Hey, I'm Javan!
I'm a product designer with a background in HCI and engineering. My focus is in delivering story-rich, evidence-driven, and pragmatic design responses.
I recently finished my Masters degree from the MHCID program at the University of Washington, and am actively looking for employment opportunities. Email me at [email protected] for a portfolio presentation!
Iteration of game systems using feedback gathered from playtesting.
I ideated, designed, and prototyped major in-game systems such as Dossier, Crafting, Social, and the Mission briefing pages using Sketch and Photoshop. I co-facilitated the alpha playtest consisting of 40 players with my supervisor Brian.
- Creating a product that provides the player with a pleasant and intuitive experience.
- Designing with accordance to budget and timeline constraints.
- Designing systems that are compatible with past builds and in accordance with game design specifications, while keeping scalability in mind.
- Designing the product with the end user’s satisfaction and needs as the primary motivation.
The UX team suggested that a closed beta would provide valuable user feedback for the studio. The playtest was designed in the form of a Longitudinal Diary user studies, and over 40 users participated in the playtest.
TypeForm.com was used to produce the playtest diary questions, and we enlisted help from UserTesting.com for feedback in the form user-emotion and user-behaviour videos (along with gesture recordings). We also got the chance to speak with some users in person for more in-depth qualitative feedback.
Playtest results and findings
Two portions of the analysis was performed, a quantitative analysis where the users are asked to select from a list of terms that corresponded to their emotional state, and a more complex analysis that was based on qualitative commentary from free-form questions.
The initial observations made here indicate that there are a sizeable number of players which found parts of the game to be enjoyable, fun, and interesting. However, since “Confusing” and “Intuitive” indicate opposite reactions when used to describe player experiences, a conclusion could be drawn that the interface and interactions players are faced is more confusing than it is intuitive in its current state.
In addition, it can be noted that “Frustrating” occurred much more frequently than should be desired. This is indicative that the current design of the game is problematic as certain aspect of the game does cause frustration to the users.
Lack of skill (PvE)
Lack of challenge (Battles)
Enhancing/evolve does not feel impactful
Unlocking additional formation slots is satisfying
Lack of understanding around quest completion workflow
However on the positive side, a large number of players did express feelings of satisfaction with the increase in progression and power that comes along with making use of the crafting and enhancing system.
Dialogue ineffective for conveyance
Desire to add more ships earlier
Tutorial is ineffective
The overall player progression felt slow and the game felt too easy. Connecting this to the concept of Flow, players are more skillful than we initially anticipated, and are not being sufficiently challenged.
- Players derived immense satisfaction in seeing contribution to their own success
- All forms of progression should feel immediately impactful and communicated to the player clearly
- Desire to better understand the game’s core mechanics and supporting systems
Player progression and game difficulty could be increased at a faster rate. This will allow players to spend more time in the more interesting areas of the game. Being rewarded with spending time wisely also ties into the first point mentioned in the conclusions of making meaningful decisions both inside the core system as well as the supporting systems.
The onboarding system needs to be revised. As it stands the system fails to sufficiently instruct players on the game systems.
The large amount of bugs definitely contributed to the overall level of frustration players felt. The engineering team could focus on eliminating major bugs before implementing new features.
What we changed
We focused on providing more information to players upfront such that they can have an easier time understanding how the different game mechanics interact.
Outcome & update
Unfortunately the product did not meet the company KPIs during the soft launch. The game was ultimately taken off the Google Play store, and the project was discontinued in early 2017.
In this instance, usability testing proved an accurate predictor of product success. In organizations I'll be working with in the future, I'll continue to advocate for the benefits of product prototyping and usability studies. If you have an Android system and would like to check out CloudBreakers for yourself, a number of three-party channels still host the APK. They could be found at the link below.
- Vector graphics are edited using Adobe Illustrator
- High fidelity mocks done using Adobe Photoshop
- Low fidelity mocks done using Sketch
- Animations done in Adobe AfterEffects
- Prototyping done using Flinto
- Hand-off process performed in Zeplin
Science education kit for elementary school classrooms.
Michael P. Smith
This page is still a work in progress.
This page is still a work in progress.
A Windows OS feature that improves personal productivity.
Created in partnership with
Michael P. Smith
BuildEveryone uses different techniques to organize their digital workspace. Automatically organize and customize the workspace to what works best for you with Chiron’s smart activity containers and plugins.
KeepMental contexts are hard to track and replicate. With Chiron you can create time-stamped memos, save versions of digital workspace, and view last opened applications to help you keep the context.
SwitchIt’s easy to be distracted during transitions. Chiron uses activity containers and the timeline to keep activities and versions organized, so you can quickly switch between activities or view previous changes.
It fits really well to my life. I should get emails done in the morning and then the bigger project during the day. I'm trying to make that transition, it'll really help me organize projects I'm working on.
My contributionI took on the role of a design manager for this project. I was responsible for generating the roadmap, determining the strategic aims of the end product, delegating tasks, hosting sprint planning and review meetings, and managing OKRs for each teammate.
In addition, I took ownership of synthesizing the insights from the prototyping phases, creation of the system architecture, as well as conducting research on the technical feasibilities of the features.
For this particular project I had an interest in ensuring the features are aligned specifically to our goals of context management, and gather evidence to pitch the design proposal as a compelling and complete story.
OpportunityThe modern workforce is shifting towards more people choosing full time self employment. There will be 42 million self-employed workers in America alone by 2020. Multitasking is an essential part of modern work life, and especially for self-employed individuals. However, multitasking is unavoidable and costly for productivity.
Average time spent on resuming tasks after derailing.
more likely for errors to occur when people multitask.
overall decrease in productivity during multitasking.
Design researchInitially we set out to investigate ways of improving personal productivity, more specifically — how users defined productivity, what contributes to a focused state, and what distracts people. We consulted four workplace productivity experts, and conducted ethnographic research with 16 participants to gain more knowledge on this domain, and understand specific user frustrations.
A licensed mental health counselor and clinical psychiastrist specialized in mental, emotional, and psychological problems related to workplace stress.
Private life coach focused on helping individuals, groups, and organizations with managing their lifestlye and schedule to be more productive.
Computer scientist and workplace producitivity research manager at Microsoft.
Principle researcher at Microsoft, specialized in Attention Management for Multitasking Domains
User persona - Erin's storyDuring one of the the ethnographic interviews, we met one participant who would later become the champion of our product. We had the opportunity to speak with Erin from Spilt Milk Nannies. We used her traits to define our ideal user persona.
She is the owner of a small business specialized in childcare referrals called Spilt Milk Nannies.
“I need to balance my time between nannying, managerial work, and maintaining my website.”
Erin schedules her meetings and events using google calendar, and keeps in contact with her network through Outlook.
Her schedule and location of work change from day to day, and she schedules things less than a week in advance.
Due to her need for Outlook, Google Calendar, and Excel, she completes the vast majority of her work on a laptop instead of on a mobile device.
What we learned from research
- The opportunity cost of blocking distractions is high
- High degree of multitasking and context switching
- Productivity is highly personal
- Existing tools are not tailored for multitasking
Transition to design
Competitive analysisWe looked at existing productivity and context management softwares to analysize existing solutions that tries to address this problem. The list includes Microsoft Focus Assist, Cold Turkey, FocusMe, Hocus Focus, Mindful Browsing, OmniFocus, and others. What we learned is that most of these products tries to address productivity and multitasking by blocking out distractions or preventing users from context switching.
One standout was the Virtual Desktop functionality on Windows 10. But what we realized was that Virtual Desktop is not often used by users because it is very time consuming to create and sort applications into the different desktops. We saw an opportunity to introduce AI as a way of automating this process. Specifically Virtual Desktop does context switching very well, but context building is time consuming, and they don't tackle context keeping at all.
Defining the strategyAt this point we needed to generate ideas that fulfills the following roles — they need to address the problem of multitasking for our target audience of self-employed individuals. The product needs to be distinct from similar competitors. The design needs to be aligned with the use case of our user persona Erin. Based on the competitive analysis, we determined that the product needs to be able to build context quickly, keep the context, and also switch between these user-built contexts.
Automatically build the work environment and allow for customization.
Keep the context to retain the maximum amount of information during detachment.
Speed up the transition and reattachment process to minimize distractions.
At this point we wanted to determine which direction to take the project. We confirmed during research that everyone defines productivity differently. Which means everyone has different tools and techniques for organizing their work.
Context management at the OS level. Design will be the container for personalized tools.
Context management at the tools level. Design will be focused on the tools themselves.
After a round of competitive analysis we also learned that most of the existing tools try to address this at a tactical level, such as Calendar for managing your schedule, and Trello and Asana for tracking and managing tasks. So what we decided was to focus on the strategy level. We want to create a strategic platform for people to apply their personal task management tactics.
Low fidelity prototype
What we testedOur objective for this prototype was to validate both the design concept, as well as the core features. So we created a video for participants to validate our design concept. The video follows the day in the life of a typical Chiron user - Ricardo, a freelance architect. I defined the specific story within the prototype, and advocated for the core features. Mengxiao and Sakshat created the prototype using Figma, and I produced the video using AfterEffects.
What we learnedWe definitely had some issues with the framing and storytelling in the video. The good news is we did receive validation for the overarching concept. However the value of the core features were brought into question.
I like how it only opens what you need. Because normally when you switch between [projects] you can’t really close all windows. It feels a bit like decision paralysis.
Rework "summary"Our participants universally agreed that they would like to see “summary” but no two people externally or internally could agree on what type of information would be useful to be shown. So we reworked summaries to show the most recently opened applications instead.
Discuss collaborationThere was overwhelming support for the implementation of collaboration functionality. However no two participants could agree on what they deemed as the “core feature” of collaboration.
Further personalizationAt the conclusion of the prototyping sessions, we have a running list of 10 smaller feature requests. Participants wanted a way to use their current set of tools within the context of Chiron. So we considered a way to introduce further personalization.
What we didAfter receiving the feedback, we made a number of changes to include into the mid-fidelity prototype. The objective for this phase was to flesh out the interaction design and test the specific execution of the features.
We made a number of changes to the prototype in this iteration. We included a plugin marketplace to provide further personalization to the platform. We reworked the summary page and changed it to "last opened applications". We also updated the visual design using Microsoft's Fluent design system. Since Chiron is being branded as a Windows feature, it made sense for us to leverage the existing design patterns of Windows.
We interviewed four participants in total to perform four main tasks. The prototype used for Usability Testing was created by Mengxiao in Principle. The prototype consisted of a "main application" in which you could view the timeline and project archive, and a "quick view" mode where you could create and switch between different activity containers.
What we learnedWe started them off on the overlay screen and asked them to navigate to the timeline and view a different version of their project. Our participant Whitney literally interacted with everything on the page except “Open Chiron”. And she said,
What is ‘Open Chiron’? I thought I’m already in Chiron?
Our participants really couldn’t agree on whether the timeline should go left to right or right to left, and we received nearly 50/50 split on the “right” direction of the timeline. So instead we decided to orient the timeline from top to bottom instead, with top being the most recent.
Why is the timeline going from left to right?
I know what virtual desktop is, but I just don’t use it because it just takes too much time to actually organize the windows.
High fidelity prototypeIn the high fidelity prototype, we incorporated the learnings from the two previous rounds of testing, and consolidated the features to address the three design objectives of context building, context keeping, and context switching. Since the terminology is repetitive, we renamed them as "environment building", "context keeping", and "activity switching".
We revisited Erin's story, and the final prototype is done from the point of view of Erin, who needs to balance her managerial work with personal obligations. Erin is planning her wedding and honeymoon, in addition to tracking the status of her employees and clients.
The final prototype was created using Adobe AfterEffects by Khai Nguyen, with Sakshat and Mengxiao responsible for the assets used in the video. I was responsible for the content, script, and the technical documentation.
Next stepsThe final deliverables were passed off to Mike Premi from Intel's Artificial Intelligence Innovation Lab for future development. Mary Czerwinsky and Shamsi from Microsoft Research showed interest in the findings we uncovered, and we are in the process of passing off the findings to Microsoft as well.
The following are some highly requested features that we didn't have time to implement into the V1 since they did not directly align with one of our three design pillars of Build, Keep, or Switch.
Voice controlVoice controlled system was a highly requested feature. We envision users speaking to Chiron as if it was the personal assistant. This way people could spend less time manually entering commands. It would also allow you to task switch while multitasking at your home office or shared workspace.
Share & exportAll of our users wanted a way to share and export the files and contexts created using Chiron, or include a way to collaborate with other teammates, take over a project, or take turns working where one person can see what the other person did with an activity archive and the ability to return to previous versions when necessary.
Multimedia memosOur users really liked the memos feature. So much that they want to add more than just text and voice as memos. So we are exploring ways to support adding files, images, videos as memos.
- Figma for design
- Keynote for slide deck
- AfterEffects for video production
- Product animation done using Keynote
Hey! I’m Javan!
I previously worked with Microsoft Education, Microsoft HoloLens, and Intel's AI Innovation.
Previously worked on a design research team with Microsoft Hololens, and design prototype team from Intel. During my undergrad, I completed design internship placements at Noom Inc, Uken Games, and INTERSECT.
User experience design
Design ethnographic research
InVision / Marvel / Flinto