Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Engineering and Sciences

First Advisor

Lucas Stephane

Second Advisor

Deborah Carstens

Third Advisor

Patrick Converse

Fourth Advisor

Munevver M. Subasi


This dissertation represents a Human Centered Design research to evaluate the perception and handling of stress. To successfully evaluate this research, an iOS smartphone application was developed. This research includes five HCD stages: identify needs, research/analysis, design, evaluation and delivery. The importance of this topic was revealed when we realized that stress can affect students internally and externally. We started with understanding the topic and gathering information about stressed students specifically in college. We created an ontology representing the causes of stress based on previous studies. The ontology includes three main factors: Academic, Social, and Personal/Family stress. In addition, the ontology helped us understand and conduct our first survey to figure out the possible causes of stress FIT students face. The findings indicated that stress exists for FIT campus students, enabling us to move to the next stages. Motivation is introduced as a key solution for stressed students. We believe that motivation could help students to get going, to perform better, and to achieve academic results. The idea of usability and its importance and goals were introduced and System Usability Scale tests were performed. The first iteration includes the paper mock up showing a set of pictures of the application. The second iteration consists of designing an application, creating workflow, system sequence diagrams and prototyping the application. The third iteration finalizes the findings of usability testing. This is important to complete before implementing the application. Building an iOS application requires two tools: X-code and Swift. Finally, two methods are used to evaluate the application. Diary method and usability testing are performed to evaluate the efficiency and usefulness of the application. Also, user behavior is vital to evaluate, therefore, the final survey includes usage, usefulness, efficiency, and assessment features.


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