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UX Research

Interaction Design Internship






Skills & Tools              

Alicia Clarke - Communication Department

Scott Blair (Senior graphic designer)

Andrew Hwang
8 months (Part-time)



QI (Qualcomm Institute) at its San Diego branch, is a $400 million academic research institution jointly run by the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and the University of California, Irvine (UCI). As a multidisciplinary research institution, it is conducting research discovering new ways in which emerging technologies can improve the state's economy and citizens' quality of life. Keeping in mind its goal of addressing large-scale societal issues, QI extends beyond education and research by also focusing on the development and deployment of prototype infrastructure for testing new solutions in real-world environments. 


I had the privilege to work at Qualcomm institute as a part-time interaction designer intern in the Communication Department. Through my 8-month part-time internship, I worked on various projects, participated in the redesign and maintenance of multiple websites, and led an interaction design project - QI Mobile Application Solution in a team of two with the help of my supervisor Scott Blair (Senior Graphic Designer).


With another intern Andrew Hwang, we designed a mobile application that helps students to better match with research projects on campus.  ** Due to privacy concerns, I would not be able to show my work in detailed information.



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How to help students and researchers match and connect easily and quickly?

Many students seek on-campus research/intern opportunities during their studies. Researchers are also looking for excellent qualified candidates to join their team. The opportunities are limited while the spread of recruitment information could be varied. Thus, a good match between the student and the researcher is important for saving time and effort. My role is to find a solution for the problem:


I designed the complete prototype for "Paird" Application and created the color palette, participated in market research and branding.


We conducted 9 interviews (4 UC San Diego Professors + 5 UC San Diego current undergraduates) and here's an overview of what we found:

Researchers/Professors say

a. Would love to see which courses student taken in the past

b. A common problem is having too many applicants which makes finding one with preferred skills takes time and effort

d. The current campus job website does not support mobile-friendly use and requires extra work besides using the website.

Students say

a. Directly reaching out to professors was sometimes ineffective and discouraging since they are unaware of professors' preferences. 

b. The application process of the current campus job website is often tedious, time-consuming and disappointing

c. Lots of times they cannot hear back from recruiters and feel a large disconnection


We designed "Paird" that supports two interfaces, one for students and one for researchers, using AdobeXD and Photoshop.

Paird has three key features: SWIPE, QUICK CONNECT & CHAT, SMART MATCH, that emphasize: "save time", "quick and easy to handle", "good match" and "connection" properties. 


**Although I cannot show you our final high-fidelity prototype for privacy concerns, here's an overview of key features. Below is not the final design.

Researcher's Interface


Student's Interface

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