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UBC: Department of Psychology.

Enhancing accessibility to resources and information

user research, web, learning management system


UX Researcher

Time Frame

16 weeks

Tools Used

Miro, Zoom,, Airtable, Canvas


Heuristic analysis, Canvas analytics, User interview,
Affinity mapping, Usability testing, Focus group

A usability and accessibility evaluation of the Psychology Student Guide (PSG) and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity (EDI) website at UBC's Department of Psychology, in support of the department's EDI mission.

Research Goals

Fostering Inclusion and
Empowering Marginalized Communities
  • Evaluate user experiences with resources

  • Explore information gathering and community-building in the UBC Psychology community

  • Findings will guide improvements for the PSG and EDI website

The Resources-in-question

What exactly are these resources?

An all-in-one resource for psychology undergraduate students, covering courses, program details, career and more.
Hosted on UBC's Canvas LMS.


Serves as a central hub for department EDI programs, research, achievements, stories, resources, funding and more.

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The Methodologies

A Multi-Pronged Evaluation of the Psychology Resources

We used various research methods to evaluate the PSG, with my primary role involving conducting user interviews, facilitating user testing, leading impression focus groups, and synthesizing and interpreting data.

The Insights

Key Discoveries

We discovered several valuable insights which guided our recommendations to improve these resources.

Unclear Information Structure

The structure and navigation of the resource was difficult to understand due to unclear information and naming

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Text-Heavy & Non-Scannable

Overwhelming amounts of text made it challenging for students to quickly scan, digest, and locate information

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Underutilized Discussion Board

Students preferred using other platforms like Discord and Reddit for community engagement

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Student Interest in Specific Modules & Degree Requirements

Students were most interested in modules on getting involved in labs, campus organisations and degree requirements

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Lack of Central Hub & Community Connection

Students expressed the need for a centralized info hub, community connection amid an overwhelming no. of campus options

The Recommendations

Insights to Design Solutions

Ideated design solutions were then prioritized using an impact-effort matrix. Quick-win items were addressed first, while Big Bets were escalated to department higher-ups for further discussions regarding feasibility and resource capacity.

To Infinity and Beyond!

What's next...
For the Psychology Student Guide
  1. Create narrative road maps to demystify the process of getting involved in research, graduate studies & careers.

  2. Develop an interactive start-of-term checklist to help students monitor their academic progress.

  3. Publish content featuring UBC Psych student groups to promote community-building.

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For the Department EDI Website
  1. Restructure content to include requested information and align with focus group goals.

  2. Expand resources, support, funding opportunities, and EDI-related stories, events, and programs.

  3. Implement an EDI editorial strategy to feature students, faculty, and staff.

  4. Enhance functionality with the university's IT department for unique user experiences.

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Continuously conduct usability testing, UX audits, and studies to drive continuous improvement, enhance inclusivity, and ensure accessibility for both resources.

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