SIO

Carnegie Mellon Student Information Portal Redesign

 
 

Rethinking the Carnegie Mellon Online Student Information Portal Home page to facilitate a better engagement experince with the platform.

The Student Information Online website (SIO) is an important medium of communication between the school and its students. Through the SIO, the school shares vital academic and administrative information like academic performance, finance updates, class schedules etc. with its students. 

 

DURATION: 1 Week

TOOLS: Sketch, Invision, Illustrator, Pen, Paper, Post-its

ROLE: Exploratory research, Information architecture, Interface design, Visual design, 

 

THE CHALLENGE

Create a positive home page experience for students that use the information portal to increase engagement and efficacy.

THE OUTCOME

A redesigned interface featuring a customizable dashboard that gives users increased control on the information available to them and simplifies their task by grouping all reporting elements at a single place.


THE DESIGN PROCESS

 

 

Defining Project Scope

Sensitive to time, I started this project by setting up a brief scope and goals to keep me in check of the process:

  • addressing the existing usability challenges with an improved design
  • involving end users in the exploratory, generative, and evaluative stages
  • prioritizing solutions to information architecture/user flow (vs. visuals)
  • testing and measuring the usability of final design
 

Understanding Stakeholders

The Student Information Online website (SIO) is an important medium of communication between the school and its students. Through the SIO, the school shares vital academic and administrative information like academic performance, finance updates, class schedules etc. with its students. 

I started with defining the stakeholders involved. Based on my own interaction with the portal and my existing knowledge of students, I identified the following stakeholder types. 

sio-stakeholders.png
 

Understanding Existing Experiences

To begin, I started with understanding the interaction experience between the current platform and users. To do this, I planned an exploratory research and defined the goals for it and shortlisted research methodologies that would help me get closer to the defined goals.  down a series of questions, the answers to which would help me undersatnI

research-methods.png

I started 

Doing a task analysis to he

 

Task Analysis and Card sorting I observed four new Door Dash app users and one returning user while they verbally described their journey (think-aloud). I recorded users' full user journey from downloading the app to eventually giving up on using the app. I analyzed the video footages, captured screen changes and the corresponding think-aloud comments, put them on sticky notes, and organized them based on screen type. 

 

These are the inferences I drew based on observations I made and user comments 

Since 

In average, users spent about 1.5 minutes troubleshooting before they gave up or arrived at some theory of the situation. Some even mentioned that they would put more time into finding the true cause if I weren't observing. In addition to the frustration experienced by all users, the study also reveals a few key points:

 

 

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For the card sorting: I observed nine users do the card sort based on their current interaction and understanding of the SIO site while they verbally described their decisions (think-aloud.) All user were also asked to put together their ideal dashboards. In addition, I asked them few questions about their interaction with the SIO. How frequently do you use SIO? What do you use SIO the most for? What types of academic and administrative information do you want/need to keep track of? 

For the Task Analysis: I did the Task analysis with five users. I gave them two task, the first was to do something most people used SIO for, that is, register for a course. This helped me to gauge the ease of user-flow and navigation through the website. The second task was a more specific need-based task that people would do once in while. This task helped me understand how indicative the primary navigation categories were. This also reinforced some findings from the card sorting activity.

 

 

 

 

 

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