🏠  UW Rencana

Overview

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In my user experience design course, I worked alongside my team members to create an application called 'UW Rencana'. The application is intended to assist Global Business and Digital Arts (GBDA) students from the University of Waterloo's Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business with their housing needs in Stratford, Ontario for their final years.

Course & Duration

GBDA 103: User Experience Design

Sept - Dec 2017

Team Members

Zaid Amer

Helen Chen

Gregory Cotton

Programs

Low-fidelity prototype: Balsamiq

High-Fidelity prototype: Adobe XD

Graphics: Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator

Role

User research, UI design,

graphic design

Skills

User research & testing, wireframing & prototyping, UX design, graphic design

BACKGROUND

Problem

Students enrolled in the Global Business and Digital Arts (GBDA) program at the University of Waterloo know first hand the issue of navigating around Stratford, be it during your lunch break, or trying to find a permanent residence for the upper-year students. While the GBDA orientation does include a component in Stratford that sends students through the immediate surrounding area to the campus, it can be hard to get your bearings for a new town in just a short 40-minute walking tour.

 

With the upcoming changes to the program curriculum, students will be moving to Stratford full-time as easily as their second year, meaning the problem of finding housing in Stratford will be amplified as increasingly larger class sizes will be moving into Stratford more and more frequently. While this may prove some difficulties, it will also have the potential to create a strong community of GBDA students within Stratford.

Objective

'UW Rencana' will allow GBDA students to find affordable housing with fellow GBDA students. It will contain a news stream of recent reviews and posts as well as the option to filter posts by reviews for each specific different available houses and apartments containing miscellaneous experiences with various landlords that students have had.

An application that is totally student-run as such will foster a good community between students enrolled in the GBDA program who are living, commuting to, and looking for housing in Stratford.

RESEARCH

Interviews

Interviews were conducted in person with five different individuals: Michelle, Ronan, Madalayne, Adam, and Kaeli; all of whom have different backgrounds and experiences.

 

All those interviewed have a direct relationship with the GBDA program. The interview is specifically aimed towards those students who are in the early years of the GBDA program to where they are going to start thinking about housing in their future years.

 

The participants will provide us with their opinions on what they think about their current housing situation as well as any concerns that they have at the moment when it comes to roommates, locations, etc.

Infinity Diagrams

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User Personas

The following four personas and scenarios have been created with the intention of imitating some of the likely problems that students, teaching assistants, and professors may face, and how the UW Rencana app will assist in resolving these issues. By mimicking some potential issues that Waterloo staff and students are challenged with, and comparing our thoughts to the interview answers we have collected, we are able to better gauge what functions of this app need to be more prominent and what features will better serve users.

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Evan

Evan is a second-year student enrolled in the GBDA program at UW.

He's on the soccer team and most of his friends are out of the program. Evan is having difficulty deciding whether he wants to move to Stratford with little to no friends or to remain in Waterloo and carpool every day or get a car.

Leia

Lela is a second-year student who has been living on residence at the main campus for the first 2 years of her undergrad, in a single-room suite. She has mild epilepsy which she has been able to manage.

Because of it, she has been having trouble finding a quiet neighbourhood and roommates who would be understanding of her needs.

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Alyssa

Alyssa is a local student at the University of Waterloo living at home studying GBDA.

Alyssa's dilemma is that she is a very creative person and wants to feel like she is surrounded by a lot of art and be able to find inspiration. Alyssa also wants to feel like she is at home, therefore, being situated in a nice neighbourhood.

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Ibtesam is a third-year student who has spent a year living in Stratford, as he is now a full-time student at the Stratford campus. He is entrepreneurial down to his fingertips and is currently involved in a business prospect involving the startup incubator. 

In the past, he has had troubles with previous landlords so all he wants is to find a good one.

Ibtesam
DESIGN PROCESS

Wireframing

Individually using Balsamiq, each member had to brainstorm potential layouts and pages for UW Rencana.

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My designs

Colour Palette

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GBDA Society logo

We chose this colour palette because we thought a bright, eye-catching colour scheme would be a good idea.

Later in our usability testing, someone commented on how the colours kind of resembled GBDA which was an interesting connection that we didn't think of.

 

Prototyping

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Usability Testing

We asked users to test our prototype and give feedback on areas where we could improve on. Most of them commented on our font size being too small and considering how our application runs on phones, and not tablets, this issue would need to be fixed.

Users commented on how they liked the ability to have filter-by options which helped organize each student's news feed according to the posts they wanted to see - this allowed them to be able to find information quicker and more effectively.

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CONCLUSION

Presentation

For our final presentation, I created a poster displaying UW Rencana using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

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Key Takeaways

Considering that this was my first project revolving around user experience, I learned quite a lot. I am always keen on the design process and tackling the user interface, however, I realized that we have to focus most of our attention towards research and the foundation of the application. This would require spending time researching the problem and ways we can solve it as well as doing interviews and continuously getting feedback from others. There are many steps to take before figuring out how we would execute these ideas through design. I personally enjoyed this experience and it will be a project that I, and my team members, are proud of during our first year of university.

🤙🏻  Check out my other projects!
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[ 2018 ]    HTML & CSS

[ EST. 2017 ]    Digital Illustration

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[ EST. 2020 ]    E-Commerce Shop