THE CHALLENGE

A mobile application allowing Sheridan students to streamline their class schedules, assignments, and communication with professors.

Tools
  • Sketch
    InVision
    Miro
Role
  • Project Management
    User Research
    Ideation
    User Testing
    UX/UI Design
    Product Design
Collaborators
  • Andres Marulanda
    Ahmed Islaih
    Luigi Nicastro
    Michael Rugo
Interested?

Overview

SheridanPro is a mobile application that consolidates class schedules, assignment dates, and communication into a single solution for the students of Sheridan College. College is a large organization and full of services that we’ve utilized overtime as students. As a design challenge, we were tasked to define an area we could improve, and/or innovate upon. We decided to take the existing user journey of managing your class schedule and communicating with professors.

Process

This project was a group effort, and we were randomly put into teams. Using the Google Design Sprint framework as a our foundation, our process followed below.

PHASE ONE
Defining the Problem
PHASE TWO
Solution Formation
PHASE THREE
Evaluate & Test

Phase 1: Defining the Problem

Lightning Talk

As a group, we began by each taking a turn sharing problems we faced as a students of Sheridan College.

• The talk was structured carefully and lasted fifteen minutes, overall.

• Each group member had a general idea of what they wanted to improve on by discussing it aloud.

• Topics included improving the school’s cafeteria by implementing kiosk systems, to creating a individual programing system that improved students lives.

• By the end of our lightning talk, our team decided that we were going to focus on an existing Sheridan College service that would improve the frequent actions taken by students: viewing their schedules, assignments, and communicating with professors.

THE CHALLENGE

How might we make it easier for students to manage their schedules, classes, and communication with professors?

Affinity Mapping

We took a deeper dive into this area by utilizing the affinity mapping method as a way to brainstorm and ideate. We put up sticky notes and explored each area and issue. Having the unique perspective of 5 different students really brought some good discussion forward!

Blockers & Pain Points

Major pain points for our prospects include support and productivity:

• Students aren’t receiving the support they need at critical stages of their education.

• Students are spending too much time in the current workflow in two different applications: visiting AccessSheridan to view schedules, Slate to view assignments & sending emails to professors.

• It’s a hassle going back and forth to AccessSheridan & Slate to check your schedule, classes, etc.

As it stands, accessing and viewing your schedule can be cumbersome. First, you need to log into a website (that doesn’t save your login) that isn’t mobile-friendly. This prevents many levels of action, and effort, in order to simply view a student schedule.

Existing User Flow for Accessing a Schedule
1

You need to log into Access Sheridan, which isn’t mobile friendly.

2

You’re required to navigate to this tiny link to access Sheridan student centre.

3

Another click required here in order to view your schedule.

4

Finally at the schedule screen - which isn’t the most intuitive or friendly.

Phase 2: Solution Formation

Desired Functionality

As a group, we settled on the idea that our app would be an MVP and would just contain enough “core” features necessary to function.

That in mind, we narrowed down on the three potential use cases:

  • • Make the process of accessing your schedule as easy as possible.
    • • Make student communication with the professors more instantaneous and agile.
      • • Improve student performance with a more effective calendar tool.
EXISTING JOURNEY
  • Student opens AccessSherdian and logs in
  • Student navigates to student centre
  • Clicks on Weekly Schdule
  • Views schdule; can't find anything about assignments
  • Needs to message their prof; required to log into State
IMPROVED JOURNEY
  • New students are told about the app at the beginning of semester
  • Student opens app; can access schedule & assignments
  • Students can message their professors using the same platform
Assumptions

It was also important that we took the time to acknowledge any assumptions we were making. This would ultimately impact the development of our conceptual app: Below are just some of those assumptions:

  • • Students and professors have access to a mobile device
  • • Students and professors prefer a mobile-solution over web
  • • Professors would actually use our solution
  • • Students dislike the existing method of organization
  • • Sheridan would integrate this service into their existing infrastructure
  • • Sheridan can afford and implement the service from a technical standpoint
Wireframes

From there, I was able to quickly generate some wireframes for how we envisioned the app would look like. This was mostly a collaborative process - where we each provided feedback and suggestions on how the app would function.

Phase 3: Evaluate and Test

User Testing

Before jumping into the visual design and aesthetics, we had the opportunity to test our mobile solution with fellow classmates. We figured this would be a great way to get some quick feedback about our concept before spending any more time on it.

Luigi and I facilitated the tests and recorded notes.

Pre-Test Questionnaire
  • 1. What program and year are you in?
  • 2. How do you currently check and/or access your student schedule?
  • 3. How do you currently check and/or access your courses?
  • 4. How do you currently check and/or communicate with your professors?
  • 5. How often do you use the Sheridan mobile website?
  • 6. Do you like or dislike it - if so, why?
  • 7. What are some of your main issues with it, if any?
  • 8. Do you enjoy the process of using Slate - why or why not?
  • 9. Your thoughts on an app that’s more catered towards students and its professors?
  • 10. What’s your current emotional state right now?
Scenario 1

The semester has just started and you can’t remember your class schedule, but you know you have a class on Monday morning. You need to use the Sheridan app to see your upcoming class timeslot and classroom.

TASKS
  • 1. Log into the SheridanPro application
    2. Open the ‘Schedule’ tab
    3. Change the calendar view from Monthly to Weekly
    4. Tap on the timeslot to see information for your class
Scenario 2

You’re working on school work over the weekend, and can’t remember what’s due efor your Monday morning class. You check SheridanPro to see what assignments are due and whether any announcements are posted.

TASKS
  • 1. Switch to the ‘Courses’ tab.
    2. Select “Collaboration” class.
    3. Scroll down to find the due dates.
Scenario 3

You’ve been working on homework for Michael’s class, but one of the instructions in the brief doesn’t make sense. You already sent a message to Michael via SheridanPro; now you’re just looking to read his response.

TASKS
  • 1. Switch to the ‘Professors’ tab
    2. Open the conversation with Michael
    3. Review the conversation with Michael
Post-Test
  • 1. Did you find the application effective? Why or why not?
  • 2. What was the most difficult/frustrating thing about the application?
  • 3. What was the most valuable/useful feature about the application?
  • 4. What would you change?
Final UI Solutions

Based on the feedback and insights received during our user testing sessions, we implemented the changes into our app design.

Reflection

This project was an excellent opportunity to practice the Google Design Sprint - all in a collaborative manner. From a group perspective, I was selected as the team’s Project Manager and Decision Maker. I learned how to be decisive when it came to directing the group, determining what tasks needed to be delegated, and selecting to whom those tasks would be delegated.

Additionally, I was able to refine my expectations, bring more awareness to my own working styles, and adapt my style based on the unique members in a group. The project also solidified my understanding of the Google Design Sprint.

Got a project in mind?

I’m currently available for one-off projects or remote positions.

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