PROJECT & DOCUMENTATION

University engagement through a digital app: research

The research phase of the project reveals the main pain points and problems the user’s encounter while using the current Online Campus platform provided by the university. These discoveries are synthesized in key insights that will help with the development of a solution.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Introduction

My bachelor thesis project explores how to create an engaging long term university experience with a digital tool. The result is a concept for a mobile application where students can interact and stay up to date with classes, grades and social events to achieve not only academic success but also, engagement with their university community.

METHODOLOGY

Double Diamond & Design Thinking

The methodology for the thesis project is based on UK Design Council’s Double Diamond (1) and my own adaptation of the Stanford d.school Design Thinking Process (2).

RESEARCH

Synthesizing insights

Analysing the current OnlineCampus platform available at university, it’s functionality and usability as well as the user’s opinions were the two first steps of this project. Observations were collected from the recordings and notes of usability test and surveys, clustered into topics and translated into pain points, needs and key insights. There are different motivations why people care about improving components of their online campus which Moov can address. For many users the topic is connected to taking the best out of what the university has to offer academically while connecting with their peers socially.

RESEARCH

Survey & Usability Test

A usability test was conducted to 5 students which we can consider as “experts” as for being in the last semester of their studies and have used the platform more than 3 years. On the other hand, a survey was completed by other 30 students from different semesters, where they rated their experience and the interface in general. This testing was arranged to reveal qualitative and quantitative data about the user experience on the website.

INSIGHTS

Pain Points & Needs

The main problem is the fact that usually the university student relies upon a variety of platforms (e.g. Microsoft Teams, Email, Instagram and Online Campus itself) to communicate with their professors and to find out what is happening in their classes or on campus. The main pain points discovered during the research phase and during the analysis of the current Online Campus platform were taken into account in order to ideate and develop a solution that would tackle both problem sides.

ADDITIONAL FEEDBACK

User’s comments

During the testing participants were asked to think aloud as much as possible while performing the tasks. These comments were also useful as additional feedback for the current platform:

NEXT STEP

Developing a solution

The research phase provided a huge amount of information and usability issues that was later on categorized as shown on the “Pain Points” graphic. These aspects were the most important ones taken into consideration to develop a solution that would not only address these issues but also improve the platform significantly; thinking about the user and their needs and motivations.