intro picture of move

move

Helping students to find their semester or internship abroad.

Strategies:

Research, UX Design

Tools:

Adobe XD, Sketch, Principle, After Effects, Premiere

Time Period:

October 2017 – January 2018

Overview Research Concept Design Video Learnings

Overview

This project is a group work with another student from my third semester. The task was to create a concept for a website that informs and encourages students from our university to go abroad for a semester or an intership.

Challenge

We first had to determine which information is useful for students if they are interested in going abroad. Furthermore we had to decide how to display a big amount of information in a clear and visually pleasing structure so that students can benefit from the new concept.

Research

Building Empathy With The Users

Our first step was to put ourselves in the shoes of people who are currently looking for a semester abroad or an internship. We went through the current user journey of this process ourselves and were able to talk about additional questions with an employee of the International Office of our university. In doing so, the following pain points became evident:

  1. Important Information scattered everywhere.
    There is an immense amount of important information provided. However, it is spread over several different sections on the university's website or the university's CMS.
  2. Missing transparency.
    Information about partner universities is not optimally prepared. Only the names of the partner universities are mentioned, but there is no link to their university homepage to get further details. It is also very unclear for students whether they can study a semester abroad at a university with their course of study. Likewise, it is not clear right away if there is a possibility for scholarships. From our conversation with the International Office staff, we also learned that many students often do not consider a semester abroad because they are afraid of the high costs and do not know that they will be eligible for a scholarship.
  3. No insightful feedback from former students.
    If there is feedback from a former student abroad of a partner university, it is usually an Excel spreadsheet or a scanned questionnaire filled out by hand. These documents often contain short or incomplete answers and are very general. This does not necessarily motivate students to go abroad. Likewise, the potential of this feedback is not used, since these impressions are crucial for undecided students, and employees of the International Office can hardly convey them.

Who are our users?

After our research we could distinguish our target group into two different sections.
On the one hand there are students who are quite enthusiastic about going abroad but don‘t want to spend a lot of time searching for information.

This persona represents students that are indecisive about going abroad
This persona represents students that are uncertain about going abroad.

On the other hand there are those who are quite uncertain about going abroad because they‘re missing in-depth information.

This persona represents students that are uncertain about going abroad
This persona represents students that are enthusiastic about going abroad but detest searching for information.

Concept

Sketches and Ideas

The first thing we did was brainstorm. We wrote down the questions that our personas were dealing with and brainstormed ideas for possible solutions. We also took a closer look at the topic of travel, as this is in a similar context to studying abroad.

Brainstorming first ideas for the move website

In our first draft we focused on giving the user the most important information on only one page. We also tried to avoid writing too much text and relied on images and icons to present necessary details and first impressions of the partner university.

First wireframes of the move website

After presenting those wireframes to potential users, we quickly noticed, that we solved the problem of having too much information scattered all over different places. On the other side, we noticed, that for people, who are undecided or uncertain about a semester abroad, this concept lacks important details that could help them getting a better feeling about the idea of going abroad.

Design

Designing With Purpose

The website intends to inspire and encourage students to spend a semester or internship abroad. However, this should not only emerge from the new structure and concept on its own. For the design, we choose our UI colors carefully to set the right tone.

Moodboard for the design of the website

With turquoise, we aimed to alleviate the feelings of loneliness. This color also creates a calming place and strengthens positive mental energy. This benefits the more undecided students. By choosing the color blue, we pursued to make the website feel secure and convey communication.

UI colors used to create the website.

The following pictures show our final design solution. The current solution of our university for semesters abroad is not a stand-alone website is, but content that is integrated into the university website. In our concept, the users get an independent login area, and before logging in, they can see what features the move website has to offer.

Use flow of login to the move website and searching for universities

Our concept offers the possibility to take a closer look at partner universities. We divided essential details into four compact sections. Thus, all relevant information is in one place and also well structured.

Getting more information about a specific partner university

We reused the formerly low-quality feedback from former students in our concept. It includes a feature that allows interested students to view reviews from other students about a university and thus get more realistic impressions.

Seeing reviews from students who have been an exchange student at partner universities

Concept Video

The Final Result

As a final task, we had to create a short video about our process and the use case of our website concept.

Learnings

Final Takeaways

  1. This case study was the first project that we had to complete in teamwork during my studies. Especially when designing in a team, I quickly realized that communication is the key. This allows us to work together effectively and minimizes the amount of work and redundancies.
  2. This project was a great opportunity to not only learn about new vector graphics editor tools like Adobe XD and Sketch, but also prototyping tools like Principle.

Next case study:

Miscellaneous

Other Work