Univibe’s aim is to best match students with schools that reflect their wants, needs and personality so that they may make smart decisions for their future education.
Brief Overview of Our Formative Study
A large amount of formative research was done prior and during system designing process:
We began with field observations at The University of Texas at Dallas and observed several of the common areas students frequented. Through this we were able to gather insight on a typical college environment and the student interactions that occurred at these areas.
Brief Account of Ideation Process
With our problem and audience in mind, each of the group members individually brainstormed what our website would like look and what criteria we wanted it to include. From this individual brainstorming we created rough sketches based on our ideas that we will later share and refine.
At the end of Milestone One, we were able to grasp a better sense of what UTD's environment and student interaction was like (through our field observations), what similar solutions existed and use these findings to brainstorm what content our solution would include to help us achieve our goal (as seen through our individual concept maps).
Although we have a clear direction of what purpose we would like our solution to fulfill, it is unclear which media format would best fit our audience. We hope to gather more insight through in Milestone Two.
We then interviewed several professionals that were involved with undergraduate and transfer students. These interviews allowed us to create a better understanding of what students' needs and concerns were in choosing a fitting college.
Utilizing our field observations, interviews with college advisors, and research derived from pre-existing sites we were able to compile a questionnaire. The feedback we gathered through our questionnaire allowed us to flesh out more relevant content for our website and led us to generate a preliminary version of our Univibe site.
We then began our prototype process, where we created a number of scenarios a user would encounter while utilizing Univibe. We then chose the ten best enactments that we thought best exemplified the features of our website. Utilizing a cardboard version of a laptop and low fidelity screens, we asked 5 participants to carry out each of 10 enactments. The 5 participants we involved were thoughtfully selected to represent our user demographic- three high school seniors and two potential transfer students. The feedback from these enactments was assessed to help us refine and add additional content to what would be the final concept of the Univibe system.
To take our research even further, we chose to create a questionnaire for current college attendees. The questions were thoughtfully created to reflect what we had learned from the advisor interviews, our field observations and relevant elements pulled from existing websites. We gathered our questionnaire data over the course of a week from students attending different schools all over the U.S. Below are some examples of questions we asked and the feedback we received:
After conducting interviews with advisors from a community college and public university, our findings were not only extremely helpful in determining what content should be considered in building university profiles, but they also re-affirmed our decision to develop our solution into a website. The material we have gathered is too content-heavy to be application-based; desktops are more intuitive and accessible to a wider audience.
Criteria for Success
We as group will be able to determine if our project is successful if we are able to deliver a functioning website to potential college students. We will be able to further identify that our goals are met if the potential students are presented with fitting colleges based on their answers to the questions they are provided through our website.
The Low Fidelity Prototype and Enactments
In order to carry out our enactments we created a low fidelity prototype (click to view our low-fi frames used during our enactments) that would allow us to demonstrate the features of our website. We gathered five different participants who acted out the activities specified in the nine enactments we chose. We photographed each of the participants and took notes as they were acting out enactments.
Interpret and articulate findings
All the participants understood the website's general purpose and were able to comprehend how the website would potentially be used. A majority of the feedback we gathered was primarily focused on questions or features we should include in our website, such as:
-Additional distance/location options
-Include progress bar
-Create, personalize and save your user profile
Generate new ideas to develop your concept further
-Suggested to include a price range bar/toggle
-Add current distance from home
-Allow people to choose a specific state to go to college to
-Profile to edit test at a later date
-Perhaps include multiple photos of the 3 schools after match test?
-Add progress bar
-Make sure "Take the Test" is apparent
New insights taken from our interviews have been added to our concept map to showcase what additional questions the site will ask the user and how it will function. Updates are highlighted in blue.
Below we have also updated our storyboard to reflect some of our revisions to the concept (in bold). We aspire that a similar story to this is what the majority of users experience when they use Univibe.
Univibe is a matchmaking service designed to connect prospective students to their most compatible schools. By offering a free test, Univibe takes an in-depth look into the student’s personality so they can save time, money, and effort in their college career.
We thoroughly believe in the value of our Univibe concept. After several iterations of research, discussion, and refinement we have developed what we confidently think to be a persuasive preliminary solution to avoiding wasted valuable resources in selecting a university. Univibe is meant to be a personalized, user-centered system that aims to help prospective undergraduate/transfer students select their best fitting school based on important subjective factors that will ultimately shape one of the most critical chapters of their adult lives.