I'm trying something different and creating a living document for my design explorations and solutions partnering with NCSU. I will be updating this page regularly, so please check back if you find any interest here. Designs are currently in Discovery.

One thing I love about UX is that no matter what terminology we are speaking the solution will eventually break down into common patterns. For example, the first day I started working with the team of mathematicians, it was very apparent that we were speaking different languages. Eventually, we got to a place where I was able to equate 'instruments' to documentation and 'synthesis groups' to filtering options.  There are many challenges with this project. Design sessions are brief but effective with agendas and we keep the momentum flowing through our Slack channel and assigning any tasks through Asana. I love the challenge of diving into things I do not understand and bringing simplicity to the complex.

Discovery: Design Sprint

In our initial kickoff meeting, it was clear there was a communication gap as described above. In order to get us working on the correct solution, I created a FigJam and pulled together some competitive analysis and options for us to explore. FigJam was an easy entry-level tool for everyone to ramp on and add notes on what we liked, disliked, and nice-to-haves. Eventually, we agreed on our direction through a list of 'How might we' stickies which we turned into stories.



Below are the initial wireframes. Prior to sharing these ideas with the client, I did a technical review with dev to ensure the proposals were technically sound and included any ideas they might have. Noteworthy for these designs:

  • We explored 2 solutions for filtering the database. The top row shows a top-level search and the bottom row is more of a dashboard approach with the search criteria in a panel on the right. We decided to move forward with the top-level navigation which was a cleaner design and avoid any search criteria being pushed below the fold.
  • We also need to account for a landing page to offload Login and onboarding from the main feature of searching the database.
  • Collectively we began prioritizing deliverables for MVP and opportunities for Phase 2.

Search Deep Dive


Initially, we were looking to sort data through the main search with filter options to allow the user to dive deeper. However, this would hide filtering criteria behind multiple dropdowns and is not ideal.

Search 1

I added a divider in search to include an Advanced Search feature to house criteria by category. This will allow the user to search by a construct name and select additional filtering to narrow down their results.

Seach 2A

First-time users are given a hint to "Enter a construct type" to provide early guidance on how to use the tool.

Search 2B

Returning users will be given their last 5 recent searches with an option to delete.

Search Final

The final design compiles advanced search criteria in a drop-down that is activated in the main search bar. Here the user can select multiple filtering options to narrow down their search. We are also providing the user with the opportunity to share their searches (with the associated filters) as links, favorites, and clear all criteria.

Example of an instrument with validation evidence

After the user has found the construct they are looking for, we need to display:

  • The Instrument
  • Any sources of validity. There are 6 possible pieces of evidence. These are currently stored in a scrolling Excel spreadsheet that is complicated to read and not ideal for cross-referencing. I am proposing we use tabs to hold each piece of validity. I will work with dev on a CMS tool that will parse this data and allow the researchers to place metatags.

Initial concept accounting for all 6 sources of validity evidence.


An example from an Instrument with 2 sources of validity evidence.

This is an active project. More to come very soon.....