Creating Australia’s Largest Makerspace Network
Executive level initiative to re-position Makerspaces into common University resources (rather than Faculty owned) to promote cross-faculty integration and increase entrepreneurship.
To date, multiple arbitrary online and paper systems had been used to facilitating bookings, records keeping and self promotion.
As Digital and UX Lead I undertook research, product requirements, wireframing, design, branding and front end development for this mobile and desktop portal. Working closely with the project manager, I developed a suite of visual designs for a network of websites that allowed wider and safer access to workshops for university students.
The online portal increased usage by 35% in the first 2 months and facilitated a 70% rise in inter-faculty research projects in the first 6 months. Significant improvements in ease of access and overall experience were noted in both students and staff.
The portal encouraged cross-faulty pollination, improved WH&S records keeping and created a strong brand amongst the previously-siloed Makerspaces.
- User research
- Competitive analysis
- Persona creation
Primary research – interviews – with multiple stakeholders gave valuable insight into the complex requirements of the portal. Four distinct personas – students, technical staff, academic staff and external stakeholders – emerged and gave insight into divergent requirements. Competitive analysis uncovered the unique nature of the portal within the higher education space, which fed into the branding phase of the project.
- Business goals and customer needs
- Product definition workshops
- Define MVP features
- Develop user stories
Taking stock of user needs and pain points, together with business goals helped define the MVP. Running product definition workshops uncovered high level requirements, prioritised and then distilled them into the true MVP feature list. Hard academic calendar deadlines resulted in the creation of a phased release plan.
- User Flows
- Hi- and lo-fidelity wireframes
- User Interface design
- User testing
Wireframing, prototyping and interface design using Sketch and InVision allowed for rapid iteration based on user and stakeholder feedback. Wireframes and designs were revisited, improved upon and re-tested regularly.
UI Design, Branding & Gamification
- User interface design
- Training badge and module logo design
I created a training badge system to promote a gamified approach to learning and upskilling. As well as creating a fun and engaging way to learn, this served the purpose of tracking WH&S records for staff, machine access levels and enabling a mentorship program.
The user interface design needed to tightly adhere to strict University brand guidelines. ‘Australia’s Largest Makerspace Network’ captured the spirit and ambition of the project.
- Comprehensive software training videos for staff
- Developer hand-off
- Front-end development
- Prioritisation workshops
- QA / testing
Working closely with the development team to ensure that functionality and UI met MVP standards. Continual re-prioritisation of tasks, risk mitigation, monitoring, resource management and QA testing. Workshops with developers, department leaders, product owners and operations managers to ensure smooth development process and clear communications across the business.