A new school year is approaching, and the orientation team is looking to you for some design expertise. Design an experience for students to discover orientation events and craft a visual system to accommodate different types of events: sports, music, visual arts, social groups, and volunteering events.
Provide high-fidelity mocks for searching, browsing, and viewing the details for these different events.
I used to work in an academic advising office and was highly involved in event planning during the orientation. From an event organizer’s perspective, there were always students missing an event for various reasons, such as they did not know about the event, they were not interested because not much information was provided, or they simply forgot about it.
It was tempting to make assumptions based on my own experience, but I decided to interview four students from different universities to understand their orientation experience. Some common themes were revealed although they went to different institutions:
Students received event information from multiple sources: booklet, email, social media group, peers, notifications from orientation counselors or resident assistants, and university website.
Students want to know the as much details of the events as possible to make decisions.
Students need a map to get to event locations.
Students would like to receive reminders of the events and notifications of any changes.
Students prefer simple interface layout, either listing all events throughout the day or marking events on a map.
Easy to use, details, map, notification, simple
Since many people use smartphones, I believe a mobile application will provide a one-stop shop experience for new students. Based on the motivations and pain points gathered from my research, I believe the app should include the following features:
Displays events of the day in a clear order.
Details and user options are available in individual event pages.
Provides directions to event locations.
Reminds user of the events as well as notifies of any updates.
Shows saved events.
Indicates whether there will be swags given out.
- I need to collect more data from students in a wider range of institutions to learn more about what they need in different situations.
- I will invite students to evaluate the prototypes in order to make further improvement.
- I would like to add some sort of log-in feature so that added events can be saved in the student account.
Through this exercise, I gained valuable experience in conducting individual user research and balancing the effort on each part of the design process. I also further improved my time management and organizational skills. Overall, I had a lot of fun in the process and would love to take on more design challenges.