Timeline

November 2021 - January 2022 July 2022 - August 2022

Type

Passion Project | Mobile

Role

UX Research UX/UI Design Product Strategy

Tools

Figma, Google Workspace, Zoom, Miro, Sprig, Optimal Workshop

Overview

ForU is a mobile application that provides customized university searching and matching experience for Chinese high school students.

Finding the right universities is an essential task for high school students. This motivated me to create a product that could help Chinese high school students find universities that align with their personal and professional needs and goals. This one is the Capstone project I did for my Springboard UX bootcamp.

Overview

ForU is a mobile application that provides customized university searching and matching experience for Chinese high school students.

Finding the right universities is an essential task for high school students. This motivated me to create a product that could help Chinese high school students find universities that align with their personal and professional needs and goals. This one is the Capstone project I did for my Springboard UX bootcamp.

Brief

ForU is a mobile application that provides customized university searching and matching experience for Chinese high school students.

Finding the right universities is an essential task for high school students. This motivated me to create a product that could help Chinese high school students find universities that align with their personal and professional needs and goals. This one is the Capstone project I did for my Springboard UX bootcamp.

Context

ForU is a mobile application that provides customized university searching and matching experience for Chinese high school students.

Finding the right universities is an essential task for high school students. This motivated me to create a product that could help Chinese high school students find universities that align with their personal and professional needs and goals. This one is the Capstone project I did for my Springboard UX bootcamp.

Problem Statement

Chinese high school students struggle to find universities that align with their exam scores, personal needs, and professional goals.

There are 10.78 million college applicants choosing from 2956 universities in China every year. However, students only have about 2 weeks after the college entrance examination to make decisions about their colleges.


Hey Charlene, how might we enhance the UX of the writer dashboard to make it more children-friendly and appealing while also meet the business goals of Dreamwriters?

Outcome

70% of the testing users said they would writer and read books more often with the redesign.

100% of the testing users said they would engage more with the redesign.

Endorsed by stakeholders at Dreamwriters.

Design Approach

Research

Surveys and interviews revealed poor visual hierarchy, low discoverability, and lack of appeal to children in current designs.

I first sent out survey to parents to understand what's important to their children while composing and reading artwork. I received 67 survey responses. Then five semi-structured interviews were conducted with children and their parents to find out what they expect to see on the writer dashboard, and why the current version is underutilized.

Findings

  1. 1. Children don't find the current dashboard appealing.
  2. 2. Children most likely to continue with their unfinished stories or write a new book after they log in.
  3. 3. A lot of times, if there is no unfinished story, they don't know what to do next, so they quit.
  4. 4. Parents hope their kids can get recommendations on artworks to read to get some inspiration.

Design Opportunities

How could I translate these research findings into design opportunities?

Competitive Analysis

Different learning platforms utilize space and organize content in different ways, depending on their target learners and the learning content they provide.

I looked at some competitors' dashboards to get inspirations. Below were what I took away:

1. Having a main menu at the top or left helps to navigate.

2. Presenting information on the homepage using modular blocks makes the best use of space.

3. Grouping quick links in one place to prioritize them, making key features more accessible to users.

Ideation

💡 Prioritize key features and reorganize the dashboard infrastructure with the PM.

Since we want key features to stand out, we first need to determine which features are the most important.

💡Ideation for Navigation and layout

For the goal of improving visual hierarchy, we came up with the following options for how we can layout navigation bar as well as contents on Dashboard. There were distinct pros and cons for each option. After discussing with the PMs and engineers, we decide to do the Top Navigation + Grid View option.

💡Ideation for Visual Appeal and Call-to-Action

Designing for kids is a radically different ballgame than designing for adults. Based on previous research and my previous working experiences with kids, they love bright colors, make their action straight away, and want feedback on everything they do.

Design Decisions

User Testing

I used the prototype to conduct 10 usability tests to gauge user impressions of the updated dashboard experience and understand whether they feel it is an improvement over the current experience.

I received good and surprising reactions and also some areas of improvement which I later implements into the final design.

Next Steps

  1. 1. Improve responsiveness on tablet.

Problem Statement

Chinese high school students struggle to find universities that align with their exam scores, personal needs, and professional goals.

There are 10.78 million college applicants choosing from 2956 universities in China every year. However, students only have about 2 weeks after the college entrance examination to make decisions about their colleges.

Overview

About the Event

Adobe College + Sonos Creative Jam was a design competition for student designers across the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Teams had a week to work, and all submissions were scored by a judging panel of professional designers and product managers.

Prompt

The challenge is to identify a target market and area of need, and design an accessible third-party mobile app where people can easily discover and share their love of music with others in the same space, in-person, whether or not they have a music service subscription or digital library.

Our Concept

Music sharing is a social experience. Doreso values ​​the feelings and thoughts that people share through music at specific times and in specific places. Someone in the same space with you might resonate with your music. Doreso turns music sharing into an exploration of the mutual love of music, helping people better resonate.

Our Ranking

We are the 🔝Top 20 out of 350+ teams :)

Problem Statement

Chinese high school students struggle to find universities that align with their exam scores, personal needs, and professional goals.

There are 10.78 million college applicants choosing from 2956 universities in China every year. However, students only have about 2 weeks after the college entrance examination to make decisions about their colleges.

Solution

1. Increase the exposure of the sharing

- Find the music sharing experience around you based on your location.

- Your sharing can be exposed to the people in your space, increasing the likelihood that it casn be heard and liked by someone else.

2. Match music tastes

- Select your music tastes during the onboarding process.

- Check your shared tastes before sharing music to others.

3. Select music from the recommendation list

- Share songs that he/she might like from a data-driven list of recommended songs.

4. Connect to multiple streaming services

- The barriers between different music services are broken down.

The final product

Final Product

Outcomes

93% of the testing participants would like to use my app.

Most of the participants said ForU was the app they wanted to have as a high school student.

A net promoter score of 85.

5% of respondents are detractors, 5% are passives, and 90% are promoters.

Design Approach

Progress

💡D1: Understanding the Problem

Due to time constraints (1 day), our team was only able to interview people around us. We interviewed 10 people in total, including our classmates and friends. We asked them to describe their recent in-person music sharing experience.

Quotes from the interview

The two most frequent mentioned pain points are:

  1. When sharing music with friends, they are frustrated that their friends do not like the music.
  2. Their friends can not listen to the songs they share because they use different music streaming services.

💡D2: Job To Be Done

Based on the interview results, my team came up with several Job To Be Done (JTBD):

  1. When sharing music with others, I want to know their favorite genre of music, so I can make sure that the songs I share suit their tastes.
  2. When sharing music with others, I want to tell them what I'm thinking at the moment, so that I can make them understand why I'm sharing.
  3. When people share music with me, I want to quickly access those songs, so that I can save time.

💡D3: User Flow

Based on the JTBD, we created four key user flows of our app.

Key User flows

💡D3 + D4: Wireframe

We began with lo-fi wireframes to test out different versions of screens and to create a visual outline of each section of the app.

Lo-Fi Wireframe

We then transitioned to Adobe XD, where we referenced styles from Adobe XD UI Kits to create hi-fi wireframes.

Hi-Fi Wireframe

💡D4 + D5: Testing and Improvements

We did three rounds of quick testing using our hi-fi wireframe.

One of our friends is using the wireframe

Based on testing feedback, we quickly iterated our design with two major improvements:

💡D5 + D6 + D7: Prototype

User Research

Interviews revealed 3 pain points in students' university searching experience.

I conducted semi-structured interviews with 6 students, among which 4 were high school seniors and 2 were college freshmen, to understand their experience from begin searching different universities to making the final decision.

Design Opportunities

How could I translate these pain points into design opportunities?

Competitive Analysis

Existing products addressed some of the pain points, but no one product did it all.

Through research, I found there were not many Chinese local competitors, the only competitor only had very basic functions that cannot fully touch the user pain points.

Then I analyzed some competitors from other countries, even though their college application process are different from China, I got many insights, which I transferred into my design later.

Opportunity #1

How might we motivate students to do university searching and matching regularly?

Opportunity #2

How might we make information searching process more efficient?

Opportunity #3

How might we make it easier for students to manage information?

Testing & Improvements

Guerilla Usability Testing + Usability Testing + Community Feedback

I did one round of guerilla usability testing using my sketches and wireframe with 5 people with the goal of getting initial feedback on designs I’ve made and learning what users like about my designs and what aspects of my design are a bit less intuitive.

After the prototype been developed, I did two rounds of usability testing with 10 people to understand the kinds of problems users might run into when interacting with my product, as well as how satisfied the users will be with the design.

Based on feedback from 15 other peers + mentor feedback, I iterated my design over the span of 4 weeks - with some improvements. Below are some major ones.

Success
measurement

Although Doreso is a concept work for a design competition. My team designed it with the sincere hope that it can become a successful product someday. So we also think about how to measure the success of it if it's a real product.

Since the primary purpose of Doreso is to share and listen to music, which is used a couple of times a week. The daily and monthly active user (DAU and MAU) rates are the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) of its success.

Other metrics and goals to track for success include:

1. Session duration

How long each user spends on Doreso, as well as how they use that time in it.

2. Number of sessions per user

How many times each user shares music to the public. How many times they share music to specific people nearby.

3. Customer satisfaction rate

Final Screens

Link to my full Figma work file here.

Success Benchmark

Results

Key Takeaways

This is my first-ever UX project 🎉. I’m grateful to have been through an entire UX process and see how I arrive at each step. On that note, a few things I’ve learned:

💡 Backup decision with rationale

"It's important to know why you do something, there is always a rationale behind the decision." This is what my Springboard mentor Andrew always tells me. I can create empathy maps out but why are they important in the overall picture? How do they apply to the UX process? Hence, I focus on the major points in my project when I creating this case study.

💡 Iterate! Iterate! Iterate!

Design is not a linear process, I keep gaining different insights throughout the process, so frequent iterations are required. And iterating on the same part also yields insights. For example, I did two rounds of affinity mapping and empathy mapping to help me understand my users better. It turns out that when I do it twice or more, I do have deeper thoughts.

💡 Work alone is hard :(

While enjoying the entire process of this project, I have to admit that working alone has many limitations. For instance, group ideation must be more effective at generating high-quality design ideas than working alone. I believe that I can contribute more and gain more in a team environment. But overall, the process went smoothly as I frequently exchange my thoughts with my mentor.

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