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Designing and Researching For Hardware

At NETGEAR, I designed the software counterparts for a variety of hardware products, including: 

  • Routers (Nighthawk)
  • Mesh Home Network Routers (Orbi)
  • Network Attached Storage (ReadyNAS)
  • Networking Hardware (Access Points, Smart Switches)

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Some projects involved designing on-device software such as the Router GUI. Other projects involved designing software solutions that leveraged cloud-based technology. With my past experiences in human-computer interaction research, I also took on the role of a user experience researcher and facilitated user research for the projects that were lead by my fellow design teammates.

 

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Building A Versatile Research Lab

I set-up two mobile usability labs for NETGEAR's San-Jose (CA, USA) and Richmond (BC, Canada) offices. Any meeting room could be converted to a usability lab in under 15 minutes using appropriate lab equipment. The lab set-up supported both in-person usability test sessions and remote usability test sessions. Their portability also meant conducting off-site usability tests was easily achievable. 

UX Research Activities

Active engagement was an important part of introducing design research to a company that was in the early stages of establishing a user-centered design culture. I encouraged cross-department communication by actively seeking out contacts and identifying any potential problem gaps that research can add value to. This effort resulted in my colleagues actively engaging with me when they encounter relevant research questions and referring the UX team's research lab to other coworkers needing assistance.

Within a span of 5 months, I independently conducted close to 20 successful studies that fell under the following areas:

  • moderated usability testing (remote & in-person)
  • unmoderated usability testing (using tools such as Usertesting.com, Zoom, Loop11)
  • A/B Testing, 5 Second Test, Click Test (Usability Hub)
  • surveys (Survey Monkey)
  • interviews
  • card-sorting (Optimal Workshop)
  • persona research
  • cognitive walkthrough
  • system usability scale (SUS)
  • net promoter score (NPS)
  • analytics (Google Analytics, AppSee)
  • mix-method studies

 

Data Analysis & Presentation

In addition to producing traditional reports and presentations, I explored using visual analytics tools such as Power Bi and Tableau to create interactive dashboards to communicate user research results to stakeholders more effectively.

 

 

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