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The final project for the Usability Engineering class that I took as a graduate student was to pick a product, design and conduct multiple usability tests, and present the findings. My group and I wanted to test a game that a colleague had developed and give him the feedback so that he could make useful updates. For my portion of the project, I decided to do a Think Aloud or Walk Thru usability test. To complete this usability test, I used Open Broadcaster Software to record the participants and capture their movements on the screen while they completed specific tasks, such as “Start a new game in level 1” and “Complete the tutorial”. I really enjoyed this project and usability test. Most of the users that I worked with for this usability test enjoyed participating; however, they found it difficult to talk through their thoughts as they completed the tasks.



One of the classes I took as a graduate student was called Innovative Ideation. To get into the class, you had to apply, and only 18 students were accepted – six art students, six business students, and six engineering students. All of the assignments and projects for the class were completed in groups of three, with one student from each discipline. The semester long project was to learn about seniors in the area and to design a product or service that would improve their quality of life.

After meeting with residents at a nursing home and speaking with members at the senior center, we concluded that the simple task of getting from place to place becomes increasingly difficult as you age. We have a bus system in Bozeman, but it doesn’t go everywhere in town and it definitely isn’t personalized. There is also a program called Galavan for seniors and individuals with disabilities that still only offers limited resources. Another concern for seniors is loneliness, especially if they’re no longer able to drive. The service we came up with was, in essence, Uber tailored for seniors. We called it “Sidekick”. Sidekicks would be registered nurses who were looking for a little more flexibility in their work schedule. The customer could call or book time online to be picked up, and the Sidekick would help them run the errands they needed to accomplish – grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, or even a run to Target.