Discovering Student Organizations

Solo design challenge, 7 days

At orientation, what do students need from student organization?

To answer these questions, I surveyed 29 rising college freshmen, conducted interviews with 5 of them, and talked with 3 college graduates. I asked questions such as “what motivates you to join an organization” and “if I gave you 100 organizations that fit your requirements, how would you narrow that down?”

“I want to go to club events and have a good time with the activity itself and not just the people.”

I also conducted ethnographic research, which I document here.

Interviews recorded in Google Sheets

Key takeaways

In order to learn about organizations, students need:

  • To compare— Ability to explore and compare organizations
  • To filter— Filters adapted to student interests
  • To trust— Personable and impressionable recruiting / advertising style
  • To research — Visibility into organization background, logistics, status

Students look for organizations that fit their diverse backgrounds and interests —

  1. Self-identity — Align with personal identity and growth
  2. Career goals — Pursue career path and tangible outputs
  3. New interests — Explore new, varied interests
  4. Existing interests — Expand on existing skills, interests, commitments
  5. Role in community — Join / form / lead social communities
  6. Mode of relaxation — To unwind, have fun

Problem statement

How might we design a personable search tool for students of diverse backgrounds to find organizations that fit their (1) self-identity, (2) career goals, (3) new interests, (4) existing interests, (5) role in community, (6) mode of relaxation?

User flow

In my design, I focused the attention on the student’s unique identity by creating a “quiz” or “interest profile” which would intake each user’s goals and preferences, and recommend organizations that fit them best.

For future testing, I created multiple entry points into the “interest profile” —

  • The first time you reach the Student Organizations page, full-screen dialog
  • Afterward, a reminder on the Student Organizations page via banner
  • From a separate Interest Profile page
Doing my best with small whiteboards

I also designed a separate personalized search feature, which would take in similar critieria as the “interest profile”, such as cultural preferences, your college major, etc.

Digital Wireframes

Moving to digital wireframes, I prioritized freedom and flexibility for the user to browse, maybe to freely start in one place, and pick up somewhere else. I also aimed for clarity of information and empathic copywriting.

0 — Explore (default)

Explore popular and featured clubs. For more customized resuts, you have the option to fill out your interest profile.

1 — Interest profile / onboarding

Share your unique interests and goals, so that we can recommend the perfect organizations for you.

Each answer choice has the potential to branch into sub-branches, with domain specific questions like, “what genres of comic books are you interested in?”

2— Helpful tips while you wait

While waiting for results, we share with you some ways we make organization searching easier (and how you can use this app).

3 — Explore

View your recommended organizations, and explore any you are interested in.

The primary focus of this page is the recommended section, using the word “love” to describe top matches. Below this section is potential “likes” worth checking out.

Here, the student indicated in the Interest Profile that they were interested in comic books, but no organizations currently match that request. The banner indicates that you can create a new organization if you are interested.

4 — Create your own club

You have the freedom to initiate new clubs.

Initiating a club is as simple as filling out a form. Some schools also require that you reach a certain number of signatures to petition the creation of a new club. A banner indicates progress toward that goal.

6 — View your interest profile

You can always go back to your interest profile, modify your goals and interests, or re-take the quiz. This space is about mirroring your goals.

Visual Style

The visual style of the design I wanted to feel fun, but also clean. The icon images are meant to be set by each organization, as a reflection of their personality.

Components by Google Material Design, illustrations by Ouch.