Pollo is an app that that allows for real-time polling, feedback, and interaction between teachers and students.


November 2019

My Role


User Testing



Also on iOS and Android


Cornell AppDev

Design: Cindy Huang, Amanda Yang

Product: Jack Thompson

Operations: Gracie Jing

Motivation ❔

At Cornell, many professors utilize polling software such as iClickers or Learning Catalytics in class. They use this often in large lectures where it is hard to interact with everyone in the class. Some of the main motivations for polling during class are:

The goal of Pollo is to provide a free alternative to polling software through a mobile and web app. In order to compete with other software and get Pollo into classrooms, we wanted to investigate whether professors prefer a desktop interface to run polls during class.

My Contribution

During the Fall 2019 semester, I worked on creating a design system and improving the mobile polling experience for students and professors. This study is on the user testing we conducted to explore the opportunity for a web app.

Why web?

We hypothesized that professors would only adopt Pollo if it had a web interface because:

We went into testing with simple prototypes so that we could get professor's real reactions to a potential tool, rather than just hypothesizing how they feel about polling.

Our goals for the study:


We sent an initial survey to Cornell professors to learn about the classes they teach, how they incorporate polling in them, and how interested they are in a new alternative. We reached out to the 11 professors who responded and interviewed three who volunteered. The interviewees taught large courses in Economics, Computer Science, and Information Science.

Initial survey results

Further interview questions

These are the questions we asked during user testing sessions to dive deeper than the survey questions.

1. Context

Talk about goals of the session, Pollo at a high level, and consent.

2. Background Questions

Debrief responses to the initial survey and ask if they would like to elaborate.

3. Grading and Exporting

4. Planning and Live Polling

Crafting the prototypes

We decided the first stage of development would be helping professors run polls from their desktop before designing the student side. From prior research when creating the mobile app, we learned that exporting attendance for their grading software and being able to easily make and start polls are the top priorities for professors.


Amanda and I worked to together to create a few high level explorations of the layout translating the mobile app to web.

High level explorations of Pollo web

We decided to go with the sidebar navigation because it had the most familiarity with the mobile app. It also allows for consistency since the sidebar could be easily modified to display classes, sessions, and questions. However, we needed to add an intermediate dashboard for a group for professors to view and export data.

Final prototypes and Testing scenarios

1. Making questions

This flow tests whether professors understand how to create groups for their classes and individual sessions with questions for each lecture.

2. Live polling

This flow continues from the last to test if professors would have difficulties running polls during lectures.

3. Quick Add

This is an experimental feature that tests whether professors find value in an alternate flow for creating questions. Quick add allows question creation on the fly with generic question names and automatic A-D multiple choices.




Planning and Live Polling


What next?

We got some great responses from the professors we talked to, and even some wanting to test Pollo next semester. We will revisit some interactions when creating polls such as marking correct answers and adding questions, but also look forward to new opportunity areas. Some ideas on the list:

Summer 2020 Update: I'm no longer part of the Pollo team, but happy to say that it has launched on web, the App Store, and Google Play Store! Some other amazing designers are working on further iterations of Pollo and we hope to see it in classes soon. For all the details of the design process and my contributions on other parts of the apps, contact me!

P.S. Special shoutout to my wonderful co-designer and mentor Amanda Yang and the rest of AppDev for teaching me so much!

back to projects

Thanks for visiting! Say hi πŸ‘‹ on LinkedIn, AngelList, Email, or Twitter.

Made with πŸ’– by Cindy Huang