UX/UI-design & User tests

UX/UI-design & User tests

Everlasting Runes

Everlasting Runes

Client

Riksantikvarieämbetet

Brief

Help Riksantikvarieämbetet finish design sketches and conduct user tests on their new digital research platform for Sweden’s runic inscriptions, called Everlasting Runes (Swedish: "Evighetsrunor").

Time

Oct 2019 – May 2020

Tools used

- Adobe Xd
- Sketch
- InVision
- Lookback
- Typeform
- Slack / Skype Business / E-mail

My role & work

Consultant (Visby & Uppsala)
- UI-design
- Create prototypes
- Setup user tests
- Analyze & summerize user test results

About the client & the project

The Swedish National Heritage Board (in Swedish: Riksantikvarieämbetet) is Sweden’s central administrative agency for cultural heritage. The office was instituted on 20 May 1630 and is, therefore, one of Sweden’s oldest government agencies.

Riksantikvarieämbetet is releasing a new digital research and information platform, called Evighetsrunor, about rune stones and rune inscriptions.

Rune stone big

The work process

The work process

From design sketches, prototyping and user tests to documentation and analysis of the user test results.

From design sketches, prototyping and user tests to documentation and analysis of the user test results.

image_UI_raa

UI-design

UI-design

I started off by moving all existing designs from one platform to another: from Adobe Xd to Sketch. I also planned and implemented missing design functions and improvements.

Areas I implemented were: search, search filter, map view, and a presentation page for specific objects.

Prototype two scenarios

Prototype two scenarios

The client decided on two different and typical user search scenarios. As a first step, I laid out the “prototype flow” so the client could easily see the various steps. Once it was approved, I prototyped them in preparation for upcoming user tests. In that way, we did not need to have the whole platform ready, but only the most important and most likely most common functions prepared.

The two scenarios were;
1. Where do you find baptismal fonts with rune
   inscriptions from the 10th-11th century?
2. Search for scripts with the name “Holm” within
   Vallentuna district.

I created the prototypes in Sketch with minor fixes in InVision.

Prototype flow
raa_prototype
image_usertest-recording-raa

User tests

I planned, structured, and scoped the setup for completely digital, accessible user tests, in compliance with the new restrictions and work procedures due to Covid-19.

I also created a digital form/survey to document testers’ feedback on the prototyped research platform and provided quantitative research questions for the testers to provide various types of feedback, including both simple ratings and longer, descriptive, in-depth answers. I used Lookback for video recording and Typform for the questionnaire.

See and read more in depth description of the process, by reading about my “User test Process”, here.

Analyzed user test result

Analyzed user test result

Studied, transcribed, analyzed, and synthesized the quantitative data and users’ behaviors from the video recordings and surveys.

See and read more here.

User test result
User test documentation

User test result, documentation, and meetings

User test result, documentation, and meetings

During my time working with Riksantikvarieämbetet, I prepared and led meetings to share the results and insights from the user test results.

At the end, I created a client-friendly package/document to deliver to the client, including all of the data, results, and insights based on user tests. In addition, I had a meeting with the next UX-designer and handed over all material and documents, along with having a meeting, telling him all information I knew and could remember when working on this project.

Presentation

Slides/images from a presentation I did on responsive design.

image_usertest-documet

A few pages from the final user test document I sent to client.

Challenges

Challenges

The project started in January of 2017

The project started in January of 2017

I started working on the platform in October 2019, which means it was towards the end of the project period. Therefore, my expectations as a UX-designer, as given to me by the client, were a bit different since I was coming in towards the end of the project. My expectations, in this case, were to begin with the design immediately. I sometimes experienced a gap and a lack of a deeper understanding and research for some areas since I came in at the end.

Design choices & taste

Design choices & taste

When working in someone else's design, it is sometimes a challenge. I have to admit, I would have made other design choices if I were to have designed the design concept. 

Several UX-designers were involved before me

Several UX-designers were involved before me

We are all humans with our own ways of working on projects and in various software tools. Looking back, it would have been good for me to have requested a more thorough walk-through of the already completed designs from previous designers or to have requested more information. Unfortunately the former designers were no longer working there.

We are all humans with our own ways of working on projects and in various software tools. Looking back, it would have been good for me to have requested a more thorough walk-through of the already completed designs from previous designers or to have requested more information. Unfortunately the former designers were no longer working there.

Covid-19

Covid-19

Never had I ever thought a pandemic would have caused a disruption in the user test process. But, as it became apparent that I could not conduct the tests as planned, I adjusted. Instead of meeting with the user test persons, I conducted everything remotely and 100% online. I had to rethink software and create a setup to be used in a different way than I had originally planned.

The outcome/result

The outcome / result

The platform was released December 3rd, 2020 and you can find it live here. You can also read about the digital release event here.

image_released-runor

Design & the user test result

Design & the user test result

The styleguide is made by the Art Director (AD) at Riksantikvarieämbetet, which I followed. When there were new components needed, I asked the AD for those, and sometimes sketched some on my own.

The sketches are based on a search process, where the user can filter the search, get a result list, and get furter information about a specific rune stone/inscription when clicking in the result list.

Three different people conducted the user tests with the two different scenarios. Out of the three people and the two scenoarios, all of them managed to finish Scenario 2 without any major disruptions. In Scenario 1, there was one person who decided to end the test early due to confusion, whilst the other two finished it. The reason why one person did not finish it could be because of what kind of scenario it was and the background the person had based on experience.

However, a deeper analysis was documented about the situation, and a discussion during meetings afterward with my client was held where we discussed how to prevent anyone from missing out on some functions. This is why user tests are so good - you see where the user experience nees to improve and/or change! The user test people where also grading the various areas on the platform and following grades were given:

Search: 5.7 of 10
Filter: 8.7 of 10
Search result list: ​6.7 of 10
Map: 8 of 10
Object page: 7.7 of 10

In general, a pretty good average, but with some areas that could be improved. As described above, all the answers, feedback, ideas, and grading were summarized and handed over to client in a 26 page document. 

What I have learned

What I have learned

#1

It is of the utmost importance to create a thorough UX-design process before starting with the UI-design. In that way, you do not have to face questions such as, where a specific button should be placed, since it is already planned out in an earlier phase. In the end, so much time is saved with proper research and well designed wireframes.

#2

When conducting completely digital user tests, where the test people are on their own, it is possible to have time to test more than first planned. However, it is imperative to be sure that there is ample time to analyze all the tests.

#3

It is important to have a good handover, with a clear walk-through, from one UX-designer to the next in order to minimize possible misunderstandings or to be able to ask questions.

#4

Communication and consistency is of the utmost importancec, specially when working remotely.

#5

Covid-19 sucks. But it forces and challenges you to be creative.

Final words

Final words

It has been a great experience working on the project Everlasting Runes, not only for the fun of doing user tests, but to also learn more in general about the Swedish cultural heritage, meet interesting people in Visby, in addition to taking on all of the responsibilities of working as a consultant. I have grown not only professionally, but also on a personal level.

Selected Works

Everlasting RunesUX/UI-design & User tests

Construction companyUX/UI-design

Various ClientsUX-processes

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