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University internal app

All campus information in one app

TL;DR
Project goals
  • Give students a place to control all
    their university-related information;
  • Improve satisfaction in the academic environment.
Project type
  • User interface design
  • User experience design
  • App redesign
My roles
  • Research
  • UX
  • UI
Clickable prototype

Project context

Universidade Europeia is a Portuguese private university with its headquarters in Lisbon. In the past years, Universidade Europeia bought other universities, including the one I am enrolled in right now, IADE.

Being a student at IADE for 2 years as I am writing this, I got frequently frustrated at how badly the university’s app worked and looked especially since it is a Design university.

I decided to make it better, worthy of a design university.



Problem statement

Although IADE is a university specialized in design, its internal app is outdated and works poorly, failing to deliver its value due to poor design.

This project aims to redesign the current app by significantly improving its user experience and user interface. This will bring more users to the app and increase the satisfaction of those in the academic environment.

Thought Process

To simplify, I’ll refer to the project as the “IADE app” from now on.

IADE app is used to:
Message teachers and students;
View the courses students are enrolled in;
Check final grades and schedule;
Control university-related finances;
Browse university events.


This is not an app meant to be used as social media or to retain users for as long as possible. 

The purpose of this app is to give students a place to quickly and effectively control all their university-related information, without the hassle of having to to to multiple websites or contacting multiple people.

Approach

1. Research

Since this proactive project was not endorsed by the university itself or any other entity, I based my research on doing 1 on 1 interviews to get a better qualitative understanding of users’ frustrations and factors that prevent potential users from using the app.

These interviews included questions like “Where do you check your lecture’s schedule? Why?”, “What do you use the app for?”, and “Do you feel like you have a place to quickly access all your university-related information?”.

The main takeaway from the interviews was that all users and potential users were into the purpose and features of the app, but they were simply too badly built to be used.

2. User flow chart

Below is the flow chart that explains the user flow through various actions and screens. I’ve tried to minimize the number of taps needed by a user to accomplish a task.

It was important that all actions were easily accessible from the main menu to ensure better task completion speeds.

3. Wireframe and low-fi mockups

Trying to keep the old app general structure, I started to work on the individual screens information architecture by building a global wireframe and some low-fi mockups as shown in the image below.

4. Visual Research / Inspiration Board

Once the structure of the app was defines and the low-fi mockups built, it was time to look for visual inspiration and pick a color palette.

Since this is an institutional app with very little gamification elements and is never used by kids, I went with a monochromatic palette, with accents in the institution’s color: Orange.


5. Final Design & Prototypes

Basing myself on the low-fi mockups and visual identity I built, doing a high-fidelity-prototype and finishing the design was a matter of putting things together.

For this design, I gave special attention to readability, ease of use, and consistency.

The app prototype can be found here: https://projects.invisionapp.com/prototype/ck2xk21jb004b6o01ykc1wpze/play

Final thoughts and reflections

Redesigning an app that I use myself from beginning to end was definitely a lot of fun.

Neither Universidade Europeia nor IADE endorsed in any way the development of this project, although they will have the change to implement it in the universities when the right opportunity arises.

As always, I’ll be glad to answer any of your questions or give further explanation on any topic.

Drop me a line at hello@josegoncalves.dk or contact me through this page.