Intern on the Civic Engagement Team
Menlo Park, CA
As an intern on Facebook’s Civic Engagement team, I designed experiences for Facebook’s civic products. This involved researching patterns in Facebook’s users, conducting user testing, and applying these findings to user experiences that increased civic engagement online. These responsibilities called for a high level of collaboration within the product development team, particularly with UX researchers.
The key problem that I helped with solve with research was turning an inaccessible civic product into an accessible product for users with disabilities.
I conducted a series of interviews with blind users who were walked through the product with its new accessibility features. These interviews were non-directed interviews in which I opened the research session with rough guidelines, and then I followed the user’s actions and recorded the ease of use with which the user could access the product. During the interview sessions, I only interjected to ask for further detail or explanation of responses.
One area that I anticipated to be difficult during the interview was predicting the speed of the screenreader that was comfortable for each participant. After consulting with a UX researcher on Facebook’s Accessibility team, I decided to send out a pre-interview survey asking for the preferred speed of screen reader that was comfortable for each user. Therefore, by tailoring the screen reader speed beforehand, I was able to anticipate the user’s needs that might have caused a confounding variable.
The results of these interviews showed that blind users were able to successfully navigate the majority of the new feature, but there was one element of the feature that resulted in a lot of confusion. I concluded that this element should be changed because many users responded with questions about how to move forward with the feature.
To present these findings, I designed an affinity diagram to showcase user’s common responses and thematically organize them by incorporating key words and quotes taken directly from the interviews. The impact of this study was that the product team went back and redesigned the feature to address the inaccessible element so that blind users will be able to navigate the feature with ease.