“You may have said you trust the process, but trust the process,” Jon told me.
After a weekend of cursing at Axure XP (which I can say definitively is NOT the right design tool for beginning IxD-ers) and pretty much no progress, I set up a meeting with the jefe.
And he was right. Back to the drawing board, literally. Actually, back to scenario building first. And Jon explained “I need you to follow the requirements. If a client asks you for a microwave and you give them a toaster, you are fired.” I could make a silly comment about fire… but I won’t.
And so instead of worrying about an interface for veterans at this point, I’ve gone back to the drawing board with the core system requirements in mind from the supposed client. I’ve built in the basic features for searching and comparing classes. The nuts and bolts. And to do so, I followed a new scenario about a freshman student at UT trying to arrange his classes for the semester. I then took the scenario, and broke it up into sentences. Each sentence corresponded with a wire. And for each wire, I drew them out on paper first. No saying “yes Eric, you’ll be able to figure it out once you start using the tool.” Not yet at least.
No corners cut this time.
I also got real feedback from UT students. Who would have thought that TCBY would be around in 2012, and better than that, a perfect place for user think aloud testing. It seems that 1 student comes in every 30 minutes, perfect to pounce on with a unique assignment.
In the next iterations, I will be focused on showing the student more information per course (allowing them to click on the course description, for example), as well as being able to toggle the calendar as they go to check their pace. I will also work on building out the extra screens (ie profile page, dead end links, etc.).