Over the Summer, I interned as a User Experience Designer and Researcher in AT&T’s Technology Development Program – Emerging Technologies. I worked mainly in the Foundry where I was involved in about 4 projects and one Hackathon, all very different from one another. This exposure to diversity in the industry gave me a very solid experience of the different kinds of work that compose a UX professional’s job.
AT&T U-VERSE KIDS APP
Team lead: Darryl Moore
Creating mockups, visual design and usability testing
At first, I created mockups for the “Parental Controls” section of the app. After I finished mocking up the required screens, my team sat down to review all the screens and we conducted a cognitive walkthrough in order to identify any possible loopholes. The following week, we reviewed the questionnaires for the usability study and made sure to remove any leading questions. Two weeks later, we conducted 3 days worth of usability tests with kids and their parents. We conducted 7 sessions of 1.5 hours each. It was a great experience interacting with potential users and understanding whether or not the app makes sense to them, whether they understand the significance of the icons, whether they like it and whether they would want to use it.
Team lead: Robert King
Interaction design and usability testing
Com2 is a mobile app that helps users control the level of spam messages and calls as well as simplifies their phone usage while driving, using the “Drive mode” feature. For Com2, I helped out with cognitive walkthroughs, proposed design changes and even conducted my own usability study sessions with potential users.
AT&T HOTSPOT DEVICES
Team lead: Sharon Carter
Market research, comparative analysis and cognitive walkthroughs
For the purpose of this project, we carried out a comparative analysis between two of AT&T’s Hotspot devices – one older and one newer – to understand the design changes and find inconsistencies in order to make the latest device even more user-friendly.
This comparative analysis made me realize that certain features were not clearly defined and needed improvement. My team mate and I conducted cognitive walkthroughs of both the devices and took notes about the existing features. Following that, we sat down to brainstorm and I sketched alternative design proposals for certain features.
An example of a finding is: Certain features did not belong in the right category and it was not clear for the user to make sense of the options under that category. Our study helped us identify these inconsistencies and propose improvements.
Team lead: Sharon Carter
Market research and cognitive walkthroughs
I carried out competitive analysis of a new messaging service developed by AT&T specific to a certain phone. This was primarily to observe inconsistencies in the service and re-design certain features in order to improve the usability. A few examples of observed inconsistencies were:
Message delivery details could not be seen if the recipient received a message in Airplane Mode
When two people were texting, the recipient could see the message "is typing" even if the sender had paused typing and this could keep the recipient waiting
There were two icon kits but both in different locations on the screen. This could be confusing so maybe all the icons could be placed together
AT&T TEMPLATE DESIGN ENHANCEMENTS
Team lead: Darryl Moore
Sketching, creating mockups and prototyping
Every large company has a structured format for formal presentations. This assignment was something I took on with one of my mentors in order to re-design the template and enhance it to make it more user- friendly. I created mockups in Balsamiq and even created Powerpoint presentation examples to portray the idea more clearly. Some features I suggested were:
Using more icons instead of text to make the presentations visually advanced
Using different templates for different themes - for a presentation in which results of a Kids App usability study are to be portrayed, there could be more use of colors and graphics whereas for a presentation to the VP of a department, a more minimalistic presentation could be used. I designed examples of these to make the idea more clear.
Team members: 5 AT&T employees including me: Susmita Gorai, Nishad Shah, Kevin Phan, Andy Hsiang, Tanisha Wagh
UX Design and front end development
AT&T has a Fast Path program that allows people to change career paths once they finish the required course work and qualify. Our challenge was to create a mobile app that enhances every Fast Path participant’s learning experience.
Our idea – Fast Path Buddy
We decided to come up with an educational game that is user-driven and engaging. The app has 4 features: Create a question, Challenge a friend, Self-study and Achievements.
Using “Create a question”, FP users can create their own multiple-choice questions with 4 answers and mark the answer that is correct. These questions then get stored to the database and when they or even other people play a challenge round, they might be asked this question. Thus all the questions are user generated.
Using “Challenge a friend”, users can challenge fellow FP buddies and take a timed quiz. Whoever answers more questions first, wins.
“Self-study” lets the user test himself and see how many he can get right.
In the “Achievements” option, players can unlock new levels based on different achievements such as if the user asks 30 questions, he reaches the 2nd level and so on. This makes way for healthy competition between friends.
INTERN CODING CHALLENGE LOGO
Supervisor: Brandie Butler
For the annual Intern Coding Challenge, my supervisor asked me to create a simple logo using AT&T fonts and colors. I wanted to make it simple yet catchy since participants were mainly young students. I also wanted to make it compact enough that it can be used on any document. Lastly, I wanted the logo to make sense and so I wrote the words “Intern Coding Challenge” in HTML tags since all the teams would be coding the app and it appealed to the programming audience. The logo has been forwarded for approval and is currently under review.
* Since most of the work has confidential information private to the company, visual representations of it can only be displayed after launch. I will update this section with more details about my projects soon after they have been publicly released.*