Create a platform where Machine Learning, Data Science, and Artificial Intelligence Students can seamlessly connect with companies to source portfolio and capstone projects.
Students have a difficult time finding real, good data sets for projects. They also desire more opportunities for "real world" feedback on their work outside of class.
A trusted platform that connects students with meaningful, real-world data sets from reputable companies, and an opportunity to connect with mentors in the problem space that they are interested in working.
Mapping out our game plan
Following the kick off meeting with our client, I led my team in mapping out the timeline for each of our deliverables over the 3 week sprint.
Research & Synthesis
My team held 7 user interviews, focusing on Masters Level Data Science, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence students.
From the user interviews, we grouped the data points from our user interviews using affinity mapping into 12 areas of insight.
Key Research Insights
We chose four key insights to drive our design process because these insights came up the most in our user interviews.
I need expert guidance
I want to work with clients
I need soft skills to stand out
I network to get work
Creating our User Persona
Meet Sofia (she/her)
Data Science Masters Candidate
From the user insights that we discovered in our research synthesis, we were able to create a persona who would embody BizdevIQ's primary user's needs, behaviors, goals, and pain points.
Wants to showcase her unique value to employers
Needs expert guidance and mentorship
Utilizes her network to find data for her school projects
Relies on her university to get access to private data sources
Feels frustrated when she presents her projects in class, she doesn't get meaningful feedback from her classmates
Identifying Opportunities through Journey Mapping
Now that we had a clear picture of our persona Sofia, we still needed to understand what was occurring for Sofia in her experience as a Master's Degree Student and where a product like
BizdevIQ could come in to help Sofia solve some of her challenges and frustrations. Therefore, my team created a journey map to better illustrate and understand where the opportunities lay for BizdevIQ to help Sofia.
Sofia's Journey Map
Sofia and her classmates are assigned a project in class where they have to go out and find their own data set for the project.
Let's see what happen's for Sofia ...
Help Sofia find interesting projects that align with her goals
Provide Sofia with the soft skills and guidance she needs to achieve her goals
How might we ...
help Sofia showcase her unique value to employers while providing her with the support and guidance she needs to land her dream job?
Now that we had articulated the problem we were solving for, my team used the MoSCoW map methodology to define what features would be included in the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for this design sprint.
Photo of our Team's White-Boarding of the MoSCoW Map
For our MVP, we decided to prioritize features that would help Sofia achieve her goals that we identified in her Journey Map -- finding interesting projects that align with her goals, and developing soft skills with the support of a mentor.
A cleaned up version of our team's MoSCoW Map
My Team white-boarding in our Design Studio.
My team held a series of 7 design studios where we sketched out low fidelity wireframes for the main pages that we would include in the prototype to address Sofia's problem in this design sprint.
The main pages we focused on were those that we identified in our Feature Prioritization, and they included: a Sign-in Page, the Project Search Page, the Project Brief Page, the Mentor Search Page, and the Mentor Profile Page.
For one of our design studios, we had the opportunity to involve the CEO of BizdevIQ. Knowing that we had limited time with him, we selected the most complex and industry specific page to ideate with him.
We held the design studio with him over zoom, and walked out if it with a much better idea of what Sofia would expect to see when she looked at a project brief page on Bizdev's site.
Sketches from our Design Studio with the CEO. We worked on paper
Based on the Sofia's priorities and needs that we identified, my team mapped out two task flows that addressed the opportunities we identified when we looked at Sofia's Journey Map.
Task 1: Find and Sign up For a Project
Based on the opportunity to help find interesting projects that align with her goals
Task 2: Find and Connect with a Mentor
Based on the opportunity to provide Sofia with the soft skills and guidance she needs to be successful in her field.
Putting it to the test.
We held a round of usability testing for both our our mid-fidelity wireframes and our high fidelity wireframes to determine if we were meeting Sofia's needs.
Because we used mostly place-holder text in our mid-fidelity wireframes, the feedback that we got in our usability test with our hi-fidelity mock ups gave us a clearer picture of what we could improve for the next iteration.
When we did usability testing for our Hi-fidelity prototype, we discovered that the content on the home page, did not make it clear enough to users what the site does and why they should sign up for it.
Homepage. Sign In.
We also discovered that our project brief pages were too text heavy and had too much information that students did not require in order to determine if they wanted to work on this project enough.
Find a project for your team.
When looking for a mentor to connect with, our users expressed a desire to find mentors who were only a few years out of a masters level program because they thought they'd have more useful information for them with regard to how to navigate making the transition from graduate school into their first job.
Find a mentor and connect.
This project happened right as COVID-19 forced everyone in NYC to work from home, so my team had to quickly adapt to working together remotely and deliver the product within the same timeline as promised to the client.
Through the user of collaborative technologies, such as Figma and Google slides, combined with using Slack and Zoom for communication my team was able to complete our project on time to a high standard.
Takeaways with Regard to the User
The most valuable takeaway from this project was the importance of doing high fidelity usability tests. Once the users were able to interact with the product in a way where it felt like an actual website, they were able to give much more valuable feedback with regard to what content was needed, and how the site could best serve their needs.
If my team were to do further design sprint for BizdevIQ, we would work take the following actions:
Work with a UX writer to improve the content on the home page
Simplify the project brief pages based on user feedback
Do further research into the needs, behaviors, and pain points of the other primary users of the site - Universities and Companies - to develop an interface that would suit their needs as well.
See More UX/UI Projects
New App | iOS