UW-Superior Mobile App Concept

A college mobile app concept to provide personalized resources and campus engagement for students.

 

This mobile app was an experimental project Prost completed during her time at UW-Superior.

Duration

Role

Team

January 2021

(3 mo.) 

User Experience Researcher

Designer

Rachel Prost

UW-Superior website home page

Problem

The UWS website serves many audiences (alumni, prospective students, current students, professors, prospective staff/faculty, etc.), making it challenging for current students to find the relevant resources quickly and efficiently. With 90% of students owning smartphones, they rely on the mobile version of the UWS website and a myriad of separate information portals to perform their most frequent tasks.

 

Inspired by my experience as a UWS student and employee working in the UWS marketing and communications department, I decided to create a solution to centralize information via a campus-branded mobile app.

The goal was to create an app current UWS students could personalize to their academic and extracurricular needs. 

 

My responsibilities included attitudinal research, low-fidelity wireframes, and the development of the mobile application prototype.

UW-Superior proposed mobile application directory screen

Proposed Solution

Research

I conducted online surveys and interviews with current distant learning, international, and on-campus students.

CONTENT

Most students search the UWS website for information about campus activities, accessing the links to the different technology login portals, and making appointments with faculty/staff.

NAVIGATION

The layout of the webpages is difficult to navigate due to the myriad of information portals, buried/nested information on individual webpages, and the lack of keywords to search for desired information

DESIGN

The colors and pictures are generally appealing, but there are still inconsistent designs despite the website’s templated layouts

COMMUNICATION

The daily email messages containing announcements and information annoying and contain irrelevant messages to them.

I sought to design the UWS mobile application to serve as an information hub, streamline communication/appointment scheduling channels, and be accessible and engaging for students.      

UW-Superior proposed mobile application hand-drawn wireframe

Ideation

 

I organized, structured, and synthesized the most relevant information for students into 8 main categories so that users can easily find everything they need effortlessly.

I used this sitemap as a blueprint for the design structure to generate low-fidelity wireframes.

Branding

The next step was working with the University’s existing brand identity to create a new platform with a consistent feel.

GOLD

#ffd046

GREY

#f3f3f2

BLACK

#000000

WHITE

#ffffff

Fonts used for the UW-Superior proposed mobile application

Colors and Fonts

UW-Superior proposed mobile application appointment screen

How It Works

Ideally, algorithms and manual personalization by the student would optimize the kind of calendar events and notifications they would see.

Customized

Students would have the ability to customize the app’s interface by removing or rearranging app locations or page information to suit their individual needs.

UW-Superior proposed mobile application academics navigation screen
UW-Superior proposed mobile application residence life screen

Consolidated

Students can see all their campus-related personal information across the various departments.

Centralized

Ideally, algorithms and manual personalization by the student would optimize the kind of calendar events and notifications they would see.

UW-Superior proposed mobile application appointment schedule screen
UW-Superior proposed mobile application notifications screen

Relevant

“Notifications” section can be customized and would replace the Student Digest.

Outcome

I demonstrated about 10% of the mobile app’s proposed functionality. 

After satisfying the requirements for my college course, I was still interested in the idea of information architecture and designing for accessibility.

I spent my summer 2021 and last semester before graduation conducting independent research. I switched gears and learned more about user frustrations and goals using an nonprofit organization's Facebook page to rapidly prototype different solutions and develop a functional website as a result of the research.