Study Terminal is a simple to use website that allows users to organize study sessions with fellow students. It offers all the tools you need to find friends to study with — without all the hassle of sorting through unnecessary information as you would if you were using Facebook.

Thank you to Team Terminal, our group of 6 was fantastic in designing this site over 5 weeks.

Our process began with brainstorming an idea for an app to fill a need. We toyed with the idea of something related to music matchmaking, but doing so would probably end up a poor imitation of Pandora or Spotify. One of our members thought of an idea for a study session matchmaker, and StudyTerminal began to take shape. After many discarded attempts, we converged on a logo that played on a table as the ‘T’ and ‘l’ in our site title.

Once we had a basic idea revolving around study sessions, we interviewed potential users to get feedback on how they study. Our results were useful in particular in helping us find ways to outperform our competitors. Since there isn’t a particular service that provides matchmaking for study sessions, our main competition would be Facebook messenger or events. By focusing the scope of our app we could easily surpass Facebook in meeting our users needs.

For the next step in our design, we made personas of our potential users. Our personas all shared the trait of being college students which gave focus for our target audience — this focus became particularly useful later when we were developing marketing and expansion plans. Our of these personas we sketched storyboards

Storyboarding and Early Prototyping

We began prototyping through paper and whiteboards to establish our basic functionality. As we continued to design our app, we ran into some trouble establishing what features our app would include. Some envisioned a social network, and others envisioned a chat client. Ultimately, we chose to pursue a session based search tool that integrated with a user’s Facebook friends list.

Paper and Balsamiq prototypes

We planned a layout that changed extensively over the final couple weeks. User testing based on Nielsen’s 10 heuristics was critical in our design direction and choices. We revised our paper prototype several times and converged on the one above, bringing us to our next prototype using Balsamiq. This prototype brought awareness for our team to many aesthetic and flow problems that we addressed and we refined our prototype and developed our final version with Axure.

Our design is now ready for implementation and to be ported to mobile devices. Looking forward, the site has potential for immense growth as it would be usable at any college campus if it were fully implemented. Overall, the project was an incredible experience with a quality team.

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