Redesigning mobile experiences on the USAA mobile app
role & responsibilities --
UX designer Information architecture, site-mapping, user flows, low to hi-fidelity wireframing, prototyping, research plans, usability testing, synthesis.
june 2017 - august 2017
As a Research and Design Intern at USAA's new Chief Design Office, I spent the bulk of my summer studying and observing interaction design principles, usability testing procedures, research plan outlines, and testing finding synthesis.
During the summer of 2017, I had the wonderful opportunity to work at USAA’s new Chief Design Office in Austin over the course of 10 weeks as an interaction design and research intern. The internship allowed me to apply skills I had learned at school as well as experience new working environments, frameworks, people, and mindsets. I worked primarily on mapping out early navigation flow explorations, delivering low-fidelity wireframes, assisting with building an Axure prototype for testing, shadowing remote usability tests, and synthesizing findings from testing to present to the enterprise Experience Owners and development teams. While the details of the work I worked on are still under NDA, I'd be happy to chat about more deeply about my experience over email.
roles and responsibilities--
I shadowed the interaction designer on my team for the bulk of my summer to both learn and contribute to the process of creating a prototype for testing and mapping out different early iterations of navigation flows. The prototype was built in Axure with the ability for the tester to input values and information during the test. While mapping out different flow iterations of a new part of the experience for both web and mobile, I learned how crucial it is to show and comment every single step of an interaction while wireframing.
I shadowed the interaction designer on my team for the bulk of my summer to both learn and contribute to the process of creating a prototype for testing and mapping out different early iterations of navigation flows. The prototype was built in Axure with the ability for the tester to input values and information during the test.
While mapping out different flow iterations of a new part of the experience for both web and mobile, I learned how crucial it is to show and comment every single step of an interaction while wireframing.
I was part of the process of shadowing and analyzing several different remote usability tests with the early Axure prototype; it was fascinating to see how so many people had different mental models of the experience we were designing for. I strongly believe that conducting usability testing is an experience that is difficult to facilitate properly at school due to time and resource limitations. The opportunity to be able to participate in the analysis and synthesis of real-world testing taught me how valuable the trends and insights outside of the design team environment really are.
Before the tests, I also learned about the process of writing a research plan, outlining the exact breakdowns of overview, tasks, and question framing for conducting usability testing.
Upon finishing the findings documentation, our team was required to create a synthesis deck to present the testing results to enterprise Experience Owners and development teams. The process for synthesis began with general affinity grouping based on similar trends and interaction patterns, and then pulling out key overlapping test insights. From these insights, we went back into the prototype and annotated the corresponding areas in details for the presentation.
One of the most important lessons I learned this summer was to always keep accessibility in mind while designing. In a company whose mission stems from an all-inclusive memberbase, understanding that not everyone is as blessed to be as able-bodied as the ordinary person was crucial to crafting experiences for everyone. While designing, I frequently referenced Color Blindness tools such as the high contrast mode in Macs, or the Stark Sketch plugin to test if the designs passed the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0 Level AA contrast ratio of 4:5:1. It is also important to consider the various ways of showing hover states, active modes, and interaction points in a manner that can be accessible to all.