Redesigning the way customers share knowledge to improve accessibility
June 2017 – August 2017 | Autodesk UX Design Internship
In a team of three, I conducted research, created a minimum viable product plan and schedule, designed and prototyped solutions, tested these solutions, iterated on design, and presented project outcomes to the vice president of our division and product team. I followed an Agile design process for this project and used input from product managers, designers, developers, and content strategy to work iteratively.
Note: Some information has been left out to due a non-disclosure agreement with Autodesk.
Autodesk Screencast is a screen recording tool that captures the details of complex workflows in Autodesk products and other applications. This summer I was presented with the problem of Screencast’s lack of accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing community. As one of the only ways to learn from a Screencast is by listening to the audio, the deaf and hard of hearing community is at a serious disadvantage.
This summer, I set out to redesign Screencast in order to improve accessibility and help foster a more inclusive learning environment.
Understanding the Product
Before we started conducting research, we wanted to familiarize ourselves with the existing product. To do so, I conducted a heuristic evaluation and five stakeholder interviews. To understand the product holistically and see all perspectives, we spoke to product managers, developers, designers, researchers, content strategists, and content moderators.
My interviews, combined with my teammates interviews, guided a stakeholder mapping exercise, which allowed us to create a visual representation of how people were connected to this product.
I conducted comparative research on other services that incorporate voice-to-text, as well as conducted baseline research in the form of interviewing, analyzing forum data, and reviewing the product’s Google analytics.
For our interviews, we reached out to multiple sources in the deaf community, including the National Association of the Deaf, San Francisco Public Library Deaf Services, and The ASL App. We also contacted and interviewed a college professor that uses Screencast to teach students, and an Autodesk Product Manager that uses Screencast to answer forum questions and submit Jira tickets.
After grouping our research into logical clusters, my team and I set out to turn our findings into possible solutions, and prioritize these design solutions in a minimum viable product plan. After our manager reviewed the document, we met with several developers to get a better understanding of the technical difficulties for each design solution.
After working with my teammates to divide up the work, I took on the online player. I designed the video player, interactive timeline and transcript, and the multiple ways to view this player. After my initial sketches, I organized a team ideation session to receive design critiques and focus in on one idea for the interactive timeline and transcript.
Usability Testing & Iteration
After building my prototype into a strong proof of concept, I wanted to test my player’s design, interaction, and experience with real users. I developed a testing template that could be easily modified and used for all participants, as well as a task list and post task questions for my prototype. Early on, my team and I put ourselves on an aggressive schedule to ensure there was time for testing, as this was something we felt would be extremely valuable.
After each round of testing, I refined my design based on the research findings.
Deliverables & Impact
My final deliverables included my high-fidelity prototype, a specification document in the form of annotated wireframes, and a collection of my team’s research findings. In addition to addressing the problem given to us, accessibility, we were also able to reframe the problem to meet a number of other business goals.
My team and I presented our findings and proposed solutions to the vice president of our division and product team, which garnered a lot of excitement. Next steps include product managers meeting with designers, developers, and content strategy to implement our changes.
Product managers met to discuss next steps for our work about a week after we left our internship.
1) Learning how to prioritize is a valuable skill. The list of changes to implement is never ending, and multiple factors need to be considered for prioritization.
2) Prototypes can, and often should, be smoke and mirrors. For prototypes built with tools like Framer, this might require learning how to think about coding in a new way.
3) It is possible to make a prototype too high-fidelity. When a coded prototype looks and works almost exactly like the real thing, test participants start focusing on the “bugs” rather than the intended interaction.