Focus on Assessment: Report from UX Café – fall 2017

By: Zoe  Chao

As 2017 comes to an end, I want to take the opportunity to give you an update on this semester’s UX Café. I had four UX Cafés this semester with a total of 37 participants. Here is a list of the key findings of each study:

• Digital signage: the information of available computers and library hours are must-haves.
• Hompage, top menu: students preferred drop-down menus to landing pages.
• Homepage, bottom section: most participants never clicked any link in this section.
• Room reservation: students had difficulty finding rules for room reservation.

You can read my UX Café reports on the intranet:

As usual, it was fun to watch students navigating our website. I got to observe (and confirm) their gravitation toward a less cluttered drop-down menu, their reliance on playing with applications to figure things out, and their complete disregard for our “we-thought-it-would-be-helpful” instructions.

In addition to my usual usability testing and interviews, I tried a new method called “Kano model” which proved to be a very effective way to gather user feedback on concrete, unambiguous features of a design. The method was not as effective in assessing user need for links on the homepage because students were not familiar with the content behind each link. (For more information on Kano model, go to

So far, I have two studies lined up for next semester: the library open house interface and the new campus map application. If you are interested in conducting UX studies, feel free to email me. I am available to share my tips and help you with design considerations.

Screen shot of student satisfaction based on User Centered study.

The result of digital signage study using Kano model. The low satisfaction (similar to being annoyed) of not seeing “available computers” and the high satisfaction (similar to being happy) of seeing it indicate this piece
of information has to be present in the digital sign.