SVA Maintenance — Google UX Design Challenge

Project Overview

Problem Statement:

“Your school wants to improve the upkeep of campus facilities by creating a new system for reporting any facilities that may need maintenance or repair. Design an experience that allows students to report building or equipment issues on campus. Consider the process of those filing the report and of those receiving and taking action on the issues.”

Project Summary:

To design an experience that allows students to report building or equipment issues on campus, I did research on the current system and process my school (SVA) adopted and how students feel about it. Based on the current process and using some other systems as references, I designed a maintenance request function integrated with the existing GoSVA app.


One week

My Role:

Individual UX project involving research, synthesis, making low-fi and hi-fi prototypes


1. Research the problem space

Research goals:

When doing research, I set the goals to be figuring out 3 main areas:


I talked with 9 people, including 7 deep interviews with people from SVA and 2 short conversations with students from other schools.

Some questions I used to guide the interviews:

interview questions

Research on my own:

Besides interviews, I also tried to find out what other schools do about maintenance by searching for relevant keywords.

google search: Columbia university facility maintenance system

2. Synthesis

The interviews were information-rich. Here are some findings:

What the existing system looks like

Existing Service: SVA currently has a maintenance request portal open to all students.

Students: They barely know about the portal. They prefer to talk to staff directly. The willingness to report varies.

Maintenance technician: They don’t seem to have major problems with the current process.

Decision: to focus on the reporters’ part:

After gathering the insights, I realized that there are currently far more problems for students than for the maintenance technicians. The students barely know about the online system, while the technicians are more familiar with and used to the current process since they use it every day. The department staff are kind of in the middle, but they also don’t find the current system the best solution.

Hence, I decided to focus on making improvements on the reporters’ side.

Current journey for reporters:

Just to show how they are currently involved in the process, and the pain points they might experience:

Key design principles:

The synthesis process made me realized what factors can smooth out the reporting process and what should be avoided. I listed a few principles that will guide me during the ideation and design stage:

3. Ideation

Idea brainstorming:

The following are some ideas that I believed can improve the current user experience:

The new user journey:

4. Design & Iterations:


Wireframe prototype:

User flow:

Highlights (refer to the marks on the flow chart above):

User testings & revisions:

I conducted user testing on the wireframes with 3 people. Based on their feedback, I made some improvements that are implemented in the high fidelity version of the prototype:

UI prototype:

What’s not in the prototype, but also part of the whole experience:

5. Reflection

What work well:

Some extra details could have been added:

After I finished the design, I thought of another thing that can be included:


What I learned from this project:

This is the first individual UX project for which I have to reach out to people I don’t know. I usually don’t play an outbound role in a team and have a fear that I might miss important information if I fail to ask tactfully during interviews.
This project gets me more confident in interviewing people; I feel that I now get the hang of being flexible and asking the right questions to suss out the information I don’t expect to get.

Thanks for reading!

A multidisciplinary creative learning to empathise

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