I am currently a Product Manager on a project team building Queue Me In, a progressive web-app aimed to help streamline TA office hours. Previously, I was a designer for 2 semesters. Our goal is to create a product that makes TA office hours less messy and inefficient. We are currently designing V2 of Queue Me In, launched at https://www.queueme.in, based on user testing in two Cornell computer science courses.
In Fall of 2017, our team interviewed three groups of people: students, TAs, and professors about their thoughts on office hours. We observed that when office hours are crowded, TAs tend to form a queue on the board. This is effective for 1-1 questions but students often have to wait 15-20 minutes to get their questions answered. Introductory classes tend to have extremely crowded office hours because for many students, it is their first time learning the material. With the influx of students and no system to handle questions, TAs get overwhelmed and students get impatient.
After user research, we used affinity diagrams to group our findings into 5 problem spaces: Organization/Logistics, Understanding, TA+Prof Communication, and Angsty Students.
We spent 5 minutes brainstorming for each problem space, emphasizing quantity and no bad ideas. Finally, we narrowed our brainstorm down to 3 key features:
Calendar: A feature for students to see available office hours.
Logging: This feature enables students to log the questions that they have.
Pre-sign up: This feature allows students to sign up in advance for an office hour.
To begin, we mocked up our first ideas for the student side that would allow them to see all office hours for a certain day and join the queue ahead of time.
But, after discussing our preliminary designs with students and TAs, we quickly realized that most users would likely be using the website on desktop, not mobile. So, after multiple iterations of internal heuristic testing and usability studies, we finally decided on the final MVP mockup for desktop, using our mobile design for the calendar on the left side.
On the TA side, after user testing with CS 3110 at Cornell, we added the ability to assign students, and resolve them or mark them as absent.
From user research and interviews with professors/head TAs, we realized they needed the ability to manage office hours and assignments.
CS 3110, CS 1110, and CS 112 at Cornell are all using Queue Me In! We are closely monitoring progress and using feedback to continuously iterate on QMI and improve. We are currently working on a Professor dashboard to provide data analytics about office hours and custom settings so each class can personalize their QMI experience. Stay tuned…