Self Assessment 1:
Hello! I hope everyone is doing well. Here is my self assessment:
Thus far in this internship, I have learned and expanded on a number of useful technical and soft skills. Some of those technical skills have involved the extensive research needed to map out the needs of the users for the STEM- Away platform. For instance, implementing UX design processes such as stakeholder and empathy maps and communicating with and interviewing fellow interns to gauge attitudes towards the website. In addition, we are beginning to prototype/wireframe ideas to improve the website. The low fidelity tool we are focusing on is Balsamiq. The research component of the project has enabled me to better communicate with my team members, since their input is a crucial part of this effort.
Some of my achievements so far include interviewing some individuals who have interacted with the STEM-Away website and acquiring valuable research from this, combining my group’s input (attitudes towards the website, background, goals, etc) to create a graphic persona, and offering my own input about the platform and what can be improved.
So far, I have attended all 8 of the google hangout meetings that have taken place since the start of this internship on June 1st.
For the upcoming week, some of our team goals will be to continue exploring tools like Balsamiq and Figma and decide which one of those best works for all UX team 3 members. These tools will then be used to wireframe our ideas of what the STEM-Away website should ideally be designed to look like. The overarching goal of our team is to improve the website’s homepage as well as its communication mechanisms.
Our tasks started off with completing stakeholder maps, which outlined the most important stakeholders of STEM-away, including founders, developers, interns, leads, etc. This task enabled me to understand who would be most affected by the changes made to the STEM-Away website. Another task paired with the stakeholder maps was the empathy map, which effectively highlighted some of the potential pain points and feelings (of the user) associated with the current interface. The third task involved interviewing someone (outside of my team) and recording down some problems that they may have experienced with the website as well as their first impressions. This task blended into the fourth task, which involved interviewing someone within my actual team. This interview, however, did not solely focus on the attitudes of this person towards the website, unlike the first interview, but also dived deeper into their background (age, education, internships goals, etc) in order to better understand them as a user and intern. Finally, the last task was a persona graphic which was completed on a simple powerpoint. I compiled information from all of the interviews submitted by members of my team by searching for commonalities in age, major, goals, frustrations with the website, and some nice features that would improve the website. All of this information helped me construct the persona of a fictional character, Sam, who fitted the description of my team members in all of these categories. One hurdle associated with this task was being able to voice everyone’s distinct opinion from all of the interviews into one single persona. However, I realized that some generalizations would be needed in order to complete this persona, which is how I overcame that hurdle. Our team lead, Jay, was very helpful with his instructions for this task (which helped me overcome the hurdle) as well as several other tasks throughout this internship!