UI/UX Design, User Research
8 weeks (Sep - Nov 2021)
A redesign of the user interface and user experience of Penn InTouch, a website that serves as the primary course planning and registration system at the University of Pennsylvania
Course planning and registration is an essential part of college life — fulfilling the necessary credits to graduate on time and successfully registering for the right courses can contribute to a more fulfilling academic experience for students. Penn InTouch is notoriously confusing to navigate and painstaking to use, leading to a frustrating and stressful course registration experience before the start of each semester.
How can I adapt principles of user-friendly design to transform course planning and registration into an easy, efficient, and stress-free experience for students at the University of Pennsylvania?
• Analysis of current design
• User research (interviews)
• Synthesize research to identify major pain points
• Wireframe and prototype
• Create design system
• Present designs for feedback and revision
For the scope of this project, I focused on the course registration process, which currently spans across 5 different tabs.
Below, I’ve mapped out the user journey for creating a mock schedule. This task alone takes at least eight steps. One reason why the user journey is so cumbersome is the continuous back-and-forth between clicking into the course search page and back into the mock schedule page.
In order to discover Penn InTouch users’ major pain points and wishes, I interviewed undergraduate students at Penn from across 4 separate schools. I also wanted to identify the features users primarily used so I could later reduce the information clutter.
(Access a more detailed summary of my user research here)
in-person and virtual interviews
Penn students from separate schools
1. Determine functionalities PiT users find most useful
2. Understand users' pain points and wishes
• Rate your experience on PiT - what would increase that rating?
• Which features are easiest to use? Which are most difficult?
• What do you primarily use PiT for? Can you walk me through how you achieve that task?
• Causes clutter
• Small font makes text difficult to read
• Users miss important information
• Unconventional navigation
results in less frequent use of academic planning worksheet
• Inefficient allocation of space
• Large profile picture has no function and makes user uncomfortable
After synthesizing my user research, I drew up some low-fidelity wireframes in Figma. Below, I chart some of the key issues users brought up and the features implemented to address those issues.
📒 In one screen, students can search for courses, save them, and see them added to their mock schedule
📗 Disabled buttons and course names in gray serve as a quick indicator that a course is closed
📙 Integration with Penn Course Alert allows students to receive notifications when a full course has available spots
📕 Students can directly add courses that satisfy major, minor, or general education requirements instead of searching them up on a separate site
📘 Students can register all desired courses in one click and receive a confirmation once they have registered
📔 A waitlist shows students how close they are to getting a spot on a currently filled course
Through the Penn InTouch redesign, I learned to discover user needs, develop solutions to address those needs and mock up my design solutions. I also learned to think about the consequences of these design choices and create new solutions to improve them.
➡️ Design the "Academic Planning" and "Grades" pages
➡️ Conduct usability testing
➡️ Work with developers to prepare the web app for deployment
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