Designing for college student
uNivUS is an App that aims to bring student closer and provide easy access to services within the National University of Singapore (NUS) campus. The App provides essential features for campus life like timetable, bus timings, digital ID, canteen crowd level and more.
Over the span of 4 months , I collaborated with Aefy from NUS Information Technology to revamp the user interface and App branding. The goal of the revamp was to improve the user experience of the App and reflect a stronger student identity. The App revamp was launched in June 2021, since then, it has evolved into an essential App that most NUS students use on a daily basis.
Aefy Raib (Project Manager)
Refreshed App architecture and user experience
Standardised design system and branding
Jan - May 2021
Extending the role of the college App
uNivUS was built for temperature declaration purpose during the 2019 COVID outbreak. Since then, it's UI has not changed much and several functions are no longer relevant. Student feedback on the App experience was unsatisfactory.
While making improvements to the existing experience, the team also wish to extend uNivUS's role by incorporating several new features to better serve the students.
To better approach the project, we analyse the existing user journey to identify some key problems.
We did an app walk through to identify frustrations that we encounter when using the key features. Key problems identified also took student feedbacks on the App experience into consideration.See key problems ↓
Unclear Content Hierarchy
Elements on the page are not presented based on the frequency of use.
Feature sections on the homepage are of the same level of emphasis. There is a low contrast between
Can we restructure the content hierarchy of the homepage based on user goals?
Undefined User Journey
Confusing App architecture leads to inconstancy in user journey. Function of certain feature are not intuitive due to disconnection in content between pages.
The Favourites feature is under homepage, but the entry point to edit it's content is through the Discover footer. Footer navigation changes within pages.
Can we design a better site architecture that are scalable for future iterations?
How might we design a delightful, consistent user experience?
Design Does Not Speak to The User
Unfamiliar design elements lead to confusion. Information are not presented in the most easily understood way.
Crowd insight for venues are visualised in a table format which is uncommon as compared to other platform's chart representation. E.g Google's visit data.
How might we optimise information design for our target audience?
Lack of design system and branding result in inconsistent design language across the App.
Feature under the App follows a different set of colour scheme. Buttons and components are different on most pages.
How might we design a scalable design system to ease the development process?
How might we construct a positive App perception through the use of branding?
Student Feedbacks on Existing APP Experience
App for NUS students
We conducted focus group discussions & gathered survey responses to understand our target user
To better understand our target audience, we spoke to 3 groups of student volunteers and gathered 100 survey responses. From the responses, We defined 3 user archetypes, and mapped them to their respective jobs-to-be-done.
We identified several on demand features and took them into consideration
Using the user archetypes as a reference, we were able to pinpoint potential features to fulfil the user goal. The identified features matches with the suggestions from the survey.
Feature like calendar, find my lesson venue and campus notification are on higher demand based on the frequency that was suggested by the students. The identified features serve as a reference for future App development.
Communicating with respective departments on design system & branding
Since sections within the App were developed by different departments, majority of the work in establishing a design system and branding lies in communicating design concepts to the department in charge.
We worked with the engineers and publicity team to craft the product development roadmap
The revamp was set to launch in July before the start of a new semester to meet the expected rise in demand of campus services. A roadmap were structured based on the priority and helped to keep us on track.
Lots of prototyping and user testing of new user journey
A new App architecture were planned out based on the product road map. Scalability of the App architecture was the main concern to accommodate the upcoming features .
A brand new uNivUS experience for every NUS student
The revamped user experience launched was piloted in June 2020. The revamp featured a new journey for existing core features and with launch of new features like calendar, lesson venue, campus bus timing, resources & notification centre.
Onboarding on new interface
With a couple of new features, onboarding flow were added before App login to guide students through the changes.
Personalised homepage based on usage needs
Personalised user profile and digital ID are now available upon login. User can also customise homepage sections sequence to suit their usage habit.
Addition of bus timing widget showing the bus arrival timing of nearest bus stop based on location.
Lesson & Exam Dates Overview
Lesson and exam dates are automatically sync to the App upon login. Avoid missing any lessons by turning on the reminder notification.
A collection of essential information for every student. Access information on procedures like hostel registration, orientation camp registration, scholarship opportunities and career opportunities and more under this feature.
Standardised design system & branding
The scalable design system was created to save time, reduces technical debt over time. It solves the problem of inconsistent components and user experience. The system consists of main components and defined typography styles. The design system is never final. It evolves as we go along.
We received positive student sentiments but there is still room for improvement
Communication is key when managing multiple stakeholders
Continue to deliver user friendly experience