Design Brief

Finding a solution to create a better system to further enhance student health at Carnegie Mellon University

Problem: Our client, Carnegie Mellon University's Health and Counseling services (UHS) wanted to improve their systems for enhancing student health. Our goal was to find a way to implement new processes and technology that could improve the delivery of services in order to help students achieve better health.

Solution: Through various user research methods, we provided a solution to implement a system that provides dynamic wait-time estimations at UHS for walk-in and scheduled appointments.

For this project, our team conducted user research through interviews, consolidated research findings, formed insights, and created design ideas based on our research findings.

Project Details

Role: User Researcher
Project Type: User-Centered Research and Evaluation
Teammates: Safinah Ali, Michael Anderson, Smarth Bahuguna, Jerome Zhong
Platform: Mobile
Tools: Sketch, InDesign
Timeline: 7 weeks


Our Research Process

Observations and interpretations

Our team interviewed 5 CMU students (our main stakeholders) and asked them to walk through their overall experience at the health services. We also asked them about their overall thoughts on health services, healthcare resources from within and outside of CMU, and their overall thoughts on healthcare treatment. 

For each interview, our team went over each interview, forming a collaborative interpretation session. We generated many notes that were valuable for us and built a flow model, a cultural model, and a sequence model to map out the interactions, the workflow and the value influence.


Affinity diagram

We created an affinity diagram to organize our observations to reveal common issues across the stakeholders. By organizing key issues, the diagram helped to show the scope of the problem while showing places with opportunities for design ideas. It also helped reveal holes in the data for further inquiry. 


 Affinity Diagram

Affinity Diagram


Model consolidations

We consolidated the models by bringing all the individual data together to build one set of models that represent the whole customer population.



"Walking the wall"

Using a technique called "walking the wall", we revisited the affinity diagram and the consolidated models by writing down any questions, ideas, and breakdowns that we identified. We put these ideas and issues on sticky notes and put them on our models. 



Keeping the design ideas and key issues in mind, our team came together to create some visions where we used improv techniques to develop concepts of a future product. 

We evaluated each vision, listing the positive and negative aspects of our ideas. We noted what would work well for the users based on the data and if it would be technologically possible while fitting with the organization. We also noted what wouldn't fit the data while constantly looking for holes and questions that the vision brought up about the situation. 

 Some of the visions

Some of the visions



We further analyzed the visions to identify areas of uncertainty and risks. In the end, we created 13 storyboards that could provoke reactions that would illuminate the areas of uncertainty. 

With the storyboards, we gathered users' reactions to our ideas. We explained the process by showing the users each of our storyboards individually and asked them to question themselves: "Could you see yourself in the story?". We collected all the reactions to the storyboards and then iterated our concepts based on their feedback.

 Storyboards used for speed dating

Storyboards used for speed dating