Discovery & Research
To set the stage, I dived right into discovery and research towards the following questions:
- Who is considered a new student?
- What are the existing platforms available at my school (New York City College of Technology) to browse, search and propose a new organization?
- How do current students find their information? How do they reach out?
- What’s working/not working in the current browsing, searching and proposing process?
Understanding Needs & Pain Points
Once I got a better understanding of our current platforms and existing process, I connected with students to learn more about their experience with organizations and how they currently find information. This was during winter break so I was able to go into school to find students to talk to in person since I wasn't receiving any replies through our OpenLab site.
"It would be great to know who to talk to, [which organizations] to go to, or even when things are going to happen."
Plan of Action
Based on the students' feedback, new students can range from the following:
- Incoming First-Year (straight from high school)
- Transfers (from other campuses via e-permit or CUNY BA program)
- Re-admits (coming back from school after a break due to family, life, career, or medical reasons)
- Current students that want to become more involved in school outside of their majors and within their own interests
With that in mind, the students sorted the feedback into 5 categories (shown below) and I decided on 3 categories to solve and serve as the core focus of the product:
- Ease of Access - Help students with access the organizations more easily
- Communication - Increase transparency and communication
- Inaccurate Information, Uncentralized - Serve as a primary medium to find current and active organizations
So how might the experience work for Bryan, a transfer student?
Bryan Matthews is a transfer student from City College. He was a part of the Mechatronics Club and would like to see what other clubs are available at City Tech that is related to his major and interests.
Major: Mechanical Engineering Technology
Wants / Needs:
- Find clubs related to Engineering, Sports, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence
- Discover events to attend to that matches with his schedule
- Find a supportive community and build his network
Information Architecture + Flow
With Bryan in mind, I created the following breakdown and flow of the features that were needed in the experience and chose the club/organization profile page to start wireframes with.
Using the wireframes, I asked participants to use the experience as Bryan and fill the following 4 tasks:
- Log in using CUNY ID#
- Fill out interest questionnaire
- Request to join the Mechantronics Club
- Open the Propose New Club feature in Bryan's profile page
- "Using CUNY ID# is a nice touch. Makes app feel inclusive for non-City Tech exclusive students that are on campus."
- 5 out of 5 (100%) were able to complete the 4 tasks
- 5 out of 5 (100%) said seeing who is on the leadership team is nice
- 3 out of 5 (60%) wanted to delete their availability but couldn't
- 3 out of 5 (60%) said suggested to enlarge the "Proposing a New Club" link