Hijack the student conversation

In an age of the internet, regular Ol' billboards are well... just not that captivating.

oOh! media knew their university product needed a major overhaul to stay relevant and tasked me with researching and designing a solution to re-vamp their offering.  

What's missing in their lives?

After reviewing literature on student life it was clear students wanted a platform where they could express themselves at scale.

They wanted a national student voice where they could share their views, find the coolest events and make friends.

To validate our hypothesis I conducted focus groups on campus. This was essential in exploring pain points around student life and issues with the current advertising model.

The biggest 'aha' moment was discovering the need for 'My Future'; an advice and job hub created just for students.


“Nadia has changed what OOH will look like globally in 5 years”
— Brendon Cook, CEO oOh! media

 Initial wireframe sketches of the homepage.

Initial wireframe sketches of the homepage.

Designing for the full spectrum of students

 Savvy Samuel; one of five personas.

Savvy Samuel; one of five personas.

New comers to the Hijacked team Cinnamon and Candice distilled research from the focus groups into personas.

These memorable characters meant we could now empathise with and design for specific user needs and use cases.

This design exercise signified a shift in the clarity and focus of the project and lit my fire for the world of Design Research. 

 


 Hijacked is the world's first digital signage model that broadcasts user-generated content. 

Hijacked is the world's first digital signage model that broadcasts user-generated content. 


Testing our prototype on campus

To validate our design Candice, Yasmin (fellow researcher) and I conducted moderated usability tests. We learned:

 Moderated usability testing on campus

Moderated usability testing on campus

  • What's On was a favoured amongst social personas
  • My Future was preferred by more diligent personas
  • 62% of students said they would contribute to the site
  • Only 28% saw the immediate benefit of an account

On reflection, we should have tested earlier.

If we had conducted unmoderated remote usability tests during initial design rounds and recruited against personas (rather than hallway testing) inconsistencies would have been surfaced, saving time in design.


Results

 The Hijacked team with our student interns

The Hijacked team with our student interns

From launch, Hijacked was an instant hit. Students loved submitting their thoughts and seeing their work broadcast on the big screen around the country.

Advertisers were also thrilled about the refreshed content model giving them direct access to a highly engaged student audience.

Plus, our advertising funded model meant that we could put My Future into action and give students internships from the start. 

Personally, Hijacked was an incredible growth opportunity. It introduced me to design thinking, taught me how to validate an idea and launch a digital product into market.


Hijacked was born from Nadia’s commitment to research, enthusiasm and instinct.

— Cinnamon Pollard, Digital Strategist

Designing your most epic life

Finding what you are passionate about is tough. Combining it with what you are truly brilliant at is seemingly tougher.

Enter Lauren Trlin, an ex-lawyer who has the tools to help people design their most epic life and find happiness in the hustle.

Like any savvy entrepreneur, Lauren knew validating her approach was essential to creating a viable brand that would resonate. I came on board to help lead the user research and the product design process. 


Where's the gap in the coaching market?

Where's the gap

To find the gap in the coaching market we created a series of competitive maps to access delivery, demographics and pricing. 

Our hypothesis was there was room for a gender-neutral, personalised, one-on-one business coaching service for Gen-Y.

To test this, we designed a survey and ran focus groups to explore the methods and tools Lauren's audience would find valuable.


 Prioritising content themes for Lauren's coaching products during the focus group.

Prioritising content themes for Lauren's coaching products during the focus group.


Validating our hypothesis at scale

For quantitative research the goal was to test whether one-on-one coaching was the right delivery method and if Lauren's mission statement resonated with participants recruited via targeted social ads and forums.

The survey revealed phrases like ‘change maker’ in Lauren's mission statement felt too lofty. Instead, there was a stronger affinity for pragmatic terms such as ‘processes’. 


Uncovering the vision in person

For qualitative research we designed three focus group activities to enable Lauren to co-design her coaching products.

Activity 1 was a vision board exercise created to promote free-flow exploration of their ‘why’. This enabled participants to visualise success across all facets of their lives and identify blocks that required coaching.

Activity 2 was a content card sort focused on the theme of 'success'. Participants labelled and clustered headlines by area of interest into categories. This exercise helped Lauren plan and prioritise her content strategy and define her tone of voice.

Activity 3 required participants to ascribe value to a series of tools and match them to content categories from activity two. This activity clarified the tools that should be bundled into Lauren’s product offering.  


People wanted tools to unlock their potential rather than confront their fears and blocks head on
— Lauren Trlin

A snapshot from the focus groups.


From insight to interaction

Using the insights from research we designed wireframes that unpacked the coaching process and removed any blocks to sign-up.

 Wires were validated amongst personas to ensure the language and layout satisfied their needs. 

Wires were validated amongst personas to ensure the language and layout satisfied their needs. 


  Branding conveys a supportive tone of voice.

Branding conveys a supportive tone of voice.


Results

User research gave Lauren to the evidence and the confidence to launch her ‘6 Week Vision Program’ which she runs one-on-one, at events and with corporate partners.

Personally, working with Lauren was a great experience in exploratory user research and taught me how to co-design products with your target audience.


Keeping children safe and entertained

Children and technology. A mostly enriching, but at times a potentially dangerous mix.

Foxtel, Australia’s largest on-demand broadcaster wanted to improve their mobile products to help families get the most out of their platform so tasked Isobar (where I was working as an Experience Strategist) to conduct design research. 


 Children and parents in the focus groups.

Children and parents in the focus groups.


Prioritising features in focus groups

During focus groups participants used Zeetings (a live polling and presentation tool) to rank proposed features and functionality such as timed sessions.

The group score for each feature was then discussed openly amongst the group to qualify the value of including or excluding each in the update.   


Carly can’t read yet but she can pick a show by character
— Insight, focus group participant

Observing children in their homes

Contextual inquiry conducted via after school visits to participant’s homes revealed latent needs that focus groups did not.

A funny and telling moment was one mother who opened up that her child was more explorative than she had imagined and had somehow opened her trading app and locked in a buy for $2,000 on stock!

It’s stories like these that bring colour to UX research and qualify the importance of design decisions such as parental locks.

Another conversation revealed parents were nervous about mindless consumption of content and that they would love playlists to be curated by teachers to help shape their child’s development outside of school. 


Only last week Charlie did a trade for $2,000 while watching on demand. I honestly need to lock the kids out of the whole phone
— Pain point, contextual inquiry participant

Observing how children find and watch on-demand programs at home.


Results

Helping foxtel focus group.png

Focus groups and contextual inquiry both uncovered major design improvements to both functionality and to content.

Personally, it was a wonderful experience to hone my observation and communication skills by working with children who really showed me what they thought!

Designing the kitchen of the future

The kitchen; the energy hub of the home and a space ripe for innovation as we move rapidly into the age of the Internet of Things. 

As part of my Masters in Design, our cohort was tasked with re-designing the kitchen experience. A brief that was inspired by a collaborative project between IDEO & Lund University and responded to major trends impacting the way we live and cook.  


 Mapping the pain points and delightful elements of the cooking experience. 

Mapping the pain points and delightful elements of the cooking experience. 


Four trends changing the way we cook

 Co-Designing potential solutions in response to the four trends.

Co-Designing potential solutions in response to the four trends.

Waste, specifically the spoiling of fresh produce challenges how much we buy and opens the potential to harvest energy.

Materiality, including the need to design products using natural and sustainable alternatives will put major pressure on cooking.

Space is an increasingly precious commodity. In the future most of us will most likely cook and live in communal environments.

Digital will turn our kitchens into connected eco-systems which will sync and suggest meals and make cooking more inclusive.

Our cohort proposed three design solutions to in response to the opportunities and constraints presented by these trends.


As kitchens get smarter, your refrigerator will know you’re out of yogurt and coffee, and place the order for you
— Paco Underhill, Why We Buy

Honey, I've synced the fridge

The modular, stackable design of our fridge surfaces food, prompting the cook to use foodstuffs available rather than hiding contents behind an opaque metal box. Its hexagonal shape also affords stacking so additional units can be added potentially via 3D printing.

 Unpacking pain points around the traditional fridge and how our proposed design resolves these issues. 

Unpacking pain points around the traditional fridge and how our proposed design resolves these issues. 

 3D render of the proposed fridge.

3D render of the proposed fridge.


Connected cooking made easy

Our induction top addresses waste by syncing with the fridge to suggest recipes, prioritising perishable foods first. 

Using finger print technology the induction top personalises recommendations for each family member and walks them through the cooking process all the way from locating ingredients to collecting compost during clean up. 

 Initial sketches of the smart induction top.

Initial sketches of the smart induction top.

Harvest the heat, reduce the bill

Our dual purpose vertical garden and compost unit saves space by and adds ambiance to the kitchen while also harvesting the heat collected from scraps storing the energy beneath the floor boards in a Tesla battery pack. 

Kinetic energy created by footsteps in the kitchen are also stored and transformed into energy via the Tesla battery and used to power the kitchen appliances including the fridge and induction top.

 Initial sketches of the vertical garden and compost unit.

Initial sketches of the vertical garden and compost unit.

 3D render of the vertical garden and compost unit in action Tesla.

3D render of the vertical garden and compost unit in action Tesla.


Results

 Final 3D render of the Kitchen of the Future.

Final 3D render of the Kitchen of the Future.

The Kitchen of the Future project achieved a High Distinction from The University of New South Wales as it addressed the four trends with innovative and sustainable product design solutions. 

Personally, this was a great project enabling me to explore the intersection of design research, industrial and interaction design.

It also gave me the opportunity develop my sketching, prototyping and rendering skills which are all crucial to the design process. 

*All videos have the permission of participants or feature actors.