Researcher moving into UX
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Portfolio Site

In addition to my other research, I'm developing opportunities for UX-specific work, including testing this portfolio.

Problem

This site needs to show off my UX research potential, while being clear and informative. Testing and revising the site can improve it while giving me UX project experience.

Methods

* Completed: Remote user testing with friends (n=3)

    Next steps:

    Consider new template

    Consider new font choices for consistency with resume

    I've moved Process Gallery version 0.1 to the Making the Shift blog. 

    Testing

    Using join.me, I ran user tests with three friends. The results were fairly consistent, and suggested key revisions for navigation, images, and content.

    The script and tasks I used are listed in this blog entry. My revision list, including "critical", "easy", and "delayed but needed" categories, is also in the process blog.

    Lessons 

    Procedural

    • Check mobile views! I adjusted my font sizes for desktop readability, then went back to have a look on mobile a few days later...and found this!
    • Take screenshots before starting revisions! I got halfway through my planned list and realized I didn't have samples of what the site looked like before I started.
    • Split issues into categories based on severity and ease of fix. Helped me work through the next revision.
      • By severity:
        • Critical: issue is a major obstacle to getting information about me or presents a mistaken impression about me
        • Moderate: issue is not preventing users from reaching information, but is annoying / distracting / not ideal
      • By ease:
        • Simple: issue is easily fixed (typo)
        • Desirable: not sure how to fix issue, given current setup
      • All critical issues needed to be addressed, and all simple issues should be addressed. 
        • Example: On the "Resume and Bio" page, the template prevents me from removing the whitespace, which hid the resume information below the fold. Until I can fix the template, I moved my bio to under the fold to prioritize the resume.

    Content and Design

    • Parallelism can be a mistake: I'd put my strongest project (the dissertation) first when listing projects, but that made the pages look repetitive, especially if nobody scrolled down. A quick reorganize helped address that.
    • Placeholder images need to be temporary. I found myself getting too attached to them. Not because they're lovely, but because they represented completed work, and finding a new image takes more effort - even when the original is dull. So I'm still thinking about better ways to represent qualitative work.
    • Templates have their limits.  Using Squarespace's York template made it easy to get started, but it did create issues:
      • No room for a textbox on the first page where I could give more description about how I got here. 
      • No clear way to link specific blog posts, which is becoming an issue as I make progress.
      • All generic pages have a general format that's shared. So if I wanted to remove the "banner" space from my resume page (where it's in the way), I ended up removing the banner images from the portfolio pages, where they give nice context and a break from text.