Evan Munemura

UCI OCW: Back-end Templates

One of the projects I contributed to whie working at the UCI Extension was a new back-end UI tool designed to assist educators customize web pages to host educational resources. Before starting on this project, UCI professors had no access to designing their course pages in the OpenCourseWare. All courses and lectures were pre-destined to have the same layout. Receving requests from professors initalized the interest to start this project; which my primary role was interaction design.

Design Phase

Since it was in the middle of Spring 2015 quarter, almost every professor associated with the OCW had no available time slots for participating in user research. We had brief Q&A exchanges through emails, but the data became vague when answers like "I want it to be easy-to-use" and "full-control" were focal points to their requirements. Even then, the reply rate for those emails were slow. I did not have much user data to work with.

Nonetheless I still proposed the interaction design. Firstoff, all educators must have a login credentials to change a course. We will supply a user account to our back-end system, but s/he will only have permissions on the back-end to alter the course they are head of. We strived to make the user interface easy to interpret, while also providing feedback for controlled actions. The controls on the left side allowed customization for the layout, colors, text, and links. The right was a window to preview and changes that had been implemented. Unfortunately, The best images I have to exemplify are the early wireframes shown below (the later versions and mockups were left with my director). The main differences between these versions and the final designs are that padding, image background, and layout box transformation were excluded; and the control to add files was included.

Implementation Phase

Due to priority shifts, the project paused implementation after designs were completed. At the time the department was considering rebuilding the layout to correspond with a new direction for establishing a learning community within the OpenCourseWare. The goal in mind was to have hired educators as moderators to monitor the learning progress of the users. The requirements changed to readjust to this new direction. Attention was brought away from the templates, and my next project was to investigate for online peer-learning models. I only got to work a little on the designs before my departure from UCI Extension.