CMU Health Services

Designing from Human-Centered Inquiry


CMU 05-610
User-Centered Research and Evaluation
Client: CMU Health Services
Instructors: Jim Morris, Amy Ogan
Teaching Assistant: David Gerritsen


Safinah Ali
Michael Anderson
Samarth Bahuguna
Jae-Won Kim
Zhaorong (Jerome) Zhong

This is a class project for User-Centered Research and Evaluation. In 7 weeks our team of 5 conducted user research on stakeholders of Carnegie Mellon’s University Health Services, consolidated research results to form insights and developed a design idea based on our findings.


Better Health for Students

The Carnegie Mellon University Health Services (UHS) has hired us to design improvement to their systems for enhancing student health. They are interested in new processes or technology that will help the delivery of their services and help students achieve better health, now and in later life.


User Interviews and Interpretation

We identified stakeholders and interviewed five CMU students from diverse backgrounds (one of them was also employed by UHS as a Peer Health Advocate) about how they currently use healthcare resources from both within and outside of CMU.

After we individually interviewed our participants, we came together for a collaborative interpretation session. We broke down our interview findings to individual data points. For each participant's record we also built a flow model, a sequence model and a cultural model to map out the interactions, the workflow and the value influence within this particular case.

A list of data points of one of our interviewees
Flow, sequence and cultural model for one interviewee


Modeling Current State

We built an affinity diagram from bottom-up using the the notes we collected from the interviews, which allowed us to summarize our findings in a way that tells a story. We used this method to see the big picture and uncover persistent issues. 

Affinity Diagram

We also consolidated our individual models to form a unified big picture of current state.

Consolidate Flow Model
Service Blueprint made by consolidating sequence models
Consolidated cultural model
Rebundling flow model to explore opportunities


Visioning and Testing

We studied the affinity diagram and the consolidated models as a group with a technique called “walking the wall” by writing down questions, design ideas breakdowns we identified on sticky notes and putting them on the models. We then identified key issues we needed to address and hot ideas we developed along the way.

Affinity Diagram after “walking the wall”

Having the key issues and hot ideas in mind, we engaged in a group visioning session where we used improv techniques to develop concepts of a future product.

Some of the visioning sketches we produced

We produced 13 storyboards and conducted speed dating with five users to see how they feel about the ideas. We then iterated our concepts based on their feedback.

Storyboards used in speed dating

FInal Design

Dynamic Wait Time Estimation

Building on one of our many concepts, our final solution is a dynamic wait time estimation feature on UHS mobile website. Our solution aims at eliminating the uncertainty of wait time, which is a major cause of frustration for many students according to our research.