UX Design: Learning Journal Matthew Sterner-Neely

Week 1: The Basics

Figure 1: I'm in the Dark

Initial Thoughts

The picture below says it all. When I searched for "intimidating" on the site, I found this. It took me a longer time than I wanted to create and finish my personas, mainly because the philosophy behind the development of personas is a bit contrary to how we, as educators approach students -- that is, we tend to look at our students individually (or at least that is the hope). I will explain as I move through this week's journal.

Figure 2: Obviously Me -- Surrounded by Daunting Adobe Apps

Week 1 Takeaways

Figure 3: Takeaways -- Because It's a Burger
  1. UX = User Experience
  2. UI - User Interface (Bear with me. I am new.)
  3. I went outside of the course material to take a look at this. This is what I found:

Persona = “A persona represents a cluster of users who exhibit similar behavioral patterns in their purchasing decisions, use of technology or products, customer service preferences, lifestyle choices, and the like. Behaviors, attitudes, and motivations are common to a "type" regardless of age, gender, education, and other typical demographics. In fact, personas vastly span demographics” (O’Conner, 2011).


My thoughts about this: Despite that O’Connor says that these span demographics, ignoring demographics tends to essentialize the experiences of those people who are traditionally marginalized. This the opposite of what should happen in education, at least from a culturally relevant pedagogical standpoint (Ladson-Billings, 2014).

I get that the attempt is to provide optimal customer experiences, but students are not customers, and this implies a capitalistic form of interest in stakeholders. Education should not be capitalistic (Freire, 1970; Giroux, 2004).


  1. What am I missing here? What about UX design and personas am I not picking up?
  2. Am I essentializing my students when I create personas? Is the data enough to eliminate essentialization? I don't know, but I am paying attention!

My App Idea: Institutional Alignment

Figure 5: Figuring out What APPlies

If I am attempting to align business goals with user goals, and if the "business" in Pueblo Community College, and the "users" are students, the following institutional "goal" applies (Pueblo Community College, 2017):


Pueblo Community College will develop a learning environment that helps students acquire the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary for advanced education, successful careers, and personal growth.

STRATEGY 2: Deliver comprehensive and integrated academic support services that improve student persistence and completion

My App Idea: The Beginnings

Mentoring and advising through mobile solutions. In this app, students will be able to self-advise, connect to support services, and even figure out where they are on campus.

My First Attempt

Figure 6: Me as a Persona

Take Two

Figure 7: iPad Version
Figure 8: Web Version
Figure 9: iPhone X Version

Final Reflection: Week 1

Figure 10: Reflection of an Ugly Duckling
  • Regarding my own insecurities: I have a great deal to learn about this. I am treading water, but that's okay. I can do this. I have never been afraid of learning!! I fear that I am missing a great deal, but that's okay too. I am squarely seated in the Zone of Proximal Development!
  • Regarding the live lessons: I am finding that I get more if I watch them after the fact. I can watch multiple versions, skip ahead and go back as needed, and I can work through something if I need to. Great lessons!
  • Regarding the learning journals: I am implementing these in class when I return to school next week! These are wonderful!

Week 2: User Testing

An Update:

Figure 11: Something New

My app idea has changed -- I have discovered a need in my department to assist on boarding of new part-time and full-time faculty. Too often, we hand off a textbook and keys and tell teachers where their classes are. This app will provide key, immediate resources for new faculty. Following this are two new user profiles that align with this reworking of the app.

New User Profiles

Figure 12: Part-Time Faculty Persona
Figure 13: Full-Time Faculty Member

Week Two Takeaways

  • I am not the user! The user matters! (Okay, I already knew this based on my own experiences!)
  • User testing will take multiple tries.
  • I have no idea how to use XD (but I am learning)

Week 2 Process & Products

Figure 13: Testing

I began with my partner, who is a new part-time teacher at my institution this fall. I identified a number of areas and sub areas that might be helpful to have unhand, and she came up with the following:

Figure 14: First User Test

After this, I tooth design and ran it past a number of my new(er) colleagues. The final product looked like this:

Figure 15: Final User Test Product

Upon importing these categories and elements into XD, the flow looks like this:

Figure 16: User Flow

Week 2 Reflection

Figure 17: A Mountain to Climb

I don't really understand how XD works with this. I don't even know if I have done this correctly or not. In all honesty, I had to download the example file to even copy and paste the arrows since I have no idea how to make them in XD. I welcome feedback on especially this, since I have watched the lecture several times and the US version of the class as well. My ongoing/developing questions are as follows:

  1. Am I developing the content as I should be?
  2. Am I using XD as I should be?

I realize I am new to this, so there is a learning curve, but should the curve be this steep, or am I just overthinking it? I tend to do that sometimes. :-)

Week 3: Wireframe Prototypes

Figure 17: Just a Frame.


  1. Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Academic.
  2. Giroux, H. A. (2004). Critical pedagogy and the postmodern/modern divide: Towards a pedagogy of democratization. Teacher Education Quarterly, 31(1), 31-47.
  3. Ladson-Billings, G. (2014). Culturally relevant pedagogy 2.0: a.k.a. the remix. Harvard Educational Review, 84(1), 74-84.
  4. O'Connor, K. (2011). Personas: The foundation of a great user experience. Retrieved from https://uxmag.com/articles/personas-the-foundation-of-a-great-user-experience
  5. Pueblo Community College. (2017). Destination 2022: Imperatives for student success. Retrieved from http://www.pueblocc.edu/Destination-2022.pdf
Created By
Matthew Sterner-Neely


Created with images by Susan Yin - "untitled image" • Clint McKoy - "Evening Stars" • aitoff - "lego storm trooper" • Fabrice Thys - "Burger" • qimono - "question mark knowledge question" • Gilles Lambert - "man on a smartphone" • PublicDomainPictures - "beautiful bird blue" • geralt - "board up-to-date updates news message breaking news" • skeeze - "eyeglasses exam optometry vision eyesight medical health" • Landon Arnold - "Road Less Traveled" • MR1313 - "frame photo frame portrait"

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