UX Research & Feedback

Case Study | MFA Graduate Thesis Project

Academy of Art University Graduate School of Web Design & New Media

Week 9


This week I learned about the importance of wire framing in the user experience design process, including creating hand drawn sketches to provide a visual for the task flows being performed by the user.

Rather than create a final high-fidelity visual design, the goal of wireframes is to use rough shapes and simple typography to create a visual outline of how a particular interface will look.

Wireframes can be used to define all types of user interfaces including mobile applications, desktop websites, hardware devices, and even interactive art installations.

Every human-computer interaction needs some sort of interface, and creating rough wireframes is the best way to begin the process of defining them.

The first step for creating wireframes is to quickly draw rough sketches by hand.

Start by sketching individual screens and then move on to sequences of screens. There are many names for these sequences, including task flows, user flows, and walk-throughs.

Whatever you call them, the goal is the same: to visualize a sequence of steps that a user would take in order to complete a particular task.This can be done when you sketch out hand-drawn flowcharts and then add more detail by sketching out the same sequence of screens using rough thumbnail sketches.

After you have spent time sketching by hand, then you can move to computer software to further develop your wireframes. You may use almost any software that will allow you to create simple shapes and text.

Here is a set of my hand drawn wireframes for Task Flow 1.

Proof of Concept Hand Drawn Wireframes

POC Wireframe Screens 5-8

User Testing

I also learned about several different types of user testing options and their techniques.

These are some basic types of user testing techniques:

  • User surveys
  • Prototype testing
  • A/B testing
  • Card sorting
  • The expert review
  • Eye movement tracking
  • Field studies
  • Usability testing
  • Remote usability testing
  • User personas
  • Cognitive walk-throughs
  • Usability audit
  • Interview (group and one-on-one)

I read several articles and watched several videos to gain an in-depth understanding of the different methods of UX Research. There was a lot of content to cover this week.

One of my discoveries was The Field Guide to Human Centered Design by IDEO Design Kit, which is available here: https://www.designkit.org/methods

IDEO Design Kit Human Centered Design Field Guide

Being able to review the interview results from the AAU student Installation Project Proposal, "Geo Phantoms," by Qian Ji was also very helpful to me and I am grateful that this week's module included them. I have saved them for future reference.

The reference link to Ultimate Guide to the Best Online Survey Tools is a very helpful resource for determining which survey tools to use. I am grateful that this was included in the module. I have been looking for tools to help with my market research.

I really like the looks of Typeform and plan on checking it out further.

I found this template with a simple Google search and downloaded it to use for my wire frame sketches.

 iPhone Wireframe Template


Coming-Up Next...

Next week, I will be learning about prototyping:

  • paper prototypes
  • task sheets
  • tips for creating paper prototypes
  • testing with wireframes and paper prototypes


This blog will serve as a place to create my case study. I invite you to follow along with me as I journey through this process.

Thank you for reading and for your interest.

Julie A. Davis Veach