Fresno State UX Research

Skills: UX Research | Mixed Methods Surveys | Focus Groups | Report Writing | User Personas

I organized and led a campus-wide user experience research project at Fresno State University in partnership with the campus's Technology Services department. My team was consulted to analyze the current state of the student digital experience, identify user pain points, and create research artifacts with a comprehensive research report for stakeholders. 
The Process
With my Cal State Innovate team, I developed a three-pronged approach to gather data to answer research questions: an online survey, on-campus focus groups, and in-person user observations using digital devices. Data collection took places between November 2022 and January 2023. Our research team was comprised of myself, another UX designer, and a teams of interns. 
Online Survey
We designed an online survey that was delivered to a sample of 5,000 students identified by Fresno State’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness. 315 students completed the survey between November 2022-January 2023.The survey was comprised of 24 questions ranging from open response, satisfaction scales, Likert scales, and matrices. From the results, we obtained quantitative and qualitative data on students' digital preferences and behaviors to illuminate their student experience.  
Focus Groups
My team arranged an on-campus visit to conduct person focus groups to listen to student narratives and ask more questions about their devices preferences and digital service usage. Participants were recruited by social media, referrals by faculty, and guerrilla marketing like tabling. I facilitated four focus groups with 38 participants altogether. in November 2023. Afterward, I transcribed recordings, coded responses, and tracked patterns from the sessions to arrange more qualitative and anecdotal data. 
To get further insight into student processes and workflows, the team conducted user observations to get a glimpse into the steps students follow to complete common tasks of the student digital experience. A sample of such tasks included: registering for classes, checking grades, paying bills, and scheduling academic advising appointments. 
Utilizing the interns team as participants, I trained and coached two UX interns to lead peer observations and develop three separate UX visualizations to chart students’ experiences: empathy maps, journey maps, and flowcharts.
A flowchart with 17 steps describing a workflow to register for classes

Flowchart of "Register for Classes" task; created on FigJam

User Personas
From the focus groups and observations, I developed three distinct user personas as archetypes to generate empathy and illuminate the various views and needs of the users surveyed. Two personas represented typical users with specific use cases while one was an atypical user to encourage inclusive design thinking as teams moved into the prototype and design phases.
User Persona 1 - "Laura"
User Persona 1 - "Laura"
User Persona 2 - "Bianca"
User Persona 2 - "Bianca"
User Persona 3 - "David"
User Persona 3 - "David"
Research Report
Between February and March 2023, I synthesized the aforementioned data to write a comprehensive research report summarizing findings, provided design recommendations to their in-house designers and developers, and offered key performance indicators (KPIs). I presented the report and summary of research to key stakeholders that included the campus CIO and other administrators for funding. 
Unfortunately a copy of the research report is property of the California State University system and California State University, Fresno. For specific questions regarding research methods or findings, please contact me

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