Oxford University Micro Internship

Oxford University approached Oxford Computer Consultants to see if we would be interested in hosting 2 Micro Internships for a week in December 2015.  The timing was good because the CMLOOK project had just begun, so there was lots of research to do and it offered a rare opportunity for interns to see how a start-up operates in its very first weeks.

The interns were given 3 tasks.  This is the Intern Brief in full

  • Design and test a Questionnaire for User Requirement Analysis.
  • Develop and Design a Landing page for an App.
  • Investigate Trust networks: How do different stakeholders evaluate trust?

Developing a User Requirement Questionnaire and testing it on our Target Audience

The interns spent a morning developing this questionnaire.  CMLOOK User Requirement Questionnaire    The next step was to find people in our target audience to test it on.  Our target audience are people aged 50 – 65 who have older parents living some distance away, who would benefit from a volunteer befriending service.   Unfortunately, we could not identify any group or club made up exclusively of this target audience.  The best we could do was to find groups of people in the desired age range.  We found activities aimed at the over 50s advertised in community centres across Oxford and asked the organisers if we could conduct interviews over coffee, when the class was over.  We found the average age was 65 and very few had older parents living elsewhere, so many of the responses we gathered were hypothetical.   50% of those interviewed owned a smart phone or tablet.  100% had a computer at home and used it for at least 5 hours a day.

Developing an App

Following the interviews, the interns developed a user-flow diagram and modelled some of the pages for the app.   Below is the Register page they designed.  Their work can be seen in full here CMLOOK Intern presentation

Registration Page

Trust Theory Research

Trust is going to be a crucial element of CMLOOK.  Users will need to trust volunteers that they find on the website to help care for their elderly relative.  Let us define trust as the psychological state comprising the intention to accept vulnerability based upon expectations of the intentions or behaviour of another.  So CMLOOK will need to finds ways to help users feel confident that the volunteers’ intentions or behaviour towards their elderly relative will be similar to their own.

The interns used the questionnaire to ask people about trust and they also conducted their own research on-line.  The results of their work can be seen here  Trust Theory Research

A Positive Experience

The Micro-Internship was a very positive experience for everyone involved.  OCC were impressed by how quickly the students grasped the concept of CMLOOK and by the volume and quality of work they completed within one week.  The very short time frame meant that the work was extremely focussed towards the deliverables from the very first morning.  The interns felt that it was,

The good holistic product development experience I was looking for, touching on user interview, questionnaire, secondary research and UX design.

If your company is interested in finding out about hosting a micro-internship you can find out more at Oxford University Careers Service



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