Karen Rustad Tolva

Portfolio > Pulse

Goal: reduce student disengagement and confusion in large university lecture classes.

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Contextual inquiry

Physical context

University lecture model diagrams


Tessa, an enthusiastic, curious sophomore girl; Justin, a bro-ish freshman; Hye-Seong, a shy ESL student; Dr. Olufsen, a tall young-ish faculty member; Dr. Crumplebottom, a grumpy old-fashioned professor emeritus

We developed user stories and personas for our target users: students Tessa, Justin, and Hye-Seong and professors Dr. Olufsen and Dr. Crumplebottom. Eventually we decided to focus on just the students' needs, as they were an audience with more salient needs and more receptivity to new tools.

Paper prototypes

Over the course of the semester we made a series of prototypes from low to high fidelity: sketches to index-card paper prototypes to a Balsamiq demo.

Balsamiq prototype

Other students tried out our prototypes at each stage and we gathered qualitative and quantitative data based on their performance and feedback. We presented our project with a final report and a poster presentation at UC Berkeley's EECS department.