2.1 | Defining our research questions

How we defined our research questions.

The cultural probes

In order to define the problem, we needed to synthesize the data we achieved through the cultural probes and the expert interview. We began with the cultural probes by laying all of the tasks from all five probes in five respective piles and go through all of the answers one pile at the time while systematizing them in a simple form:


Results from the Circle Around the Word task:
– Stupid, Confused, Annoyed
– Confused
– Stupid, Confused, Annoyed
– Boring
– Confused, Satisfied, Smart

Results from the Pick a Face task:
– Bad / sad
– Bad / sad
– Happy
– Happy
– Okay happy

Results from the Expectations while using Communication Platforms task:
– «That» everyone » is on the platform and that it works well. Will also use the one that people are most available on.»
– «That it works properly.»
– «That I get replies quickly and that the platform works well and quickly.»
– «The fact that the platform is fast, can send files, seldom downtime, easy to use, no restrictions on what to share.»
– “Possibility of a group chat, that they are easy to use, that no problems occur while using them. Also, the ability to send more than just text, such as pictures and files. »

Results from the Weekly Basis Communication Platforms task:
– Facebook, Snapchat, SMS, Discord, Instagram, Twitter.
– Discord, Messenger, Snapchat.
– Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Email.
– Facebook, Steam, Discord, Instagram, Snapchat, Canvas, Email, YouTube.
– Facebook / Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat, Vipps chat, in game chat functions like League of Legends Client chat, Email, SMS, YouTube.

Results from the Statements task:
1. «I always know where and when I have lectures thanks to Canvas.»
– Agree
– Neutral
– Strongly disagree
– Agree
– Neutral

2. «It’s easy to organize for group work in Canvas.»
– Neutral
– Strongly disagree
– Disagree
– Neutral
– Strongly disagree

3. «It is easy to respond to messages from teachers / lecturers.»
– Neutral
– Agree
– Disagree
– Disagree
– Disagree

4. «I can find my grades and feedback from my professors in Canvas quickly.»
– Agree
– Strongly agree
– Neutral
– Neutral
– Neutral

Results from the Complete the Sentence task:
«What I wish it was possible to do in Canvas is…»
– “I want a neatly organized Canvas where all subjects have the same structure and name and are in the same language. Better and more explanatory titles would have been nice, too. »
– «Don’t use more than one scroll bar.»
– “Instant chat with teachers.”
– “Organize the website the way you want”
– “Chat functions with those you are working with on group projects + Opportunity for co-writing (better).”

 

When we had gone through all of the probes, we were able to see a few patterns emerging, so our next step was to categorize the probe answers by organizing them in clusters.

The results from the cultural probes, organized in clusters.

Canvas/LMS was the main cluster in the centre from which we derived the results into three sub-clusters; Communication, Emotions, and Wishes/Improvement suggestions.

From Communication, we divided the probe answers further. Many answers brought up features we usually find on social media platforms, such as chat, so obviously we had to have a SoMe sub-cluster, as well as an Expectation sub-cluster. From the probe answers, we noticed that the expectations the people were having to LMS was often connected to the ability to communicate, like file sharing and chatting. Other expectations were connected to the more technological aspect of LMS, such as user-friendliness and stability. Chat functions were also echoed in the Wishes/Improvement suggestions sub-cluster, but this cluster also brought up another exciting suggestion: The possibility to organize the LMS yourself.
For the Emotions cluster, we noticed that a majority of the probe answers were those of negativity when dealing with their current LMS (Canvas).

The expert interview

Trying to synthesize data from the expert interview was a more challenging task, but even here we saw a clear pattern emerging as we analysed the interview.

The expert interview organized in clusters.

We noticed that we could easily divide mr. Bisseberg’s main statements into two major sub-clusters: What is good with Canvas, and what is bad.

The good features are mostly technological, like constant bugfixes and updates, and little downtime, just to mention a few. Should the service be down for some reason, then Canvas can provide good support.
The bad features are often based on the user experience, such as a less than optimal user-friendly design, limitations in regards of co-operating and custom design the LMS for your own needs. «The «one size fits all» doesn’t fit all» statement sums up this aspect rather accurately.  It made us wonder, though: Would it be possible to hold on to everything that makes Canvas a good technical user experience, but simultaneously change and improve upon what makes it bad?

3.2 | Storyboard

About our storyboards.

Just like the scenarios, we went along with having just two storyboards: One for the student’s point of view, and the other for the teacher’s.

The student’s storyboard

The teacher’s storyboard

We tried to just include the most essential scenes from the scenarios in the images in order to make them appear more storyboard-esque, and not like an ordinary comic.

We used the digital services of storyboardthat to make our storyboards.

3.2 | Scenarios

About the scenarios.

We based the scenarios on our personas, introduced in last post. Whereas the personas focused on the target users themselves, the scenarios takes us to hypothetical situations the user is most likely to use our product.

We decided to do two scenarios, instead of three (one for each persona), simply because the student and the high schooler’s personas doesn’t differ that much.

The student’s scenario

Truls is taking a new course in his second year, and the first assignment is a group project. Truls doesn’t know anyone yet from this particular course and has no idea who the people he has ended up with in the group are or how to recognise them during classes. This stresses him, because he doesn’t like to waste time having to look them up on social media and initiate contact there. Fortunately, he has their names, so he logs into the LMS, types in their names in the chat bar and starts a group chat with them, where they agree to meet up in the hallway outside the auditorium at eleven o’clock and discuss their ideas further.

The teacher’s scenario

Jan Kåre has gotten the opportunity to involve digital technology in his lectures, but the software needed is quite new and requires a licence for money. He proposes his idea to the school administration, and they agree it’s an exciting idea. They buy a school licence, and the software is added as a plugin feature on the school’s LMS, easily accessible to Jan Kåre’s pupils.

 

As we can see, the teacher has a far more mod-esque role than the student.

Now, lets try to visualize these scenarios in a storyboard, shall we?

3.2 | Personas

The three ideas we generated in last post further narrowed down our main target groups. We thought the first and the third idea was similar enough to be combined into one «big» idea (or the two sides to the same coin, if you like), so we based the personas, the scenarios and the storyboards mainly around those.  A two-in-one solution, so to speak.

While we conducted our expert interview with mr. Bisseberg, the conversation never strayed from the fact that our main target group was students, but it also made us aware that these students also included users all the way down to elementary school pupils! Another group that was also brought up, was the presence of teachers, professors, and educators. On the account of this information, it felt natural to base our personas on these three users.

Without further ado, let us introduce..

PERSONA 1: THE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE STUDENT

PERSONA 2: THE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT

and last, but not least

PERSONA 3: THE MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER

The personas are an important tool to visualize our main target users and the situations/scenarios in which they will most likely use our product.

Persona template by Alexander Georges.