Wheaton Mobile
Part 1 of 3

For part one:
to find out the user's needs, problems, and goals,
I conducted and synthesized user research 
Jan 2020

Overview

Background

(My very first UX project)

Wheaton Mobile is an app for Wheaton College (IL) students. 

Currently, the Student Portal is where the students and employees can get access to all the important college-related information, such as course registration, payroll, and school calendar. However, it is not optimized for mobile devices and takes multiple steps to get to relevant functions.

So for the past two years, the Student Government has been receiving requests from the student body to redesign the student portal and/or bring back the old mobile app that has been taken down from the app store two years ago

The official solution has been “Student on Tap.” It is just the front page of the portal website, and the users could save the link as a bookmark that looks like an app to their mobile device. It is an easy and low budget solution but has not solved many of the problems such as the lack of responsive design for mobile devices and inefficient navigation.

Goal 

Research and design an app where the students can easily get access to the features they need the most.

My Role

This is a solo project.
Company Branding
UX Research
UX Design
UI Design

Tools

iPad Procreate
Sketch App
Marvel
InVision
Miro
Adobe Illustrator

Time

Jan, Feb, Jun 2020

Constraints

It is a hypothetical project for my bootcamp, so I don't get to decide the process and methodology.

The primary purpose of this project for me was to learn all the steps of UX. The process is outlined by the curriculum I'm taking. I can't skip any step. 

1. User Research & Synthesis

What do I want to discover? – Research Questions

1. What are the undergraduate students’ opinions and experiences of the current platforms (Wheaton Portal and Student on Tap)?

2. Do students need a stand-alone mobile app? Why or Why not?

3. What are some of the top functions/features students wish to include in the potential mobile app? Why?

How can I assess the opinions of the majority users? – Quantitive Survey

The goal of the Research Survey is to access general opinions, get quantitative data, and recruit interview participants. It is a complement to the in-depth interview I would do next. 

6

Survey Questions

304

Survey Responses

106

Individual Comments

Quantitive Survey - Results Highlights

Almost all the students who left a comment in the survey expressed frustrations with the current platforms and hope to have an app that combines all the features they use often.


"I don’t use student on tap at all. It seems really inefficient and because it’s all just loading the portal, it seems clunky and takes a while to load each thing, and isn’t tailored well to the mobile experience. However, I used the old Wheaton mobile app ALL THE TIME. The fact that it was an actual app optimized for mobile users was great."


How do I better understand the survey response? – User Interview

I interviewed 5 users (4 in-person, and 1 remote). Each interview was about 30 min.


Sample Interview Questions

What do you use … for? Could you walk me through your process of using…? (Menu Schedule, Who’s Who, Chapel Schedule, etc.)

On the survey, you said it’s crucial to include … feature. Could you tell me why?

How do you usually access these links? From Student on Tap or somewhere else?

Do you usually use your phone or laptop to access this feature?

How do you find out about new campus events and keep track of them?

How do you check your class schedules at the beginning of every semester?

What did I learn? — Research Synthesis: Affinity Maps

In order to see trends among the qualitative information collected from different users, I made four iterations of the Affinity map.

Following are the examples of the first version and the final version. 

Affinity Map First Version

Affinity Map First Version

The notes are users’ opinions of and experiences with Student on Tap and its features.

Grouped based on interview questions, such as "Existing Student on Tap features" and "Daily campus-related activities"

Problems:
Too many categories, too scattered
Not able to generate cohesive insights about the product as a whole
Mobirise

The second version was grouped based on users’ process of using Student on Tap, such as How did they find the info they need, How did they process the info they find, How did they keep the info they process.




Problems: Trouble defining positive or negative; Some notes could belong to multiple categories; Many in “find info” but not much in other categories 

The third version was based on modified steps for Behavior Design:
1. Cue (How did users notice the activity/feature/task?)
2. Reaction (What did users do or say?)
3. Evaluation (How did the users feel?)
4. Consequence (What did the feature/action result in?)
5. Timing (How often and when?)

Problems: Many extra notes did not fit into this model 

Affinity Map – Fourth and Final Version

This map shows the positive and negative expectations and reactions users have when they interact with Wheaton Portal and Student on Tap, including how they find, process, and keep tract of the information they need.

Affinity Map — Fourth and Final Version

What did I learn? — Research Synthesis: Empathy Map

I made the empathy map in order to visually organize the insights, observations, and quotes that I have collected from the research to better understand the user’s pain points, goals, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. 

What did I learn? — Research Synthesis: Persona

I created a user persona that helped me to make user-centered decisions during the next steps of my design process. Even though a persona is depicted as one person, it’s actually a synthesis of the observations and analysis I have recorded of many different users.

I chose to only make one persona for now because all the users I researched have needs similar enough to be grouped together. 

Summary of What I Learned
Research Synthesis: How Might We (HMW) Statements

1. How might we help Wheaton College students find information related to campus activities easily?

2. How might we make some features more readily available and accessible on mobile devices?

3. How might we make students more aware of campus resources that they might want to use?

About

Daini Eades is a UX/UI Designer at LexisNexis

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