UX Design: Week 2/Capstone Project

Y’all, my brain has officially turned into a siphon and is literally just sucking in information and knowledge from every direction.  I don’t really know what’s happening to me… I was always one of those kids in school that just did the bare minimum, never studied, yet would still get 100’s on the test.  Now, I literally get goosebumps and heart palpitations in anticipation for class… I just want to learn, I want to grow, I want to build! Maybe I should go to the doctor cause this is so not me…

I love it.

Any-who, week 2 of my UX Design course through Tech Talent South is just finishing up, and we are getting into some really awesome stuff.  The most important teaching I have learned so far is that the purpose of UX Design, as a whole, goes SOOOO much deeper than just ‘the way something looks’ or how ‘pretty it is’… that is a small, yet still important, piece of the UX pie.  UX is truly about making an awesome piece of technology usable, functional, and sensible for the intended user.  It’s about bridging the gap between what the user currently understands, and the complex technology that they’ve yet to understand.

In week two we did a little hands-on project where we travelled to an ATM in Downtown Raleigh and basically scrutinized it’s design and usability by actually going through the motions of using it.  My assignment was to use an ATM that is not my bank, and decipher how hard or easy it was as a ‘non-user’ to operate the ATM.  To be honest, it wasn’t a terrible ATM experience except the homeless man next to me yelling at me to “get him some money out dat thang” and the $3.95 non-member fee (that could have been a double fudge Sunday instead!).

When we returned to the classroom our assignment was to redesign the ATM for our user-type after going through the motions of using one.  My first order of business was to design an indoor ATM that you could actually open the door to and lock behind you…Could you tell I was a bit ‘inspired’ by the heckler in my case study?  I also wanted to give the ATM more accessibility for all users so I created a fully functional voice recognition format for users that are either blind or have limited mobility.  Also, since my ‘user’ was a non-member ATM user, I wanted there to be some incentive to make the fee worth their while.  I designed the ATM so that the receipt they get after the transaction can be scanned in a future transaction to waive all fees.

This was a fun little project to get our minds churning and thinking about how ‘not-universal’ so many everyday technologies are… and how hard it is to cater a device to all users!

Now this is UX Design I can get behind
Now for some BIG news…

Throughout the rest of class we are going to be working diligently on a Capstone Project that will take everything we have learned about UX and wrap it up into a real, working prototype with a business outline and pitch to go along with it.  When Tim, our instructor, was explaining the Capstone Project to us, I was actually losing it with excitement. My palms were sweating, heart racing, I could barely stay in my chair.

I know this sounds absurd, but guys, this is EXACTLY what I’ve been wanting to do… I have a really, really BIG idea that I have been chomping at the bit to turn into something real, and this is my chance to begin with top notch instruction and planning along the way.  I’m not necessarily ready to reveal to you guys what this big idea is just yet, but I promise that is something that can be a life-changer for many.  As the project begins to unfold and concepts turn into reality, I will release information bit by bit.

I hope you guys are as excited as I am about all of this (Ok, I kinda understand if your not quite as excited as I am).  As always I encourage you to follow along, keep learning with me, and let me know what you think about this craziness!




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