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Description

Current or prospective college student have to make many important academic decisions. The biggest of all is deciding on a major. Yet my team and I came to the realization that despite all students having to make this decision, many students encounter difficulties. We wanted to help students and thus IMajor was born.

 

The goal of this project was to create an effective solution to combat the uncertainty when deciding a college major and decrease the amount of potential internal transfers for UT students. 

The project was designed so that each team member would be in charge of designing a feature of the app. I was in charge of the profile feature. This project was also intended to finish after the first high fidelity prototype was created.

Role

UX/UI Designer

Team Leader

Researcher

Team

Yesenia Garcia

Justice Bustos

Collin Wolfhope

Nick Athanason

Background Research

By conducting background research about the problem, we identified several key insights:

  • Many people feel the process of choosing a major is overwhelming and complicated

  • Making an unsure or uninformed decision can increase the time and cost needed to finish a degree.

  • Deciding on a college major can feel binding when it comes to a students time, money, and especially future

Competitive Analysis 

We researched existing sources people use to inform their decision and found that there wasn't one comprehensive source currently available. Each of the services and sources we examined had major weaknesses or only provided insight into one area of consideration.

Identified Competitors and What They Offer

  • Handshake - Strengths/preferences match majors & careers

  • Command Education - Research what schools have to offer

  • LinkedIn - Allows observation of career paths

  • Reddit - Crowdsource for specific questions

  • Family & Friends - Convenient for many users

  • Ellucian - Grouped Majors

  • UT Department Websites - Descriptions of department and specific majors

  • Indeed - Discover different jobs

  • Academic Advisors - Have major-specific info

Gathering Insights

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After interviewing users about their experience with selecting their major, we created an affinity map to cumulate our findings and identify overarching themes.

Personas 

Our next step was to create personas to help us better understand the different types of users and their needs.

Stakeholder Map

I 310U_ Project 2.3 _ Stakeholder Map.png

We created a stakeholder map to identify who we will need to collaborate with through the design and implementation process.

Ideation Sketches

We utilized the insights from our research to develop the features and design of our app. The next phase was to each create rough sketches of different features.

Low Fidelity Prototypes

The paper prototypes were further refined and led to the low fidelity prototypes. Due to the time constraint of the project, each team member was assigned a feature that they would develop the layout and design for.

Usability Studies

The low fidelity prototypes were tested by potential users and allowed us to identify problems with the designs. Below are two of the problems we uncoverd.

High Fidelity Prototypes

The final solution was an a social media/informational platform. IMajor has the following features:

  • Profile

    • Allows users to create connections and show who they are and what they have done

  • Chat

    • Allows prospective students, current UT students, & Alumni to chat with each other

  • Search

    • Familiar structure like Instagram

    • Allows users to find specific people, majors, minors, and certificates w/ additional filter options

    • Save specific searches (efficient for future reference)

  • Info Page

    • Provides info about campus, majors, minors, certificates, and programs that are offered at UT

  • Home Page

    • Allows users to find new content related to their profile, search history, interests, and goals

Next Steps and Reflections

A quick note about the project is that it was designed so that each team member would be in charge of designing a feature of the app. I was in charge of the profile feature. This project was also intended to finish after the first high fidelity prototype was created.

The next steps for IMajor would be to conduct another round of usability testing for the high fidelity prototype. We would then take the feedback and make further revisions to our app. After that we would need to present our app to UT administrators and IT department to get approval to create and release the app. Ideally we would partner with the IT department to code the app and keep the software up to date. From there we would gather information from the different departments - like what major each offers - and have the developers enter it into the app. Then we'd release the app. This isn't the end as part of design is continuing to revisit products and making them better.

Had I been able to alter the way the project was structured, I would've made it where everyone on the team equally worked on and made prototypes for each feature. I'd also like to change the amount and types of participants we recruited for usability testing. We were able to get current and past student participants but getting feedback from more UT staff, parents, and prospective UT students would have given us a better understanding of all our users needs.

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