Student course exploration tool

Overview

In my capstone design course (SI 487) three other students and I worked with The University of Michigan's Digital Innovation Greenhouse to create a student profile page to implement on their Academic Reporting Tools site. The student profile page will help students track their progress towards graduation, explore different courses, majors and minors, and view evaluation data about specific courses.

My Role

As a UX Designer on the team I led the efforts in creating and iterating on our wireframes in Sketch and InVision. I also conducted interviews, usability tests, and synthesized research from surveys we sent out.

Final Product

The final product was a profile page where students could clearly track their graduation progress in terms of total credits, and also by major requirements. Students could browse other courses and star other courses they were interested in taking. We leveraged data that was available from Academic Reporting Tools to showcase how past students rated their classes in terms of understanding, work load etc.

 
 

User research

We conducted interviews and sent out surveys to learn what University of Michigan students would like to see in a personal profile page. 

[I would like if] there was a tool where you could put all of the classes that you’ve taken in collectively and then it would like generate a list of classes that you might be interested in. But it would tell you like what classes you could take in the requirements you haven’t yet fulfilled… That would be super helpful because it’s hard to figure out what classes fall under the same requirement and what classes are under a different one. Especially with a PITE and philosophy [major], a lot of the stuff is really similar.
— UM sophomore

We found that students want to view distribution requirements, progress towards graduation, and more evaluation data about courses.

Personas and Scenarios

Personas.png
 

Samantha is a Junior at The University of Michigan studying molecular and cell biology. She is a planner and likes to stay  on top of her graduation requirements. Before registering for classes each semester she logs onto her student profile page on ART to see what courses she needs to complete for her major and for general distribution requirements to graduate on time. She has been taking a lot of classes for her major and has room to explore different areas. She is thinking about declaring a minor and wants to see how close she is to completing various minors. She goes to her “progress towards minors” section and sees she is one class away from a biophysics minor, two classes away from a gender and health minor, chemistry minor and ecology and evolutionary biology minor. She decides to pursue a gender and health minor and looks for those classes. She filters by upper level requirement classes because she needs to fulfill this distribution requirement. She decides to take WS 400 Reproductive Health, a gender and health upper level writing requirement class.

David is new to The University of Michigan and is still getting familiar with all of the courses offered. He wants to see what classes he could take next semester that would be similar to the classes he really enjoyed last semester (SOC 100 and ANTHRCUL 226). David logs onto his student profile page on ART and is able to enter the courses he liked, and is able to view a list of courses that are similar to those. He looks at what past students said about the workload in some of these courses and chooses to take a psychology course. In addition, David wants to take a course to fulfill one of his natural science distribution requirements. He searches for natural science classes and filters them by classes related to biology, a subject that he wants to learn more about. After registering for his courses, he logs on to ART to see what some possible majors would be based on the classes that he has taken in his first year.

 
3.png

Charlie is a sophomore at The University of Michigan facing the “sophomore problem.” He needs to declare his major soon and is not sure which classes to take to help him decide. He knows that he does not want to go to grad school and wants to find a major where he could have a successful job after graduation. His favorite classes so far were in the English and Psychology department but he wants to explore what his career options could be with these degrees. He would like to see how many of the prerequisites he has completed for a variety of majors to help him decide.

Initial Sketches

Revised Sketch

We had a lot of features we wanted to implement but we had to narrow our scope and created a more minimalistic wireframe.

Digital Prototype: Balsamiq

We started using Balsamiq and Invision to create interactive digital prototypes

 
Second iteration of balsamiq prototype after incorporating client and student feedback.

Second iteration of balsamiq prototype after incorporating client and student feedback.

 

sketch Iterations

Final Prototype

A DIFFERENT student profile graduation progress for a different major