Creating a Faculty Resource Center: Unlocking the Potential of UX Design

Concurrent Session 5
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

Participants will explore the process of creating a faculty resource center while utilizing User Experience (UX) design methodology.  In this session we will explore the methods and tools available to effectively execute the research, design, and testing necessary for a successful project.




Dr Sean Nufer is the Director of Teaching and Learning at TCS Education System, and an associate adjunct professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and Pacific Oaks College.

Extended Abstract

User Experience (UX) design is very important in the tech world, and can be a valuable resource in education.  The purpose of UX design is to enhance the user experience (in this case, a professor or course developer) so that the interface and product are the best they can be.  The better the interface, the more likely the user will interact with the product.  When designing a product such as a faculty resource center, the ultimate goal is for the user experience to be fun and easy.  We can utilize UX design principles to facilitate the user’s exploration of the platform from landing page to asset, while making the process as streamlined and intuitive as possible.  A well designed interface increases the chances that users will continue to adopt the product. 

The basic framework of UX design revolves around user research, design, and testing.  Although a great idea may be enough to set an initiative into motion, it is imperative that research consist of reaching out to an audience or target users, listening to their feedback, and learning as much as possible about their needs and expectations.  In this session, we will begin by exploring the concept of personas as we construct a representation of our users as real people with motivations for utilizing our product.  We will paint a picture of how a persona would interact with the product and navigate the features and functionality.

The development and refinement of personas lead to user testing and design.  When employing the UX process, design is not about aesthetics or artistic elements; it is about functionality – how the product works.  We will discuss various elements of UX design: user stories, scenario maps, card sorting activities, flow charts, and wireframing.  Each of these elements is an evolution in the design process, and the progressive iteration allows the developers to stay focused on: why the product is being developed, why people will want to use it, and why it is important and valuable.

The research and design portions of the UX design process give life to the project as they create a theme and tell a story.  The final part of the UX process that we will discuss is product testing and observations.  When all the components come together, then you are ready to release a viable product that will be impactful and important. 

In addition to examining the UX process in this session, we will also review important best practices and lessons learned from creating our faculty resource center.  Participants will gain insights about how a good understanding of UX design can make their projects dynamic and effective. During the Q&A portion of the session, we will discuss unique challenges and issues that exist in the field of education and how UX design can be impactful at different institutions.