Our first steps in our research were to look at the current tools available for analysis. The client described StormBrain as a LinkedIn meets OkCupid for researchers, so we looked at how these sites are current functioning. We also compared ResearchGate, a social media tool that caters to researchers. All three products are more mature products with a lot of functionality, but we wanted to make sure our product had a clear differentiation from these existing sites.
The current scope of StormBrain only extends to connecting researchers to a collaborator. However, future goals of StormBrain extend beyond this, so it was important for us to be aware of a complete picture. The biggest pain point in our current scope was searching through publication to find possible collaboration matches. Addressing this issue makes a huge impact for our primary user, both in terms of time saved and valuable information gained.
As we had a lot of content, we felt it appropriate to start with the mobile design to make sure we stayed on the essential elements with the highest priority and would be able to expand into desktop without needing to cut out features.
Testing & Iteration
Throughout our designing, we tested with users for usability. Our main task for the user was to find a collaboration match who works with genetics. Early stage feedback was very helpful in the development of our wireframes so we could make changes throughout before moving to higher fidelity.