User Onboarding & Dashboards – FIRST®

Usability evaluation, report of findings with recommendations, Prototyping & Usability Testing

About this project

FIRST® is a non-profit organization that inspires young people to be science and technology leaders through 4 age based robotics programs. These programs involve volunteer adult members to lead and support youth teams as well as event based activities. 

My Involvement

I was brought in under a compressed schedule to evaluate and improve the user experience for the logged in user portion of the website. This is where teams are created and managed as well as where volunteers and youth members enroll and manage their participation. The catalyst for this effort was that the Team Registration section  (less than 1 year old) had received negative feedback from users due to accumulated difficulties getting teams and participants ready for that ensuing season. 

Usability Evaluation

The purpose of the review was to identify areas that contribute to poor usability of the current design, to provide an organized list of issues, their relative severity as it pertains to user experience, and to identify recommended mitigation strategies. 

Task flow creation

After reviewing the site, it was necessary to reevaluate the workflows for various key tasks. This was done through white board sessions with Product Owners and Lead Developers to incorporate business requirements as well as feasibility and risk. By mapping these out, it was then possible to refine them to improve the user experience by eliminating unnecessary steps. 

Prototype Creation

Due to the compressed schedule, concepts were created directly in the prototype tool surpassing formal wireframes. High visibility and regular review diminished the risk of getting off track to more than acceptable levels. 


I used Axure for this and created a responsive design that supported three layouts including mobile. By using an interactive prototype, we were able to iterate through the review process faster and we’d be one step closer to needs for usability testing.

Usability Testing

I recruited 5-8 users for usability testing of the subsections of the website. I worked with product owners to identify the key tasks and what we wanted to learn from the testing. After which, I created a moderator guide that scripted the task flow and follow up questions.

The testing was performed remotely using GoToMeeting, a combination of role based user accounts seeded in a development build and the UX Design prototype. Fortunately, several key stakeholders were able to observe the testing which turned out to be quite valuable during the debrief. I recorded each test session and captured observations in a spreadsheet.

After the testing was completed, all findings and observations were distilled into a formal report for each specific section of the website that was being tested. The output was reviewed with the team and any areas we wanted to iterate on were identified, defined, estimated, and prioritized in an agile backlog for future sprint planning.