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NYU ALBERT REDESIGN
This redesign focuses on creating a smoother and easier course enrollment experience for over 50,000 NYU students using the NYU Albert platform.
Through research, we noticed that the current system was yet to be satisfying in terms of efficiency and intuitive interaction. Thus, we redesigned the system by reducing redundant steps, organizing a clearer information hierarchy, and improving the page's visualization.
A hi-prototype was developed in December 2020, tested with 5 NYU students, and iterated. For further development, we hope this system can assist students to enroll in classes and help them plan their future career paths by adding personal analysis tools.
How might we make the course enrollment process more intuitive and easy so that students can enroll in their courses effectively?
Group project at NYU Tandon,
September - December, 2021
Roles & Responsibilities
User research: comparative analysis, user interviews, surveys, persona mapping, journey mapping
UX design: sketches, wire framing, prototyping, usability testing
Google forms, Figma, Adobe Illustration
#UXR #UX #web
1 Provide onboarding guide & hints
• Step-by-step guidance for the first-time students
• Provide links towards registration guide videos
• Word hints on important illustrations
2 Help find courses quickly
• Highlight the only course search button
• Simplify filters and make them intuitive with multi select buttons
• Locate the user's major and school automatically
3 Easy Comparisons of different sections for the same course
• Aggregate duplicated information for the same course
• Information is listed in order of importance
• Section's information is listed in columns for easy comparisons
4 Provide visualized course schedule
• Allow the user to switch between table and calendar view to check the schedule
• Check course details by hovering the mouse
• Operate swap/ delete/ drop function by clicking on each color block
How Did We Get There?
First, we conducted some quantitive and qualitative user research -
• We collected 36 surveys.
• The survey had 4 sections questions based on basic information, overall experience and two major page ratings.
• Those questions were oriented from 4 standard evaluations: intuitive interaction, the sufficiency of information, the efficiency of use and visibility of system status.
We found out ratings regarding to intuitive interaction and the efficiency of use were the lowest. Students thought it was difficult to use the system and they spent much more time than expected to complete the process.
• We conducted 5 in-person interviews.
• We walked through their experience under different task situations.
• By observing their actions and listening to their answers for interview questions, we organized the information with affinity map
We found out there were about two-thirds complaints relating to the problems of low efficiency use and unintuitive interface.
Meanwhile, we analyzed the current system and drew the user flow -
There were 8 main functions in the course enrollment process including including search, enroll, validate and delete in shopping cart, and swap, drop, edit swap and edit in enrolled courses.
We found out each user flow for every function had stand alone pages to complete the task, which resulted in similar pages that confused users. In addition, users need to go through many duplicated steps and pages in order to finish the task. This became a big problem when the user mistakenly went wrong in the middle of the process because the user had no choice but to start all over again from the beginning. What is more, the pop-up window page for choosing course was unresponsive and difficult to navigate information.
Current function diagram
Current user flow
Then, we made the user journey map and did some comparative analysis of other schools' systems -
During the whole course enrollment at NYU, students felt negative whenever they came across using the system with different needs like finding a course, editing the course or drop the course.
By researching other schools' system page, we found out there were much less steps for each function compared with those in NYU. A lot of schools also provided schedule visualizations for their students.
User journey map
Finally, we created our persona -
Erika, an 18-year-old girl from Taiwan, is attending NYU for her first year college. She wanted to enroll the course for her first semester in IDM(Integrated design & Media major), but found it was difficult for the first-time user and she had some troubles finding and deciding her courses.
Given our research results and persona, we defined the HMW and ideated the possible solution.
HOW MIGHT WE make the course enrollment process more intuitive and easy that students can enroll their courses effectively?
• Less steps to complete the tasks
• Clear user flow
• easy filter and comparison for courses
• Provide onboarding guide
• A responsive window
• Clear instructions and accurate button letters
• Visualized course timetable
With those ideas in mind, we first prioritized the functions -
Originally, there were 8 functions including search, enroll, validate and delete in shopping cart, and swap, drop, edit swap and edit in enrolled courses.
Based on research, we prioritized 5 functions including search, enroll and delete in shopping cart, and swap and drop in enrolled courses. In addition to that, validate function will be automatically validated by the system without manually operation.
In the new user flow, we removed duplicated pages and created the wireframe-
New user flow(with wireframe)
New user flow(grey part are removed)
To be more specific, we focused on the main homepage and course searching pages, which students used the most. we made below major changes -
• Add links towards curriculum & registration guide
• Highlight the only course search button
• Allow two view(list view & calendar view) to switch for better visualization
• Combine two sections of enrolled courses and waitlist courses into one section of my courses.
• Use color to distinguish different enrolling status for courses
New homepage(Calendar view)
New homepage(list view)
Course searching pages:
• A responsive window
• Locate the user's major and school automatically and list at the top
• Easy-to-operate filter buttons
• Reorganized course information into columns
Previous course choosing page(choose course)
Previous course choosing page(choose major)
New Course Choosing page(choose course)
New course choosing page(choose major)
New Course Choosing page(confirmation)
After finishing the wireframe and final display, we tested the new system with 5 students and iterate a new design based on their feedbacks. According to our new design, the ratings for efficiency and intuitive interactions reached to 4 out of 5.
Feedbacks for improvement:
1. correct some button texts, like changing "OK" to "Returning homepage"
2. More filter options on calendar view so that the user could edit calendar with their preference
3 Test & Iterate
4 Final Display
In order to help students can enroll their courses effectively, we make this course choosing system lighter by deducting repeating steps and sorted out confusing and convoluted operating flows.
Contrast in functions and steps in user flows
For future development, we hope to add personal analysis tools to help with students' career path. In this tool, students could tailor their courses choice to the future career by identifying required skills. By choose courses that equip them with same skills they need, they can gradually approach to their desired jobs.
Personal analysis tool
This project is really challenging for us because it evolves a really big system with a quantity of data. It is a big lesson to learn how to deal with overwhelming information and how to organize in a clear hierarchy step by step. I really enjoyed our time researching, designing based on users feedbacks and iterating.
If I had done this project again, I would pay more attention to the feasibility on the technical side and balance the trade-offs more.
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