"Connecting concerns with solutions."
Team: UX Researchers (me, Chloe Keilers, Matthew Watkins)
Project Manager (Greg Scott Irwin)
Disciplines: UX Research (quantitative & qualitative)
Timeline: 5 months
Role: UX Researcher, Liason
Banner for concern center project. Concern center in black text against white background with some colorful blobs.


ConcernCenter is an online platform that provides curated resources to organizations ranging from corporations to universities and veteran associations.

I reached out to ConcernCenter to discuss how to improve the mobile front-end side of the platform. I was the liaison between ConcernCenter and my team while conducting heuristic evaluations, a test plan, recruitment, and usability testing. Altogether, we found multiple areas for improvement and presented our findings to the project manager.


Graphic showing the timeline of the project.

Identifying Challenges

We first met with the client to discuss potential areas for investigation. The client mainly wanted to focus on the user interface and see what is working well and what is not working. Below are the specific research questions the client wanted us to focus on for the mobile platform.

Stakeholder Concerns

  • What are users’ expectations for finding resources for concerns like financial, mental health, or academic?
  • Would they use it with real concerns?
  • How does the scrolling pattern of the result page impact the user’s experience?
  • What roadblocks do users encounter when they try to find a resource? When they try to access said resource?
  • How do users expect to submit a concern referral? Do they understand what a concern referral means?

Heuristic Evaluation

I conducted a heuristic evaluation on the ConcernCenter University of Rochester website. This allowed me to not only get familiar with the platform, it also helped me to identify areas of focus for usability testing. Our focus for the website was primarily on the accessibility, responsiveness, goal-seeking, and search results.

Usability Testing

After the heuristic evaluation, we discussed with the project manager our findings from the heuristic evaluation. Alongside the original research questions, we brought up potential areas for concern to focus on for the usability testing. This type of testing will allow us to see where and how potential users would have difficulty using this platform. Pre-screening surveys were distributed to potential participants to take part in our usability testing.
Screenshot of participant one going through tasks.
Screenshot of participant two going through tasks.
Screenshot of participant 3 going through tasks.

Task Difficulty

Box plot showing the difficulty rating for search, identify, and referral tasks
Boxplot of the results from each task
Difficulty of 3

After each task, participants were asked to rate the difficulty from 1 (easy) to 7 (hard). The average for all the tasks were 3, a medium difficulty. The easiest task was identifying a resource.

All participants were able to search and identify a resource. However, none of our participants were able to search for the referral button.

System Usability Score (SUS)

SUS Score: 85.83

A system usability score (SUS) was calculated to evaluate the usability of the platform. ConcernCenter received a high score of 85, which is in the 90th percentile of system usability and would receive a grade of A.



Improve search function

Allow users to type resources and give suggestions if there are misspellings. This makes it easier to suggest potential resources.


Provide salient info on cards

More information would reduce time on external websites to find relevant information about a resource.


Make important functions more visible

Shortening the welcome screen allows more categories to be seen. The submit referral button is an important feature, but all participants missed it.


We were able to meet with the project manager and present our findings to them after the semester had ended. We received positive feedback for all of our hard work and were told our research will be taken into consideration for their redesign.

If I were to improve on this project, I would conduct more usability testing since we had a small sample size. This could impact the difficulty rating and the SUS scores, which will provide more feedback and insight on how we could improve ConcernCenter. It would also be helpful to test how the desktop version would perform as well. Although we were a smaller team of three, I thoroughly enjoyed working on this project!