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Cookbook

CHALLENGE

As design thinking is becoming more valuable in industry, relevant design skills would be great for students to have. However, teaching the design process is time consuming and difficult. How might we help educators better faciliate design-led project courses?

SOLUTION

A community-based platform for educators to share and discuss design resources and course syllabi.

My Role 🔍 + 🎨

I worked alongside SAP and The Design Lab at UCSD on building a prototype for Cookbook to present to stakeholders. I helped conduct user research, create journey maps, and develop high fidelity wireframes.

Tools: Sketch, InVision

Skills: user research, storyboarding, prototyping, visual design

Team: Rachel Chen, Rahul Ramath, Rohit Kapoor, Michael Yang, Rana Chakrabati


Background

Coming into the project, SAP had already done initial research on the problem space. They found that while professors were interested in learning more about teaching design-led courses, they faced difficulties when transitioning to teaching project based courses due to a few reasons:

  1. Professors who typically teach lecture based courses take almost 3x the effort to prepare and run project based courses.

  2. Many design resources aren't targeted towards professors, meaning they would have to spend extra time thinking about how they can incorporate these methodologies into their course curriculum.

Research Methods

Research Methods

Before diving into solutions, my team sought to learn the process educators went through when building their course-curriculums. To understand their needs, we used various research methods:

Interviews: We asked questions such as their current method for building their course curriculum, how often they update it, and the struggles they faced looking for new material.

Participatory design: Before showing educators paper prototypes we had prepared, we had them draw their own wireframes and think aloud about how they would structure the site and the content they would want to see.

Main Takeaways

From our interviews, we found interesting insights on what educators found useful and how we could make planning courses easier for them:

From our interviews, we found interesting insights on what educators found useful and how we could make planning courses easier for them:

documents
teacher
megaphone

1. Pre-made materials and resources such as syllabi and lecture slides from other educators.

1. Pre-made materials and resources such as syllabi and lecture slides from other educators.

1. Pre-made materials and resources such as syllabi and lecture slides from other educators.

2. Reflections written by other educators at the end of their course terms, and how they would like to improve.

2. Reflections written by other educators at the end of their course terms, and how they would like to improve.

2. Reflections written by other educators at the end of their course terms, and how they would like to improve.

3. Student feedback; educators value students' opinions to improve their couse for the next year.

Student feedback; educators value students' opinions to improve their couse for the next year.

Storyboards and rapid prototyping

My team wanted to better understand the process educators went through as they planned out their course criteria. To do this, we created storyboards to map out the entire experience, and used personas to build a narrative. We then consolidated their comments to create a journey map, which allowed us to identify pain points in the process.

Our final interactive storyboard can be found here.

walkthrough

My team presenting our storyboard to professors at UC San Diego, posting feedback and comments on post-it notes along the way.

Our Solution

From all our research and findings, we came up with Cookbook, a collection of teaching "recipes" to help professors teach design-thinking in their project courses. From our research, it was evident that if we give professors the tools and confidence to run design-led project courses, they would be more willing to introduce design methodologies into the classroom. This would benefit students by teaching them critical skills as they transition from the classroom to industry.

The core functions and features of the website:

recipes

Categorized recipes: Recipes divided up to cater to the educator's needs.

Categorized recipes: Recipes divided up to cater to the educator's needs.

resources

Accessible resources: Each recipe provides the necessary resources to get started.

discussion

Community: Professors are able to contribute and engage in discussion with other educators.

Community: Professors are able to contribute and engage in discussion with other educators.

Final presentation with stakeholders

Final presentation with stakeholders

The Design Lab and SAP team led a 3-day workshop where educators from different state colleges came to participate in design-thinking activities, and shared their experiences teaching project-based courses. My team presented our project to the group and received positive feedback about our product, and expressed interest about incorporating design-thinking into their classroom.

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Reflection and after thoughts

Reflection and after thoughts

I'm extremely grateful to The Design Lab for giving me the opportunity to work on a project like this. I learned a lot about owning my own ideas, making mistakes along the way, and learning from those mistakes. Shout out to my team for being the most delightful and creative minds to work with!

Thanks for reading!

Thanks for reading!

Thanks for reading!

sparkle


Take a look at my other projects:

Projects

me-moUX & Visual Design

CookbookUX Research & Design

Illustration & BrandingIllustration & Animation