Post 20 – November 6th

What we did:

This week has been all about nailing down a usability testing plan and preparing for our midterm presentation. We decided to streamline the presentation process by making one team member responsible for each milestone and it’s been working out much better. The presenter writes out an outline, then assigns visual assets for the rest of the time to contribute to; in this way, forward progress on the project itself can continue. On Friday, we will be presenting the real meat of the project including problem, solutions, design decisions, customer journey, samples screens, and a short demo! We have tentatively settled on a name for our system, Unibot. A lot of work this week went into nailing down the different features of the system all the way down to sample conversations a user might have.

Our user testing plan is 2-fold: we will be testing the usability of the system with friends at M-ITI as well as in London with both international students and potential Ugandan mentors. The research goals for this phase are 1) can they complete the tasks accurately and efficiently and 2) is it delightful to use. Then, we will enlist a couple family members of the team who are thinking about returning to grad school for a more “in the wild” study to determine 1) how useful they find the system and 2) if they can easily different the functions of mentor and bot.

Additional work has started on the final deliverables, especially the video. We’ve collected inspirational material and begun storyboarding to figure out if/when we need to recruit actors. We’ve completed an outline of the book and decided on the overall look and feel.

 

Challenges:

Recruiting for user testing is, as always, difficult. While we’ve made progress in terms of interviewing success stories (3 more convos this week from Mexico, Paraguay, and Uganda), getting an hour of a stranger’s time in London is tougher. We are excited to attend the Uganda High Commissioner’s event celebrating the progress of Grow Movement, a mentor-matching program for entrepreneurship, and we hope to recruit more there.

As the concept has evolved, we’ve been focusing more on the “long-term commitment” mentors, so we need to revisit what, if anything, alumni can provide who do not have the time for an invested one-on-one relationship with our mentees.

Next Steps:

We still have lot of work in terms of input error checking for bot, however, moderating the user studies will take up most of our time in the near future. Next on the list will be deciding on the story we want to present in our video. The team is exploring a more animation/typography heavy concept versus one actor playing out a successful journey with the product. We ran out of time to meet with Chris this week, so we’re trying to get some time on his calendar soon!

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