Charlotte Lee and Drew Paine Participate in the College of Engineering STEM Bridge program

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

This article was originally posted on the CSC Lab blog.
Museology Director Krist Morrissey explains how an exhibit curator designs the presentation of a piece to two Bridge students while touring the UW Burke Museum.

Museology Director Krist Morrissey explains how an exhibit curator designs the presentation of a piece to two Bridge students while touring the UW Burke Museum.

Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) Professor and Computer Supported Collaboration (CSC) Lab Director Charlotte Lee and PhD student and CSC Lab member Drew Paine recently had the opportunity to work with four incoming engineering and science students as part of the College of Engineering STEM Bridge program. The Bridge program provides incoming engineering and science students from backgrounds that are traditionally under-represented in STEM fields with a four week transition to college life. For two of the four weeks the students have hands on research experience in University of Washington research labs. The CSC lab was fortunate to be able to work with four of these students on a human-centered design project during the last two weeks of August before the start of the Autumn 2012 quarter.

Partnering with the University of Washington's Museology Master of Arts Program we guided these students in designing a mobile computer mediated communication application that encourages museum visitors to share their experience and perspectives on their museum visit. The four students learned about the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering, the human-centered design process, and Visitor Studies. As a part of the student's introduction to HCDE and the UW we arranged for Jim Borgford-Parnell of the Center for Engineering Learning & Teaching to discuss working in teams and how to make the most of your college learning experience. On Thursday August 23rd Tom Satwicz of Blink Interactive visited and shared the user research process that takes place in industry. Using all of this rapidly gained knowledge the students worked to design a mobile application.

Through our partnership with Museology we selected the Henry Art Gallery's visiting exhibit The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl as the research site for the student's project. The four CSC Bridge students toured the exhibit with the Henry's curator while examining how visitors experience the exhibit. With the guidance of CSC lab manager Drew Paine they developed paper prototypes of the mobile apps functionality that were reviewed with Museology experts and iterated upon.

By the end of the two weeks, in only four afternoons the students designed an application concept that encourages museum exhibit visitors to learn a bit about the exhibit before visiting, log the pieces they do visit, and share their thoughts and impressions of the pieces they did visit with friends. The student's goal for the application was to encourage visitors to share their experiences and interpretations of pieces while not distracting from the in-person experience of visiting the museum exhibit itself.

The Bridge students worked through experience of their paper prototypes using the CSC whiteboard. The CSC Bridge students conduct a design review with Kris Morrissey and Jessica Luke of UW Museology in the Burke Classroom.
The Bridge students worked through experience of their paper prototypes using the CSC whiteboard. The CSC Bridge students conduct a design review with Kris Morrissey and Jessica Luke of UW Museology in the Burke Classroom.

By the end of their experience in CSC lab the four Bridge students were able to articulate the different perspectives on design that they learned and how human-centered design applies to all of their different intended majors. The CSC lab wishes the four excellent students the best of luck in their undergraduate careers and looks forward to working with new students again next year.

The CSC lab would like to express many thanks to the people who worked diligently to make this a successful, exciting experience for the students:

  • Scott Pinkham of the College of Engineering
  • Yur√≠ana Garcia, the student's peer advisor
  • Kris Morrissey, Jessica Luke, and Nick Vischer of UW Museology
  • The Henry Art Gallery, especially Rachael Faust and Luis Croquer
  • Jim Borgford-Parnell of the Center for Engineering Learning & Teaching
  • Tom Satwicz of Blink Interactive
  • Brook Sattler, HCDE PhD Candidate
  • The Museology graduate students who provided feedback at the student's final presentation.