Miami U

UX Design

Time: Summer 2018

Role: UI/UX Designer

Tools: Adobe XD, Adobe Illustrator

Skills: Sketching, Ideation, Wireframing, Prototyping, Journey Mapping, User Research

Introduction

Miami University is known for their strong academics, great college town, and NFL quarterback Ben Roethlisburger. They have a beautiful campus, plenty of new facilities, and are known for the best commitment to undergraduate teaching in the entire country. Though the school has great resources for students to help them succeed, not all students are having an easy time finding what they need.

Although the student population has maintained academic excellence, the university has been slow in its transition into a digital space. The specific platform, which has not received any major updates since the early 2000’s, is MyMiami.

MyMiami is the main student portal, allowing students to access grades, bills & financial aid, employee information, transcript, applications, etc. With so many links to external sites and other university resources, it is solely the most influential part of a student’s digital experience at Miami University.

Gathering Data

Although I had my own opinions on what I thought needed fixing, I wanted to hear what others say. Hearing from others who use the site, would not only reaffirm some problems I myself was having, but also show me things I had overlooked. Turns out, getting other student's opinions on the matter was very simple. I began formulating questions that would be quick to answer, but also some that let students express their joy or displeasure with their overall experience. Here is what I found:

  • 1. 93% of students use MyMiami more than 4 times/week
  • 2. Only 45.5% of students have been able to find what they are looking for on MyMiami
  • 3. 13.3% of students agreed they had a good experience using the website on their phones

The Problem

Issue 1 - Layout

“Pages are cluttered.”

“It’s simple but there’s too much info.”

It’s layout can be misleading and it’s hard to find what you want.”

Issue 2 - Navigation

“I feel like a lot of the information on MyMiami is useless, but when I actually need to find something, I never can. For example, I was trying to search events that were happening on campus via the “calendar” at the bottom of the home page, and it left a LOT of events out that were actually going on. There is probably a better place to do this but I don’t know how to navigate the site due to the large amount of information that is on it.”

“It can be very difficult to navigate MyMiami without knowing or being instructed on exactly how to find what you are looking for.”

“It’s layout can be misleading and it’s hard to find what you want. Maybe have a search bar that can help navigate through the site to find what you need.”

Issue 3 - Mobile Usability

“On a computer MyMiami is fine, but on a mobile device, which is what most students are using to access the internet in-between classes, it’s not user friendly.”

I think MyMiami needs to be redesigned for phones so you don’t have to zoom in as much to get to something like canvas or banner web.”

Very challenging to use on the phone…needs a better interface.”

Mockups

Desktop

Mobile

Takeaways

This project taught me a lot about the research process used, and how difficult it was to design an updated dashboard that kept the requirements of the school intact. One of the main focuses I had was adding customization, and allowing for students to see different kinds of content in divided sections. I found it very interesting how well using components from my original desktop design carried over to the mobile interface. Lastly, I'm glad the feedback I received was positive. I had a game plan of how I wanted to solve the three problems, and in the end it all seemed to fit the criteria that different users were asking for. I am excited to work on more projects like this in the future, because I was able to build mobile and desktop interfaces that needed similar attributes and end goals.

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