September 2016 – November 2016
Type of Research
Methods & Skills
- Focus Group
- Pen and paper
- Adobe Photoshop
This project is the main project of 0HM110 UX Design course.
We had to investigate navigation issues at TU/e campus to better understand the problems that people encounter so we could come up with ideas for possible solutions.
Every day, people have to find their way around our TU/e campus. Students, staff, and visitors, all with varying degrees of familiarity with the layout of the campus and its buildings. However, navigation on the TU/e campus can be difficult: there are no street addresses to go on, most buildings have more than one entrance, signage is minimal and often confusing, etc. The TU/e is working on better signage, but perhaps more could be done to help people get where they need to go on campus.
Observing participants would be useful to see what users actually do when navigating on TU/e campus, however, people who need help to navigate on campus are hard to find. Additionally, interviewing users would be helpful to get insight into their thought processes, but with this method, the contribution of the researcher is introducing phenomena such as researcher bias. Thus, focus groups were very useful to reduce the role of the researcher and can lead to a good discussion on the topic, providing valuable insights.
After focus groups and data collection, we looked at the document with all the data snippets and started to re-categorize them on a mind map.
The persona was chosen after comparing the data of the two types of users from the focus groups. It was certain that these users encountered common problems, shared common traits, used and looked for similar kind of navigational aids.
The ideation phase elaborates on the design process from requirements to the concept, which leads to the prototype development. We identified that our users have difficulties navigating within three stages of navigation.
- At home, specifically finding the location of the meeting based on abbreviations, incongruent or odd naming of locations. This stage can be divided into two subsections, namely: finding the information needed (i.e. actual building name) and the location of the building itself.
- On-campus (outdoor), people looked for indications around them where they had to go. The stage is characterized by confirmation seeking. The user wants confirmation that they are on the right track and confirmation when they have arrived at the building.
- On-campus (indoor), the problems from outdoor on-campus recurred. The first thing people do is look for information that shows how the building is structured to get a rough idea of where to go. Then, along their way, more information is required and again confirmation is sought. When arriving at the destination, they looked for confirmation that the navigation task is completed.
1. Planning from home
Concept #1 – Online Map
2. Outdoor Navigation Aids
Concept #2 – Salient Building Signs
Concept #2 – Building Signs (instead of road-name signs)
3. Indoor Navigation Aids
Concept #3 – Big colored room signs
Concept #3 – Colored signs
Concept #3 – Colored routes
We decided to focus on the ‘at home’-phase of navigating as this is the start, and thereby also the baseline level, for the experience. We aim to make navigating a better, more pleasant experience and we believe that within the navigation process the most gain can be achieved with minimal effort at this stage. Additionally, by offering a solution for the problems in the starting phase of navigation, the challenges in the other stages may also be affected.
It shows the application after landing on the homepage and during the search for a building. After enter is pressed, the building is highlighted and has some information on the side (above). The second figure (below) shows the information shown by clicking the ‘read more’ tag.