Partico was designed for the makers and makerspaces at the University of Washington.
In a team of 4 students, I was a UX designer. I conducted user research with makers to better understand how potential users would best utilize our app. I was also responsible for wireframing and the finalized visual design of the overall app.
Visual & UI Design
Jan–Mar 2017 (8 weeks)
A makerspace is an open community space that provides access to a wide variety of software, tools, and materials for building projects.
People who use makerspaces are called "makers."
To better understand makers, we specifically sought out to learn about their experiences falling under these three categories.
We interviewed 4 different makers to gather more info on specific troubles encountered while in the makerspace.
Long waiting periods
Makers often wait for long periods of time to use certain equipment or materials, due to limited space and resources.
Steep learning curve
New makers don’t know where to start when trying to learn new equipment, tools, or techniques. It takes a while to pick up speed.
Low awareness of events and social opportunities
On the community side, makers are unaware of social or educational events occurring in the space. But at the same time, makers want to meet other makers in the space.
Reduce waiting periods for makerspace equipment.
Concentrate resources, info, and help in one place for increased ease access.
Encourage makers to engage with their community through shared knowledge.
In our user research phase, we discovered that there are usually two types of makers:
The STEM career-oriented maker and the creative, hobby-oriented maker.
As a whole, makers lean towards the STEM/career-oriented mindset. Creative hobbyist makers are less common. We strived to create a resource to serve both parties that represent the makerspace in its entirety.
We narrowed in on designing a mobile app to address makers' needs and points of friction in the makerspace.
After sketching and ideating, my group established three cornerstone design decisions for Partico. Then, we drew storyboards of those main use cases.
A place for makers to browse all tools available in the makerspace.
+ Waitlist system: Sign up in advance to use in-demand equipment.
A platform for makers to reach out to staff and other makers for help.
A personal resource section for learning at one's own convenience.
Moving forward from scenarios and design decisions, we fleshed out the information architecture of Partico. Using the IA, we then made wireframes and tested a low-fidelity prototype with three makers to gather feedback and iterate on Partico's design.
Introducing Partico, the app made for makers at the University of Washington.
Through Partico, makers can access makerspace equipment and educational resources such as one-on-one help from makerspace staff and other makers.
To my group members, Mackenna Lees, Kelly Xu, and Mike Eacker.
To Tyler Fox, my professor-turned-life-mentor and friend.