Navigating around campus as a brand new student can be a very overwhelming experience, especially for those who haven't been on site before. Following my own design thinking framework, I was able to utilize my skills in research/design to properly conceptualize and scope the problem space.
Product Designer - Interaction Design, Visual Design
September 2018 - April 2019
Sample survey questions
To start this research phase off and to get a better understanding of the problem space, I had sent out a survey to around 80-90 students to learn how they operate within their first few weeks on campus and what methods/services they would use to help familiarize themselves with campus.
It took 46.5% of students to figure out the campus in a few days, 39.4% a few weeks, and 14.1% a couple months.
68.2% had wandered around campus until they got to their destination whilst 31.8% relied on a map.
Taking all the insights from research and the participatory design workshops, I created a thorough user journey that highlights the average experience for new students.
User journey map
With the insights I had gained from my research, I had more of a solid understanding of my users’ needs and what their pain points were. I have found that many students during their first year at Sheridan College managed to get their way around campus by wandering around and/or by asking fellow students for directions. Some students who had utilized these methods had varying degrees of success and lack the confidence in traveling the campus by themselves weeks and sometimes months later. My primary goal moving forward is to reduce the process of trial and error when exploring and to help them gain the confidence to explore campus on their own.
How do we streamline the experience of navigating campus as a new student whilst making it fun and interactive?
How do we eliminate external distractions for students whilst they are making their way to their next class?
To help me navigate how students can have a more reliable travelling experience whilst on campus, I have decided that a navigation based app would help alleviate the issues highlighted. I developed an interaction flow that would help users navigate the app and explore some its features.
Once the interaction flow was laid out, I began with roughly sketching out the user interface. This was done so that I could quickly get my ideas down without having to worry about the high-fidelity. I started with low-fi prototypes and tested them quickly with some willing users to hash out and refine the overall experience of the application.
Sample user testing feedback
A few users had issues with the verbiage and how the experience would handle certain features such as starting up the AR experience and utilizing the object scanning feature.
To help bring this concept to life, I had spent some time developing a brand identity. I went through many iterations of logo designs, colours, typography, voice. Finally, I had settled on the name 'Beacon' as beacons are used to help people identify where they need to be (duh).
Brand style guide
Sample design library
Below is a brief walkthrough of the different features that users are able to experience whilst using the application.
The homepage is very minimal as it can allow users to easily navigate through the app without disrupting the AR experience.
The destination page is where students can select where they would like to go on campus, it could either be a classroom, restaurant or a service. Users will be prompted to select a wing followed by a room number or name of a service or on campus restaurant.
Once students have finished inputting their destination info, they will then be prompted to scan their environment to launch the AR experience. The purpose of this is to determine if the environment is suitable enough for the experience.
The AR experience
With this project I learned a lot about what it takes to design a product from the initial conceptualization to the final prototype.
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