Hi, I am Stephanie M. Pratt

a user experience researcher and designer

What I Do

I conduct research to understand user behaviors and challenges to develop quality user experiences.

Research

Interviews, task analysis, personas, information architecture, etc.

Usability Studies

Web, tablet, and Mobile studies. Guerrilla, unmoderated remote, and moderated.

Prototype Development

Using prototypes like Axure, Balsamiq, Justinmind, UXPin.

Digestible Reports

Presentations and visualizations that tell the story of the user experience..

About Me

View Resume

I am Stephanie M. Pratt, a UX Researcher residing in Washington, DC. I am passionate about user experience, usability, design thinking, UX strategy, information architecture, and tech trends. I have a Master's of Arts in human factors / applied cognition from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a minor in economics from Hollins University.

Along with my technology and UX interests, I am also interested in outdoor sports and do-it-yourself projects. When I am not working, researching, or enjoying UX events, you can find me rock climbing, white water rafting, practicing yoga, hiking, or completing DIY project.

Contact Me

My Skills

90

UX Research

90

Usability

80

Prototyping

70

Information Architecture

My Portfolio

I have worked on a variety of projects professionally and personally.
See examples of my work below.

Professional Work

Password Needed

Cognitive Flexibility Puzzle Usability

Software Usability

Team: Stephanie M. Pratt, Christian Gonzalez, William Benson
Course: Usability Analysis & Product Redesign
Professor: Dr. Robert Youmans

Goals / Assignment / Requirements

For the semester project in a course called "Usability and Product Redesign", we were were given a real client. Our client has a puzzle that measures Cognitive Flexibility, and our job was to design prototypes, test them, and give our results to a software engineer to program the software. We then are going to test the final product and give recommendations.
  • Work with the client to create a computer version of the cognitive flexibility puzzle
  • The software must be user friendly and measure and output particular variables for the experimenter
  • The software should include a training of the puzzle for participants
  • The puzzle should be easy to administer from the experimenter's perspective
  • Later added requirement: Should be multiple counter balanced trials.

Process

  • First, our team determined the needs, shoulds, and nice to haves for the project
  • After determining these, we started to develop a training, a puzzle, and an experimenter GUI to support these needs
  • The software engineer developed a working flash prototype of the puzzle for our team to test
  • Our team then modified the training prototype to go with the puzzle prototype
  • Once these were ready, we tested the prototypes (experimenter interface, then the training & puzzle together) with users
  • We created a list of usability recommendations and redesigns, and gave these to our client including one major problem of the puzzle's ease
  • Due to these recommendations, the client gave us new requirements for the puzzle's settings (in result to the experimenter interface).
  • We then redesigned the experimenter GUI with the new requirements (added trials to GUI / changed how experiments are defined).
  • We have submitted these prototypes and recommendations to the client and software engineer
  • Next steps: Usability test the designed product with users and give new usability recommendations for redesign

Final Paper

Flashlight Physical Prototype

Team: Stephanie M. Pratt
Course: Usability Analysis & Product Redesign
Professor: Dr. Robert Youmans

Goals / Assignment / Requirements

  • Create a flashlight for an emergency kit
  • Flashlight must be light, durable, and easy for anyone to use.
  • Try to combine items in the kit when possible, to make a lighter overall kit
  • Have to utilize a small, black, keychain flashlight in the prototype.

Process

  • I brainstormed ideas and came up with a flashlight / radio design
  • I determined features of the the flashlight, such as it will "float" and should glow in the dark
  • Then I sketched out design for the flashlight
  • Purchased materials (glow in the dark paint, flower design foam)
  • Carved the flashlight from the sketch and painted so that it would glow in the dark

Outcome

A flashlight prototype was created and shown off to the class to compare ideas for the design (as students were not allowed to discuss ideas with each other). This flashlight has a comfortable hold in an individuals hand and was rated well for other students. The idea is that this flashlight is durable, floats in water, won't be swallowed by children, and is easy to find if the power goes out. This would support the needs of the assignment for a flashlight for an emergency kit.

Remote Controller Redesign

Heuristic Review

Team: Stephanie M. Pratt
Course: Usability Analysis & Product Redesign
Professor: Dr. Robert Youmans

Goals / Assignments / Requirements

Use Neilson's Usability Heuristics applied to a remote controller that needed to be redesigned (only three). The rationale of this assignment was that a company wanted some usability analysis done on the remote controller but didn't want to / couldn't afford usability testing so they hired you (the student) to redesign the remote.

Process

  • First I examined the remote controller to determine expected sources of error.
  • I used the Usability Heuristics (had to choose 3) to make points on the remote that should change.
  • I then made design decisions on the changes using heurisitics and modified the remote using Adobe Photoshop
  • Iterative Design: Follow the same steps on the previous redesigned remote, but designed the remote in PowerPoint

Final Paper

Microwave Recommendations

Task Analysis

Team: Stephanie M. Pratt
Course: Usability Analysis & Product Redesign
Professor: Dr. Robert Youmans

Goals / Assignments / Requirements

We were given a rationale of a company needing a recommendation of whether to use funds to market their current product or implement the new product design. These microwaves had a database of foods and how to cook them. The old model required entry of codes from a book into the microwave when the new model supported that method as well as having a UPC scanner attached the the microwave to use. We were given a few estimates of the times to use the current product and then were given values for use for a Keystroke Level Model of the new model of microwave. We were then given the user manual for the new microave design to determine the length of time it would take to use the microwave under three scenarios.

Process

  • I first determined the steps of each scenario for the new microwave
  • Then I mapped out each step with the corresponding operators
  • I then calculated the values and then estimate the amount of time for the product to be used
  • Finally, I made my recommendations on the proposed question

Outcome

The final recommendations from my findings were to go forward in creating and marketing the new model since it would result in faster KLM times for the user. Also, since the old features were still able to be used in the new model, it would give the user flexibility to use their preferred entry method.

Note: Though an operator for reaching for the scanner wasn't included, the new model would still be faster than the old model with such an operator.

Final Paper

Overhead Projector Usability Analysis

Task Analysis

Team: Stephanie M. Pratt
Course: Usability Analysis & Product Redesign
Professor: Dr. Peter Squire

Goals / Assignments / Requirements

For a course requirement, we needed to conduct task analysis on a product or system that we thought caused a lot of difficulty. My team chose the overhead projector in the main lecture room for our program, as many faculty have difficulty using the system. We then went through information gathering and task analysis techninques to find usability solutions to the projector.

Process

  • We tracked down the user manual for the model of projector and went through the manual to learn the proper steps to diagnose problems
  • First we determined what we thought would be the common problems
  • We then sent out a brief questionnaire to the entire lab to get a sample of individuals who used the projector. Some said that they would be happy to be interviewed.
  • After we received a good response, we developed questions based on responses and invited three people to participate in interviews.
  • We had the interviewees walk us through the system as they set it up for a lecture. Once they got to a point where they would give up, we asked them to stop
  • We would always show the proper solution after the interviewee determined they would stop
  • After receiving this information we developed a Hierarchical Task Analysis (HTA) off of the User Manual (how the system should be used).
  • We also developed a modified Decision Action Diagram (DAD) to show where the users were having errors.

We had a few usability recommendations for future systems: that projectors should have centrally located controls (not ones all over the room).
Presented as a poster at UXPA DC's User Focus September 2011.

Final Paper

Presentations & Publications

Baldwin, C. L., Eisert, J. L., Garcia, A. J., Lewis, B., Pratt, S. M., & Gonzalez, C. (2012). Multimodal urgency coding: Auditory, visual, and tactile parameters and their impact on urgency. Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation, 41(1/2012), 3586-3591.

Bruni, S., Change, A., Carlin, A., Swanson, L., & Pratt, S. (2012). Designing an adaptive flight deck display for trajectory-based operations in NextGen. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics. San Francisco, CA.

Baldwin, C. L., Eisert, J. L., Garcia, A.J., Lewis, B., Pratt, S. M., & Gonzalez, C. (2012). Multimodal Urgency Coding: Auditory, Visual, and Tactile Parameters and Their Impact on Perceived Urgency. Proceedings of the Conference of International Ergonomics Association. Recife, Brazil, February 2012.

Pratt, S. M., Baccus, W. L., & Sleeman, A. D. (2011). Overhead projector usability issues. Poster presented at the UPA DC User Focus 2011 Conference in Washington, D.C. September 2011.

Pratt, S. M. & Bowers, B. B. (2009). Effect of writer gender and typeface used in a personal statement on interpersonal ratings. Poster presented at the 52nd Annual Science Seminar at Hollins University, Roanoke, VA April 2009.

Pratt, S. M. & Bowers, B. B. (2008). Effect of age and facial maturity on interpersonal perceptions. Poster presented at the Southeastern Psychology Association Conference in New Orleans, LA February 2009.

Jacobi, L., Schwartz, E., Pratt, S., & Domingue, C. (2007). The relationship between perpetrator and victim status on the perception of criminal acts and related personality constructs. Poster presented at the Southeastern Psychology Association Conference in Charlotte, NC March 2008.

Contact Me

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