A mobile application that provides a way where new students can browse, search and propose student organizations.
UX Research, UI
Connecting and getting involved with school culture is one of the biggest anxieties of new students, especially in a college setting. For them, it is a time of new beginnings, developing their passions and forming new friendships. Circ is a mobile application that enables new and current students to navigate and create student organizations based on their specific universities, without hassle and on the go.
To provide a well thought and empathetic experience for incoming university students to browse, search and propose new student organizations.
Conceptualize and create an application with a strict 7 day deadline.
Inspiration & Analysis
After planning out my project based on my given timeline, I researched the different sources that also provide students with the experience of searching, browsing and creating new organizations. Some of my troubles came from not being able to find general applications for college students, and not having the security requirements for specific college sites. EngageDU and Sokap were the two applications that resonated with what my vision was for Circ.
EngageDU is my university's (Dominican University) personalized student organization navigation website. This website includes the different events that the university clubs are hosting as well as the different organizations. There is a filter option to select the categories of which club a user wants to see, and the clubs are sorted by alphabetical order.
• Not enough information
• No mobile application (can only access full experience online)
• Only 5 options in the categories to choose which type of club a user wants
• Simple and easy to manage
• No distractions
• Straight to the point
• Approval process for creating a new student organization
• Security purposes: only students and faculty with a dom.edu email can access the information
• There are given instructions that a student should do before creating a new organization
2. Sokap Mobile Application
Sokap is a mobile application based in Europe. It lists all of the types of clubs a school has according to the specific university that the user chooses from a list, during the onboarding process. The landing page provides an aesthetic way to group each club by type. Once a user chooses the type of club, the user is redirected to a list of clubs given in alphabetical sort.
• Sorted by type/genre of club
• Straight to the point
• Contains a News Feed to filter clubs that user is in
• Visual design is not consistent throughout the whole application
• There is no confirmation as to when student creates an organization & anyone can create one.
• No sense of security. Anyone can access this application and see all the information about the club.
• Hard to find where to create a new organization
• Anyone can create a new organization/ no approval process
User Interviews & Survey Analysis
Considering the time limit, I conducted 3 user interviews, and sent out a survey to about 15 students. I decided to send out the surveys to a variety of college students from different universities, college freshman, and incoming High School students. I conducted the user interviews with college students from my own university — two freshmen and one upperclassman.
Questions sited on insights are not all the questions that were asked.
The questions I asked them pertained to the importance of school organizations, their interest levels, emotions about college and how their current platform of browsing and creating clubs could be enhanced. Here are some of the findings from the interviews + surveys that I found important.
Year in school
Other college upperclassmen
Importance of clubs, organizations & events
Not really important
"As a freshman commuter, it's hard to meet people who's interests are the same as mine. A club that's right can help me with that."
"Depends on how easy the app will be to use."
"Sounds like a good idea and I think I would use it as I use the apps we currently have but if it's not done well, it would just take up storage on my phone."
"Given our school size, there isn't much to browse."
If you had an app to help you browse through clubs and orgs on campus, would it enhance your college experience? Why?
Emotional Feedback & Concerns
After asking freshmen about their experience upon entering school as a new student, they answered with the following emotional responses:
Scared about their safety on a new campus
Nervous about making new friends
Anxious about finding a group that fits their personality
Excited to meet new people
Based on my observations on different applications that do the same job as Circ as well as user interview/survey results, I consolidated the current problems into three main points —
In response to the three above problems, my proposed solutions to take into account while creating Circ's overall experience are —
Comfort in the ways students can collaborate.
A flow that takes into account security of students.
Simple and informative way to create a great overall experience.
Problems with creating a club
Every university has their own requirements, documentation and meetings to consider before creating a club. This process can be long and drawn out. Most times, the student does not have as much guidance or is running around all over the place to figure out the next step.
Circ makes it easier for students because all the documentation is in one area of the app which is accessible anywhere they go. It's as simple as signing up for a club, singing a petition for a future club you believe in, and sending in your application/proposing a new club to get approved!
When creating a full empathetic experience, we know that products have different users. To create a successful product, we not only have to centralize it around one type of user, but also recognize the different types of users who will interact with the experience.
My main target audience and the requirements of this case study is new students, but I wanted to keep in mind the other types of users as well.
Icons made by Eucalyp
These personas are based on the primary target audience and basis of this design challenge: new students (freshman students).
Task Flows - Low Fidelity
Whilst creating the user personas, I kept the task flow of Circ in mind. The message that I wanted to portray in these tasks were the solutions I had proposed above. I chose two tasks that I thought would best represent those goals.