As a new startup aimed at assisting high school students in their search for a college, the founders of Upperclassmen.co needed help designing their MVP. My team and I had three weeks to strategize and create a prototype.
My primary contributions: wireframing the low-fi prototype, usability testing and project management.
Getting to know our client
The founders of Upperclassmen.co came to us with a passionate vision, a business model and detailed research. Their main project goal was to obtain a clickable prototype to further test their concept and show to developers. Given our tight deadline, we decided to apply lean UX methods and move quickly through research into analysis, wireframing and prototyping.
Personas and the competition
After reviewing the research and insights provided by our stakeholders, we performed some of our own online research and then created personas based on the assumptions we derived. We determined that there are two primary types of users for the website - the high school student searching for a college and the college student needing extra income. There were also two other invested parties - the parent of the high school student and the college Admissions department.
Next, we tested our assumptions through user surveys. We also performed a competitor audit to better understand the landscape. One surprising finding indicated a preference by students to connect via video chat.
An informal, personal, dynamic engagement
All our users desired a means for the potential college student to obtain a personal insight into colleges that will ultimately aid in the college selection. This goal was in line with the business goal of differentiating from the competition. One surprising finding indicated a preference by students to connect via video chat.
A personal, reliable connection via a phone call
Although the research indicated a preference for video chat, the stakeholders and design team collaboratively agreed to design for a phone call solution, with possible future expansion into video chat and/or instant messaging. A phone call would provide a quick, safe and reliable means to have an honest and in-depth conversation about a college.
We brainstormed and created a mind map to start the ball rolling.
Once we laid the groundwork, we conducted a requirements workshop with our stakeholders. We also created a high schooler scenario, sketched user flows and performed a task analysis for a complementary product. Involving our stakeholders in the process was crucial to creating the list of requirements for the MVP.
Given our lean approach, we decided to focus on the user flow for the customer, the high school student. Our goal was to provide the student with an easy process to:
Next, we held a design studio session which led to more detailed sketches, wireframes and a low-fidelity prototype.
Sketches and Wireframes
Click on the image below to watch an in-person usability test session.
Click on the image below to watch a remote usability test session.
Overall, our design tested well for usability. Users liked its clean look and simple processes. The main critiques were regarding the lack of clarity for the navigation icons, which we revised with a flyout menu.
Along with the wireframes and a low-fidelity prototype, we were also able to create the first iteration of a high-fidelity prototype to help the stakeholders advance their business to the next level.
Your task: Find an Upperclassman named Jodi and book at call with her at 1pm.
Click on image to view the prototype.