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Undergraduate Posts: 3

Statement of Interest for HCI Summer Research Program - design thinking

Yrfksha 1 / 1  
Dec 29, 2018   #1
It would be amazing if anyone here would help me out with this! Any feedback is highly appreciated!
I am an international transfer student who has two years background of industrial design and just transferred to Information systems for one semester.

human-computer interaction which integrated design

"You win", when he shook his head facing the Gomoku checkboard, I felt the robot is indeed a human being. The twelve-year-old me standing in front of it, and the seeds of passion for technology were planted deeply in my heart. However, when my mother told me that my grandmother was greeting the "me" in a recorded video, I feel gloomy about the fact that technology has fundamentally improved people's lives but has also created barriers for many old people. I started to think about the instruction from the design thinking will benefit the spread of technology. This spark of interest led me to sign up a Human-computer Interaction course on Coursera where I learned about rapid prototyping, heuristic evaluation, and more. After some extra curriculums showed me an overview of HCI, I am eager to get more involved in this topic.

Bad design is everywhere. However, if we get used to it, people will turn a blind eye. This inspired me to redesign the integrated table and chairs which is called China canteen table commonly in a product studio class. It is old fashioned and has a lot potential improvements. I independently conducted extensive user interviews and questionnaires to understand the users' needs and find out the potential problems. Through my observation and comprehensive data analysis, I built various persona and scenarios and got the students' preferences for the solution I provided. Things didn't go as smoothly as I thought. The idea I expected to adjust the seat's height or material was not welcomed widely. Instead, it was the space utilization issue that students are more inclined to put their backpacks on the chair, which takes up the seat and making many people stand and eat. My solution is to change the structure of the table and add components so that users can flexibly adjust the size of the space as needed. When I introduced my prototype in the canteen, most of students responded positively with friendly advices. The project was also praised by my professor.

During my recent system design project, we combined idea of "find the right person for the right thing" with the topic of sports to create a talent acquisition network application connects middle school to college athletes to offseason coaches more efficiently. When I worked as a system analyst in the group, I joined outcome Analysis discussion, designed project plan and created use-case diagram and behavioral state diagram with UML. Gradually, I realized the importance of understanding HCI. A well-designed user interface can reduce the coding costs, bring an easier user training process and can also increase sales. I proposed ideas that coaches can filter applications by aspects such as state, position, skill sets, specific attributes decide the candidate list. Furthermore, without a message module in this app, the system will automatically send the player tryout information which will simplify the process and encourage the face-to-face conversation.

I am fascinated with the vast amount of possibilities for human-computer interaction which integrated design, technology and behavior science. The focus of designer was expanded from pursuing visual aesthetics of software or hardware to discover the unmet needs and pursuing a creative version with both aesthetics and desirable. I am striving to be this sort of role in the society. This summer research program provides me with a great opportunity to better know how the original study was performed and to explore my career fields. The interest is growing up to a passion for immersing the field by getting a master's degree in HCI from xxx University. I believe my interdisciplinary experience in design, business, and information technology will bring in new perspectives and allow me to contribute positively to the HCII Summer Research Program at xxx University.

Holt [Contributor] - / 7,485 1927  
Dec 31, 2018   #2
Yuru, the first part of your essay is confusing. I was confused as to whether you started these Coursera courses at the age of 12 or later on in your life. I believe you need to clarify that part of the essay so as to avoid any confusion on the part of the reviewer. What you can do is advance your age to represent why you became interested in HCI Coursera courses. Think of the first time you enrolled in a course. What age were you? What led you to seek out Coursera in particular? What was that course? If possible remove the part about the canteen chair design. It removes the interest of the reviewer from the HCI aspect and diverts it to an unrelated situation. Keep your presentation consistent. HCI all the way. Bad design discussions should be limited to relevant topics such as the UI of Google Chrome or Windows and what it can be considered a bad design. Stick to the topic in order to properly highlight your skills and understanding of the relevance of HCI to the summer program.
OP Yrfksha 1 / 1  
Dec 31, 2018   #3
Thank you so much for your time and effort! I will clarify the part of Coursera courses. I think you are right about to keep HCI all the way. However, here is what I thought about the canteen chairs part. Because I have't done any related UI/UX project, only talking my thoughts about UI of Google Chrome or Windows would be shallow or unpersuasive. The example of canteen chairs included the user experience research which is a part of HCI. So I tried to relate HCI to what I have done as much as possible. Which do you think is better?

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