User Experience Design to Synchronize Government Acquisition Strategy and Schedule; Exploring Human-Centered Design Through Video Games

Stavrinaky, Agni, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Seabrook, Bryn, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Gerling, Gregory, EN-Eng Sys and Environment, University of Virginia

For the technical research portion of this portfolio the client we worked with requested a novel approach to the interface design of project management technologies specific to contract acquisition. This technical project explores the considerations taken and process of creating a design for a platform that provides users with a way to synchronize government acquisition strategy and scheduling. Current tools fail to deliver hands-on support and therefore demand new paradigms to optimize the workflow and scheduling of the projects. To fill this gap, we designed a novel approach to project planning, via a mobile user interface, to synchronize the government acquisition strategy and scheduling. Our approach focuses on visualizing the timeline and progress of tasks in a mass data display. By helping users to identify tasks that can be accomplished simultaneously, and illuminating the connections between activities and people, the display enables personnel to effectively manage a large acquisition project. To evaluate the design’s effectiveness, heuristic evaluations have been conducted with experts in the field and focused on flexibility, learnability, intuitiveness, and ease of use.
The STS research paper consists of a study on how people of different backgrounds learn to use new technologies, whether that be mechanics or general understanding, in a virtual environment. One may analyze this by exploring the influence of prior experience, gamification non-game interfaces, and the learning curve associated with putting forth non-standard interfaces. The informal experiment conducted included observation of subjects with varying gaming experience in order to assess their approach to problem solving in games the subject has never played before. In this experiment, ten university students were approached and asked to play a game they had never played before for 20 minutes each without any assistance from the conductor of the experiment. It was concluded that in general, many different types of people learn through trial and error. Although this approach seems to work for most people, the efficiency of trial and error may be questioned in that there is often a faster way to achieve the same level of understanding.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Human-Centered Design, User Experience, Co-production, Gamification, User Interface

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering
Technical Advisor: Gregory Gerling
STS Advisor: Bryn Seabrook
Technical Team Members: Amber Ecelbarger, Parker Hamlin , Shannon McGrath, Kelechi Nwanevu, Nicholas Smith, Daniel Xu

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