a Design Team

Project Approach

Rapid, eco-friendly prototyping with paper and pen.
  • The design team worked remotely using Microsoft Teams to collaborate.
  • Combined online and offline tools were used: Pen, paper, scissors, wooden sticks, smartphones, cameras, Google Search, Mural app, Marvel App, Microsoft Teams, Surveymonkey, and Zoom.
  • Design artifacts were stored in the shared cloud; easily changed for different hypotheses.
  • The team leveraged friends, family, co-workers, networks; each brought their own diverse talents, from visual design to fashion creation, to product ownership, to a shared assignment.
  • Each team member contributed a deliverable; the team then used deferred judgment before reaching a decision (IDEO, 2020).
  • Iteration of content focused on the problem and remained user-centric.
  • Team members worked flexibly, online, and leveraged class time for designing.
Team Mural board

Teamwork Learning Lessons

  • Agree on tools for collaborating and sharing.
  • Offline tools are as important as digital solutions, even during remote working.
  • Establish team norms and expectations about ways of working.
  • Strive to value the diversity of team members and their knowledge. User experience work is “ideally carried out by multidisciplinary teams” (Sharpe et al, 2019).
  • Defer judgment until all alternatives are explained.
  • Listen actively to contributions.

Decision Making


  1. Easy access to representative users in real life to validate personas, scenarios, and prototypes.
  2. The rapid adoption of collaborative platforms in schools due to the pandemic, and growth potential.
  3. Segmentation revealed other personas also wanted mobile, simple, and usable solutions.

The Task

  • Satisfaction for pupils, teachers, and adults.
  • Effectiveness for school management.
  • Efficiency for pupils, teachers, parents, and school management.
  • Voice user interface.
  • The surfacing of common tasks.
  • New information architecture.
  • Improving device notifications.

The Prototype

  • Eliminate any distraction of visual styling to testers.
  • Iterate versions quickly; without losing momentum.
  • Enable replication across more users.
  • Provide for simple formative assessment.
  • Enable rapid iterative testing and data collection.
  • Are known industry-accepted criteria for determining usability with a small population sample.

‘Final’ Observations

Final iteration
  • All three paper prototypes recorded a higher satisfaction rating than the Microsoft Teams task equivalent.
  • Time on task for all three prototype versions was faster than for Microsoft Teams.
  • The initial paper prototype recorded 3 errors; related to the repeated use of an Upload button label in the UI.
  • The resulting first iteration recorded 0 errors after the renaming of the second Upload button to Submit.
  • The second iteration reduced the time on task and recorded 0 errors by eliminating two steps to upload and by using a combined processing/confirmation dialog.
  • However, the first iteration rated higher satisfaction than the second iteration and other versions tested, and users felt strongly about this experience.
Iteration at home!

Don’t try to build a perfect app right on the first attempt. It almost impossible. Instead, treat your app as a continually evolving project, and use data from testing sessions and user feedback to constantly improve the experience. — (Babich, 2018)




Parent. UX Design Manager. Marathoner. Dog person. Student. 80s hair & music. Dub. Synth fan. Content may not necessarily reflect the views of IADT or others.

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Ultan Ó Broin (MUGATEAUX)

Ultan Ó Broin (MUGATEAUX)

Parent. UX Design Manager. Marathoner. Dog person. Student. 80s hair & music. Dub. Synth fan. Content may not necessarily reflect the views of IADT or others.

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