WEB DESIGN

Fast Track Academy

An online college search platform that helps students discover their best fit educational institution.

View Prototype

Overview

A university Search App for users aspiring to get admission into college. Mostly to search for preferred universities or colleges. Also, have a good knowledge of the school, see available courses they offer and read reviews about the specific school.
Fast Track Academy helps students discover their best fit educational institution.

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Roles
  • UX Research
  • UI Design
  • Brand & Identity
  • Wireframes & Prototyping
  • User Testing
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Deliverables
  • Persona
  • Sitemap
  • UserFlow
  • User Journey
  • Sketches
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Tools
  • Figma
  • Whimsical
  • Photoshop

Problems

- Users need to find colleges / Universities on one click
- Share school info across social media platforms
- Reviews and Comments
- Control wrong informations posted on school page
- Users can have a list of their preferred school

Solution

I redesigned the website interface and integrated a responsive design for mobile, tablet and desktop view.
- I designed a student friendly modern design interface
- I created a user profile for students to view saved colleges on dashboard
- I provide a login/sign up page to keep track of data and user activities
- Users can add comments and view comments and also share on social media.
- Different filter options to enhance the search options.

Audience Analysis

Here is the list of the key demographic for this project.
- High School graduates
- Prospective Students
- Parents
- Alumni

Key Demographics

Age Range: 18-26
Gender: Male and Female
Common Job Titles: Students, Undergraduate, Educationist

User Research

When I began my research on this project, the important first step that comes to my mind was to identify the target audience, or users. The website will be built for their needs, so it is important that i know;
Who are the users?
Who is the most important?
And who will visit frequently?

Number of Social media Users

Types of Devices and Screen

User Audience

USER INTERVIEW

While going over the project brief with the client, the client had features that they wanted to include in the product. They believed that these features were important for users to have. Therefore I created a separate section in my survey that tested out these features.

KEY FINDINGS

The key findings reflects as  an important distinction between digital tools, such as online search and college selection sites, and social media. The report argues that the users are highly influential in the discovery phase of the research – that is, the point at which they are learning about different institutions and trying to identify colleges that could be a good fit.

What the users want

Types of Search engine

Personas

With the research and data collected, I began building user personas.
This persona would be identified as potential users.

View Personas

User Journey

I created a Journey map in order to help visualize what steps a user might take when planning and searching for a college/university that best fits.

Empathy Map

This empathy map depicts what the potential users might think, hear, see, say and do in order to confidently address any pain points and opportunities.

User Flows

To help visualize the interconnections of different pages, I created a sitemap to make sense for my users and to accomplish their goals.

User Flows

Sketches

I sketched out the low-fidelity wireframes, keeping the MVP and user flows in mind. Once the sketches were finalized, I created the digital formats.

Digital Wireframes

Below are a few wireframes of the main pages. I created a simple landing page, a home page, college page, search result, a profile page,  filter options and more.
I further iterated on these pages as I received feedback from my stakeholders, keeping the MVP and user flows in mind. Once the sketches were finalized, I created the digital formats.

View Wireframes

Usability Testing

I Tested My Design With Three Prospective Students And One High School Graduate, I Was Able To Get Some Feedback, Made Some Corrections And Fixed Some Prototyping Issues. During my usability test, I was able to gather some feedback, suggestions, corrections and put it into consideration.

NAVIGATION BUTTON / COLLEGE PAGE :

90% of users couldn’t navigate their way back to the previous page
User’s want to share the page on social media. I recommend putting a share button for social media.

ENHANCE THE LOGIN / SIGN UP BUTTON:

As I observed the participants, I saw that each user had no problem login in and signing up for an account. 53% preferred keeping the CTA buttons changed to Get Started vs 47%.69% preferred the center-alignment over the 31% (left). Some of the reasons being: less crowded, better use of space, etc.

ADDED MORE FILTER OPTION:

Users were limited to only two filter options, this made the whole search process long and boring. Displays a long list of school results.

Branding & Identity

The first step in branding was identifying my target audience, which in this case were remote professionals. I created a mood-board for inspiration. Then, I chose the fonts and color palette, shown below, to strike the right emotions. I wanted to create a product that reflected an academic youthful feeling using bright colors and visible texts, shapes and patterns.

LOGO DESIGN:

The logo design was inspired by the famous square graduation cap  “Mortarboard Hat”. This reflects accomplishments, excellence, satisfaction, Happiness. This idea was to portray a sign of accomplishment for the user while on the website. The word “Fast Track” was represented with the common fast forward icon that reflects how fast the process is when searching for a college here.

Final Product

View Prototype

Conclusion

I learned so much working on this project. I was able to successfully understand the users, define the users, identify their needs and solve the problem accordingly. I was able to find a solution to how users can find their dream school. This process also involves quantitative research, user interview, wireframes and user testing.
I learned to always trust users feedback because the website is designed for them. I also learned the basic essential needs of the users.
In future iterations of the product, I would like to add more features like adding more options in the filter, like allowing users to search based on their career and see schools offering scholarships to which users can apply.