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As of June 2013, a summary of the research we've done to date can be found at: User Research for CalCentral.

Specific to CalCentral

CalCentral Research

BPAWG meeting featuring CalCentral (and bCourses)BPAWG February meetingBernie, Rachel, Eli02/28/14About 35 staff 
Interview/Usability Test (Sprint 34)Consolidated Financial View Usability Testing - Round 2Rachel, Allison, Carol01/30/144 undergraduate students, & some very short tests with additional students 
Interview/Usability Test (Sprint 31)CFV interview and usability testing sessionsJudy, Rachel11/19/134 undergraduate students
1 graduate student
Interview/Usability Test (Sprint 26)Fall 2013 Impressions - Interviews and Usability TestingRachel, Allison, Bernie09/?/13Target: about 6 Undergraduates 

Interview/Usability Test (Sprint 21)

Class Sites and My Teaching - Interviews and Usability TestingRachel, Patrick McMahon, Allison, Bernie06/19/133 grad students

User stories:

As an instructor I would like to

  • Provide for my students a definitive list of web sites that are integral to each class that I am teaching.

As a student I would like to

  • Have a definitive list of web sites that are integral to the class.
  • Have my academic status of record presented to me so that I can confirm its accuracy.
  • Be aware of any important dates, requirements or tasks that I must or would like to pursue as part of my education.

As a GSI I would like to

  • Have clear distinction between the classes that I am taking and the classes that I am teaching.
Student Leaders MeetingConsolidated Financials Project Meeting with Student LeadersVishalli, Allison, Sara, Christian05/22/20138 students (grad & undergrad)


Usability TestingConsolidated Financials Usability Testing - Round 1Vishalli, Allison, Sara04/17/2013 - 05/31/201330+ students, grads & undergrads
  • Initial User Testing of Consolidated Financials Prototype
Hallway Usability TestCalCentral Student Hallway Usability Testing - Round 2Allison & Rachel04/16/20128 students?


  • Consolidated Financials
  • Tasks
  • My Academics
Hallway Usability TestCalCentral Student Hallway Usability Testing - Round 1Allison & Rachel03/21/20137 students (all undergrad)Get usability feedback on
  • What's on calcentral-dev (splash page, dashboard, task organization, task editing, navigation, academic profile popover)
  • Paper sketches showing My Academics (degree, semesters, course info, course stream, favorite links, campus news, dining hall info)
L&S Advisors inputCalCentral presentation to L&S advisors input and feedbackBernie & Sage3/20/201350+ L&S advisorsGreat ideas and volunteers to help with student data meaning and tools needed.
InterviewsUser Research by Students about Housing and DiningSAIT STG02/14/201350 students? 
Interview/Usability Test (Sprint 9)Dashboard Usability Testing - Round 4Allison & Rachel01/09/20132 students (target)Get usability feedback on contrasting Dashboard designs, and get feedback on the ability to perform certain tasks in the dashboard.
Quick visual design feedbackDashboard Usability Testing - Round 3Allison12/17/1212 students (5 grad, 7 undergrad)Determine which visual design for class names/lozenges/bars users prefer.
Interview/Usability Test (Sprint 8)Dashboard Usability Testing - Round 2Allison & Rachel12/12/20122 students (target)Get usability feedback on contrasting Dashboard designs, and get feedback on the ability to perform certain tasks in the dashboard
Interview/Usability Test (Sprint 7)Dashboard Usability Testing - Round 1Allison & Rachel11/29/20122 studentsUsability testing of new dashboard
Usability TestingCourse Search and Browse, Class Pages Usability TestingAllison & Rachel08/07/20124 UCB undergrads, 2 PhDs, 1 Instructor, 1 FacultyCategories, Browse/Search, Finding Classes, Tags, Class Overview
WorkshopCreating a Student Systems Road Map Workshop Mara & Allison04/13/2012~25 staff membersWidgets ideas for Students, Faculty & Staff
InterviewsCalCentral Pilot Student FeedbackAllison & Rachel02/22/20123 i-School Students in the IS214 CalCentral pilot courseSakai OAE, Class Sites
Usability TestingClass Pages Usability Testing - Round 2Allison & Rachel01/13/20122 UC Berkeley undergrads & 1 instructorClass Sites, Course Planning
Usability TestingClass Pages Usability Testing - Round 1Allison & Rachel12/21/20112 UC Berkeley instructorsClass Sites
Interviews?0.1-POC FeedbackRoman11/29/20108? students, 1 staffThings they'd want in a portal, feedback on POC at the time

Broader than CalCentral

Student Research

Interview/Usability TestStudent Research - Round 2Allison, Rachel, Bernie, Jon, Sage10/22/20128 students (all undergrad)4 questions, online systems pain points, work with other students. Usability review of My Dashboard, My Campus, Finances
WorkshopStudent design workshop: Berkeley InnovationRachel and student Alex Mandel09/18/201230 students"What needs do student have for an integrated online system?" Ideas and critiques of 5 portal designs.
WorkshopThree Investigations WorkshopAllison, Bernie, Eli, Jon, Rachel10/28/201114 students & 7 ETS staffPersonal Planner & Information Streams; Class Scheduling, Course Pages, Course Management; UI Framework & IA Notes
Contextual inquiry/interview

Student Research - Round 1

Allison & Rachel


 6 UC Berkeley students (2 grad, 4 undergrad)Goals, Typical day, Devices, Course selection & registration, Planner, UCB Online Tools (Three Investigations)

Student Groups Workshop

Jon & whole team


16 Students (grad & undergrad)

Profile, Academic Networking, Student Group Management

Concierge Workshop - Student Needs



~50 staff, students and visiting Kuali team members

brainstorming student needs using mindmaps focused on different aspects of a student's life as well as timelines, profile information criteria, and screen designs.
Interview/group discussion

COSE Discussions - Student Groups



1 Student, COSE teamTypes of student groups and student group use cases
Group Discussion

COSE Discussion - Categories



COSE teamCategories, Networking

4 CED Student Interviews - Calendaring



4 CED Students (2 undergrad, 2 grad)Calendaring

9 CED Student Interviews - General Portal Needs



9 CED Students (4 undergrad, 3 grad)Gmail, Google Docs, Mobile Communication, Reminders, Portfolios

Group Discussion

COSE Student Task Prioritization Exercise

Michael Ellison

10/2009 (question)



Design Studio - Sketching and Prototyping the Student Experience


June 10 & July 8, 2009

students, staff & 1 faculty member (48 at 1st workshop, and 35 at 2nd) Sketches representing ideas for widgets and applications to improve the student online experience

Staff Research 2012

Focus GroupCalCentral Staff Focus Groups - Round 1Shelley Sweet and Anna Ewins08/24/2012 - 09/05/1315-17 staff membersStaff portal needs (first thing in the morning, collaboration, communication & other areas)
SurveySurvey of Advisers about Desirable Student Attributes for Dynamic ListsRachel09/07/20119 undergrad advisors, 6 grad advisorsCED & CNR attribute needs for targeting students

CNR Advisers' Needs Meetings - 2011-06-03


9 CNR undergraduate advisors

Needs around notifying students

Advisers' Needs Meetings - Feb 2011


13 advisers in different departments

CoE, MCB, CNR, iSchool, CED - current processes (very little info)
Focus GroupStudents' Online Needs Focus GroupMara11/17/20108 SACUE StudentsStudent Systems used, placed on usage/value matrix


Calendaring Workshop

Bernie, Rachel & Sam Gordon


4 students, 26 staff, 1 facultyIdeas for calendar widgets (mostly for students), tools in use

Faculty Research

WorkshopNew Faculty Orientation workshopRachel03/16/20125 instructorsInstructors & some of their desires for using CalCentral

Advisor Staff Research

PresentationL&S Advising - Canvas and CalCentralBernie, Sage, RachelMarch 20, 2013~50 advisorsCanvas and CalCentral

ANC - Presentations on Technology in Advising

Jon, Bernie, Rachel

October 18, 2011

~20 advisorsUsing technology in advising

CNR Interview - Communications Specialist

Jon & AllisonJuly 12, 20111 staff memberHer job, bSpace Use, Collaboration & Content Presentation Needs

Adviser Data Integration Meeting

Owen, Rachel, Ray

June 24, 2011

3 Advisors (1CNR, 2 CED)Advisor processes & vetting data received
Presentation & Meeting CED Advisors - Pilot Engagement MeetingRachel, Jon, AllisonJune 22, 20116 CED AdvisorsDynamic Lists & Notification Authoring, Categories, Groups

Sakai OAE Research

Usability TestingOAE Usability Testing - Round 2 (based on Cambridge Protocol)Allison, Jon, Nico, Rachel, Sam04/11/2012
InterviewCalCentral Pilot Instructor FeedbackAllison02/07/2012
Usability Testing

OAE Usability Testing - Round 1 (based on Cambridge Protocol)

Allison, Carina, Daphne, Rachel09/08/2011
Heuristic Evaluation

Sakai 3 Cognitive Walkthrough



Design Studio Workshops

Team Design Studio WorkshopCalCentral Team Design Studio - Workshop 1Allison & Rachel02/07/201311 CalCentral (& satellite) team membersGather ideas from the team on the overall organization and information architecture of CalCentral (

Training, Observation, and Followup

CNR Adviser Followup2 undergraduate advisersRachel, BernieJanuary 31, 2012
CED Adviser Followup1 undergraduate adviserRachel, BernieJanuary 24, 2012

CED Peer Advisor CalCentral Training

6 CED Peer advisors

Rachel, Jon, Allison

Sept 6, 2011

CNR Peer Advisor CalCentral Training

~12 peer advisers

Rachel, Jon

August 31, 2011

CalCentral Advisor Training and Observation for v0.5 with CNR & CED advisers


Allison, Daphne, Jon, Rachel

August 2011

Advisory Groups

Council on Online Student Experience (COSE)

Matt Wade & Michael Ellison & Joseph Lim-Effendy & Wanhee Cho

August 2009 - present

Relevant Work Done by Other Teams

Existing Personas/Profiles

Sakai Portfolio Personas

Portfolio Personas WorkgroupDecember 2010

OAE Personas Sets

Keli & Daphne

August 2010

Mobile bSpace User ResearchAlison Meier, David Rolnitzky, Thomas Schulchter (IS 214 Project) 

OAE Personas

Various (includes: Learning Activities (Stanford, Others) (12), Academic Networking (Cambridge via JISC) (3), Library integration (UMich, others) (4), Course Management, Content management (Berkeley via Fluid Project) (see personas below) (5), Portfolio Visioning for Sakai 3.0 (see personas below) (7)


Fluid Personas

Allison, Daphne, Erin

Fall 2008

Sakai Personas

Daphne led that work



STC's Needs Assessment pageLists many previous research efforts they referencecurrent as of Fall 2012
Student Affairs "Dream Big" strategic planning initiative - Student and Staff interviews. Note: pages 7 (student) and 14 (staff) provide a list of the key findings and descriptions from focus groups, 1:1 interviews and external research.Student Affairs - large research effort8/2013
ECAR STUDY OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (this study is done yearly) - Infographic SummaryEducause9/16/2013
UC Undergraduate Experience Survey (this study is done yearly)University of CaliforniaFall 2012

Haas Portal Dashboard class project


Spring 2011

OE Student Services Initiative: Student Survey Summary
Includes data from: Student Services Undergraduate Survey & Student Services Grad Student Survey

UC Berkeley OE Student Services Initiative


OE Student Services Staff Outreach Summary
Includes data from: Fall 2010 Academic Advisor Focus Groups

UC Berkeley OE Student Services Initiative


Academic Networking

Cambridge via JISC


Fluid Content Management ResearchAllison Bloodworth, Daphne Ogle & the Fluid Team2008

2007 LDP Report: Information Technology at UC Berkeley: The Student Experience

UC Berkeley LDP Group

July 2007

2006 Course Management Project User Research

Daphne Ogle & Marc Brierley

early 2006

LDP Program Student Portal Project Final Report

Cecille Cabacungan, Goldman School of Public Policy
Lesley Clark, Center for Organizational Effectiveness
Rachelle Feldman, Financial Aid Office
Paula Flamm, University Health Services
Gail Ford, The Library
Kati Markowitz, Neuroscience Institute
Stacey Shulman, Department of Chemical Engineering
Dan Sullivan, Haas School of Business

May 2002

Additional Artifacts


Topics to come back to

Data Analytics



Work Planned by Our Team (but not carried out)

CalCentral Pilot User ResearchAllison, Daphne, Jon, RachelJune 2011

Focus Group (Interview) Plan for MyBerkeley Widgets

Jessica, Rachel, etc.

July 2010

Usability Study Plan for MyBerkeley Widgets

Jessica, Rachel, etc.

June 2010

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