Bronco Planner — App Design (Student Project)

The class as a whole brainstormed to pinpoint problems that affect us as students. My research group decided to take on the task of making planning class schedules more clear, efficient, and effective for students at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
We decided to conduct student surveys to get a better understanding of how this problem affects students. My role was to aid in generating questions for the survey as well as analyze the results.
After analyzing the survey responses, my research group and I compiled some of the information that we found to be most prominent. We were able to survey 60 students and also received student suggestions regarding how the current planning system could be improved.
Upon further analysis, we formed some observations. We found that many internal as well as external factors affect student choice when deciding which classes to take. Most of the external factors are controlled by the institution so we decided to focus more on clarity of information and internal factors.
This journey map allows for a greater understanding of the process the user must go through to obtain their goal. We get a better sense of what they are doing, what they are thinking, and how they are feeling at each phase of the process. Here, we are able to pinpoint specific grievances and points that may be improved. In step 3, students may feel a sense of panic if they are unable to enroll in a class that they had planned to enroll in. I decided that it was also very important to address this specific problem.
Upon further contemplation, the research group came to identify possible “How Might We” statements. to further clarify which problem was going to be our main focus. We decided that the most prominent issue that needed to be addressed was making personal information more clear so that students can easily identify which classes they need to take in the future.
The group began brainstorming and we clarified contextual factors such as who will be using the app, where it will be used, when it will be used, the features that it ought to have, as well as the content that it must include. From here, we organized the information into a hypothetical scenario, listing the direction a user would follow to achieve their goal. In this case, the student wanted to access their unfulfilled requirements, plan a preliminary class schedule, contact an advisor to ask questions and assure the student that they are on the right path, create a final schedule, then enable notifications to remind them of important dates.
From the scenario created above, the research group collaborated to create a storyboard. This story board helped us to visualize the process more intensely and make adjustments to the application as needed.
As the collaborative research portion of the project came to an end, I decided to further define a scenario for a specific student. Here, I was able to create a more definitive flow that allows the user to access the applications features in an effective manner.
Following the scenario, I decided to create an application site map to assure that there is a clear flow of information. This helped me to assure that the flow was intuitive and that all features and content were in their proper place.
Next, I created paper prototypes to further visualize how the content would be laid out. I tested the prototypes by having 3 people go through the process with a specific goal in mind. Here, I was able to determine what was unclear to the users and made adjustments accordingly.
To further enhance visualization, I created wireframes for the different screens of the app. Here, I was able to assure that the app was harmoniously unified and that the flow of one screen to the next felt cohesive. I was also able to work on my grid structure, alignments, as well as the unity of different elements (such as button sizes, icon sizes, etc.) during this phase.
Upon creating the final design, I decided to create simple, modern interface that promotes clarity of information. I also decided to use a color scheme similar to the one used for California State Polytechnic University, Pomona’s current schedule planning system, Bronco Direct. I also decided to utilize icons and a progress indicator to make the app appear to be more modern as well as promote ease-of-use on the relatively small screen of a mobile device.
The final design addresses the problem by implementing an algorithym that personalizes the student’s information to make their requirements more clear. The student may also filter their requirements to view specific items such as courses that they have not yet completed. In addition, the user may add courses to their planner and designate them as a “Back-up Course” so that they may reference the course incase they are unable to enroll in the course that is their first-choice. Users may also engage in a live chat with advisors or other staff members (such as professors or registrars) to get the answers they need quickly and efficiently. LINK TO APP DESIGN: