I214 UX Research

January 11, 2012

Possible Projects

Filed under: — Nancy Van House @ 5:21 pm

The major activity in this class is a group project.  You are free to develop your own project. However, various people and organizations have asked for help.   I’ll keep this list up-to-date with as much as I know. More details will be discussed in class.

Calcentral: successor to bSpace.  “ETS and Student Affairs have launched CalCentral, the campus’ new collaboration and communication platform for students. Built on the Sakai Open Academic Environment (OAE), CalCentral’s foundation is a new system that incorporates the best of our current Sakai environment and enables academic collaboration to become more open, personal, social and flexible.”  They have asked for our help.

Campus migration to Google Apps: this is being implemented now; agreement was signed Dec. 21. Project(s) would involve studying primarily staff migration to google apps.

Campus test of box.net:  “As part of an initiative led by the Internet2 consortium, the campus is currently conducting a pilot of the Box.net cloud-based file storage service (http://box.net).[1] They are looking for members of the campus community to participate in the pilot to test various use cases and work out the issues before a campus-wide roll out.”  I have contacted the people in charge and asked if they would welcome one or more course projects studying the people who volunteer to participant in this pilot.

High School Website: A local charter high school founded by UC Berkeley and Aspire Public Schools  is looking for someone to work with their students on building a school web site.  They don’t want you to do it for them, but to work with the students, who are primarily low-income students of color and the first in their family to go to college. Many students do not have access to computers at home but use computers extensively at the school. The students who will be involved are interested in using technology in ways that suit them and their world.

This class is not about building sites, but you could combine work on needs assessment (for students, faculty, parents, potential students, and so forth) with design & implementation, perhaps for another class. If you are interested in working with teens and/or in educational settings, this project may give you access to the school and the kids, the teachers and the administrators, and UC people who have been working with them in creating the school.

Web-based modeling:  InsightMaker.com —  a social simulation building platform.  From the designer: “The goal of this project is to make it easier for both scientists and laymen to build and share their models (thereby making the impact of scientific research potentially much higher). The website lets users build, run and share simulation models all through their web browsers.  I know from user feedback that it could use a lot of improvement to make the site more accessible initially and then also easier to use for power users.The site is live and curr-ently has about 600 registered users [Feb 2011].” Partially funded by NSF. Free to users.

Website Evaluation, UCB Dept of Mechanical Engineering: a former 214 student, a PhD student in ME, suggested that they need an evaluation “of the interface and the information – and (hopefully) concrete ideas of how they might address some of their issues, preferably sorted by which are easy-to-fix, and which are a bit more epic and long-term.”  Someone is now responsible for the site, but some users would like to see it improved.  On campus, there are larger issues about the lack of uniformity in website design, and (lack of) accessibility.

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