Hatchery

Fun project for university students

Expertise

UX Design

tools

Figma, Adobe XD, Cinema 4D

Deliverables

UI Screens, UX Flow and Prototype

Project overview

Execution

03 Testing

First Impression Test

After creating the prototype, I showed the home screen to 5 people for about 5 seconds and I let them guess what the app was about and what it did, if they felt like the app was fun or serious, and how they would describe it to a person who had never seen it before.

3 people guessed that the app had to do something with school and finding other students due to the majors that were visible on the home screen. 2 people guessed that the app was similar to a dating app because of the word “match” on the home screen.

I seemed to get similar answers on the mood that the app was conveying. Overall, many described it has playful, bright, and simple. One person described it to be almost like the dating app, Bumble.

Use Survey

With the same 5 people, I let them explore the app more. After about 3 minutes, I asked them 3 questions:

1. Does it meet your needs?
2. Is it user-friendly?
3. Would you be satisfied enough with it to recommend it to a friend?

After collecting the results, most of the answers were positive, however, some wondered if there was a resources page for campus resources (health center, academic resources, etc.)

Reflections

Given the time constraints on this project, most of the time spent was doing the research instead of making wireframes and designing the screens. My favorite part was creating the interest badges and figuring out how I would make mentors and mentees match efficiently.

If I were to do this again, I think my approach would differ where I would try find a way to make the matching process less “dating app-like”. I would also try to focus more on some more personalized questions to get more accurate matches. For example, favorite TV show, favorite sports team, etc. Lastly, I would have liked to incorporate more community aspects, such as a Discover page, where users can find local events happening and see which of their friends would be attending. It would also be nice to add more language options.

Overall, I am satisfied with the app. My favorite feature would be the ability to filter and narrow down interests and major for better matches.

Top 3 Songs Played

(While working on this project)

Problem

Create a platform where incoming students, transfer students, or new college students can meet mentors to help them navigate through college life.

01 Research

After defining the problem, I created interview questions regarding features, motivation, goals, obstacles, fears, as well as success factors. Then, without sharing the project scope/product, I interviewed classmates and random students on campus with the created interview questions. At the end of the day, I was able to interview 5 students who gave different perspectives on the subject.

Affinity Mapping

After collecting interviewee data, I mapped out my findings on sticky notes and grouped them based off of reoccurring themes.

Findings

After looking at the data collected and the findings from interviewees, the summary of the major themes that were grouped together were:

Safety & Privacy

Overall, students feared impersonation and they did not want to give out many personal details, such as their phone number.

Mentor Criteria

Students wanted someone:

  • in the same major
  • with experience living on and off campus
  • familiar with the scheduling process
  • living in close proximity
  • familiar with campus and local area

Obstacles

Students defined potential obstacles as:

  • two way street
  • poor mentor experience
  • poor mentee experience
  • not participating

Motivations

Reasons students would potentially use application:

  • Feeling lost or in need of guidance
  • More convenient than going to find information yourself
  • First generation college students
  • Transfer students
  • Less intimidating than going to success/academic center

Things new students may want to know

Interviewees also mentioned that as a new student, they would have liked to known:

  • how to get more involved with clubs
  • fun stuff to do in the area
  • where to find or form study groups
  • where to find tutoring
  • best hiking spots
  • best beaches
  • when to look for housing, where to live off campus
  • where to do volunteer work
  • internship/job advice
  • greek life
  • what classes to take

Personas

I created some personas and mapped out their behaviors, their obstacles, as well as their needs and wants.

Example:
Behavior:

Jessica is a freshman at Cal Poly, she was highly involved with academics in high school and wants to continue being academically successful in college.

Obstacles:

Jessica is unfamiliar with her campus' resources and is not sure what classes she should take for her pre-med track and needs help from experienced students.

Wants/Needs:

Jessica needs to find a way to connect with other pre-med students and find upperclassmen in her major to ask for advice on which classes to take, where to volunteer, how to study for her MCAT, etc.

Competitive Audit

Empathy Maps

Empathy maps allows me to uncover extra information about a particular type of user and what they are saying, thinking, feeling, and doing.

02 Exploration and Design

User Journey Map

The map helps me see steps the user goes through while engaging with the app and lets me know what the high points of satisfaction are and exactly where frustration could possible occur.

User Stories

  • As an anxious person, I want to be able to easily connect with mentors on the app without having to speak to campus resources in person.
  • As a busy student, I want to be able to connect instantaneously with my mentors/mentees so I can quickly go about my day.
  • As an academic-focused student, I want to find a peer in my major to ask about which classes to take, as well as form a study group.
  • As an outdoors person, I want to be able to connect with a mentor who knows all the best hiking spots in the area.
  • As an older, experienced student at Cal Poly, I want to be able to help new students and transfer students feel integrated into the college community.
  • As a friend-seeking person, I want to connect with someone who has the same interests as me.

Ideation and Sketching

I created some initial sketches of low-fidelity wireframes and brainstormed some ideas and features that would benefit users in their user goals, as well as some storyboarding.

Storyboards

Paper Prototyping

Site Map

Wireframes

In my wireframes, I made sure to include some user goals, such as the ability to match, see interests, be able to switch from mentor/mentees, as well as to include a community page.

Visual Elements

I used a simplistic color palette, having orange as the main color and simple iconography. I then created and 3D modeled badges which were created in Cinema 4D.

Screens

Why Hatchlings and Owls? When starting at a new university or college, students are often inexperienced due to the fact they’ve just started a new chapter in their lives which is analogous to a hatchling that is new to the world. Whereas more experienced students are wise, like owls, and are likely to take newer students under their wing to help them integrate into the school and the community.
Sign Up: Users must use their school emails for student verification. Users can also choose to use hatchery as either a mentor or mentee, as well as add their extracurriculars.

Interest Badges: By selecting certain types of interests, hatchlings and owls will be able to match with each other based on similar interests.
Matches will be based on if a user is a mentor or mentee. Matches will also be based off of major and/or interests, depending on the filter. Swiping up will also send a match request, swiping down will clear the match recommendation.
User Profiles: Users can tap on other student's profiles to view their posts, request them as mentor, chat, or view their major, extracurriculars, and interest badges.
Discussion Boards: Here, students can post comments, questions, and answers regarding their college or university. They can also switch to the community tab and post about things to do or local events. Activity: Students can view accepted mentor requests
Chats: This is where users will find their chats with other student mentors/mentees. Users can also view the interest badges they have in common at the start of the chat.

Results