The Design Exchange

User Research :

The DesignExchange is an interactive web portal to facilitate the capture, analysis and widespread use of design research methods. It collects and documents many design research methods in use today, including their origins, how they are used, how they interact and examples of their use. The Design Exchange will help designers make better decisions about when to apply methods and patterns of methods to support a more innovative, user-centered process, while serving to answer several key questions about the effective use and development of design research methods. In total, The Design Exchange will provide the largest public library of conceptual design methods, supported by a multi-disciplinary community of contributors.

Out of the two main segments of The Design Exchange: Methods and Case Studies, I worked on the development of case studies.


Case Study Development :

The case study segment of the design exchange is an elicit contribution of case studies, drawing on the research on user- generated content outlined earlier. Case study are formatted and summarized versions of research that have used human centered design methods for various purposes. The development of case studies had a 4 tier process: Writing, Editing, Reviewing, Uploading.


Writing :

In the Writing stage, an existing academic research paper that used human centered design methods was summarized. This iterative process included reading the research paper, identifying the design methods used and significance of the methods used. After making inferences based on the research paper, we created a template for the case study. This was based on the outline of the case study we created.


Editing :

In the editing stage, each person reviewed and commented on the case study drafts written by other colleagues. The research paper regarding that case study was reread by the editor, and changes, missing information and grammatical errors were checked for and commented on.


Reviewing :

In the reviewing stage, the writer of the case study edits the case study based on the comments and suggestions by the colleagues and develops a final draft ready to the uploaded on The DesignExchange.


Uploading :

For the Uploading stage, we had to create an easy to understand and convenient to write user interface. We chose to use a similar format to our case study template.

We used Markdown to edit the format of the case study. A text box as well as a view box was included to get an idea on the appearance of case study on the website.

We also linked the design methods used in the case study with the case study in the web portal. Design methods used in the process could be tagged to the design methods on the platform using markdown. These methods would automatically added in the related design method section displayed after the case study on The DesignExchange. In addition a list of design methods that can be looked up through a search bar and can be selected through the checkbox at the end of the case study input screen to add design methods that have not been explicitly mentioned in the case study.


Portal Interface :

For easier and efficient use of the design Exchange, we created a filter system for the case studies. This was based on the industry sector, country and design process covered. Apart from that, it is important to engage and attract users to read the case studies. Currently, the portal has a structured boxified case study display. We wish to change the display by adding more images and colour and reducing the written material.

We also had to prioritise design methods and case study for the landing page. We chose to put the case study first, as each case study is linked to respective design methods, and case studies are generally more interesting to read as they are use cases rather than the methods that are instructions.

Brief :

The Design Exchange is a web portal to explore design methods, their applications and case studies.

Role :

Chief UI/ UX designer.

Purpose :

Working under Professor Alice Agogino from last 6 months.

Design Process :

Designed the portal experience including UI/UX design, website development using HTML, CSS Javascript and Ruby. Worked on content generation and product strategy. User tested and iterated to increase user response rate by 30% and retention rate by 15%.

Team :

Alice Agogino, Julia Kramer, Euiyoung Kim, Danielle Poreh.