14 weeks, fall 2017
myCourses is the course management system at the Rochester Institute of Technology. It serves the purpose of creating a streamlined way for faculty and student interaction as well as interaction with course materials online. Various tools are provided on myCourses that allow and promote this interaction to create an overall better learning experience.
What are we trying to solve?
How can myCourses become a more useful tool that motivates and empowers students within their course work?
Simplified existing site map
Despite the site’s recent update, it doesn’t allow for the most efficient and seamless usage. There is a serious lack of hierarchy making it difficult to quickly use the site and getting from point A to B is more tedious than it has to be.
What's the focus?
After examining the site more, I realized that the main features that are mostly used by the students are scattered all over the place. There is no special attention paid to these important features. The issue with the current site is that it’s trying to do too many things without a focus.
I wanted to understand the obstacles that students face when interacting with the site. In order to gain this insight on the current issues of myCourses's user experience, I conducted user surveys and analyzed the existing site structure. I surveyed 12 RIT students across different majors who use myCourses on a daily basis to understand how they frequently use the site and pain points that they encounter. Competitive analysis research was conducted to understand how other sites and apps are successful or unsuccessful as a task management tool.
How do students feel about myCourses?
Misuse of space
Many areas of the site are taken up by features and content that are not useful to students on a daily basis.
The number of features that myCourses has often become overwhelming. Many students feel as if they are unnecessary and get in the way of the important features.
Many users believe that getting from point A to point B often requires more steps than necessary. Hinderances such as inconsistent naming conventions confuse the user.
Relate to the user
At its core, myCourses is a task management tool that students interact with on a daily basis to help them with their courses. The current site is filled with various unnecessary features that deviate from its main focus. Although it's a tool used by RIT students every day, it lacks empathy and a human touch. It should be a tool that adapts to different students' needs and alleviates the stress that might come with using a school-related tool.
This redesign aims to focus on the more humanistic aspect of myCourses and a task manager that adapts to various users. My approach is to narrow down on its focus to bring attention to features that can provide the most help.
What to keep in mind
Different people work in different ways. myCourses should accommodate different users' needs to ensure that various learning methods are accounted for.
Understanding that myCourses is geared towards college students helps in creating a thoughtful solution. Enhance the overall user experience of myCourses by toning down the rigidity of the site and creating a more friendly environment for the user.
Ensure that the site is not bogged down by unnecessary features. The site needs to have a strong focus on what students actually need in order to be more efficient in their course work.
Who are we designing for?
This user is busy juggling multiple activities all at once. They are trying to maintain a healthy balance between school, work, and hobbies. They seek the most efficient methods for completing their tasks to make time for other tasks.
This user is always on top of their assignments and is constantly going above and beyond. They like to feel in control of their work and schedule, so they take extra steps to stay organized.
This user has trouble trying to manage their time and can often forget about upcoming assignments. They often think they have more time than they have to complete tasks and end up scrambling at the last minute.
Ami is myCourse’s adorable mascot. As the primary tool for schoolwork, myCourses can be a platform that is associated with stress and anxiety. Ami is here to lighten the mood and environment in hopes to alleviate some of that stress. He is there as a motivator and adds a sense of joy to make someone’s day.
Consolidates the multiple steps of logging in from the original myCourses homepage into one single page. Users can quickly log onto myCourses without any hassle. The login page is meant to evoke a sense of welcoming and friendliness.
Users can stay organized and reduce the frequency of late assignments with this feature. This feature allows students to visualize what and when an assignment needs to be done in order to keep them on track. Tasks populate based on assignments that professors assign. Students may also create their own tasks.
Creating a task
Task cards can be used for various events to keep the user organized. A user can quickly create a new task as a reminder which they can edit later to add additional features.
Users can easily access assignment submission boxes from their tasks. Accessing the submission modal from the homepage increases efficiency and removes unnecessary steps to reach one’s destination. Users have the option to submit different types of files through various methods.
myCourses on the go
myCourses's mobile version focuses around a user's tasks. At a glance, they can quickly see their upcoming tasks for all of their courses. The task cards mimic the desktop version. This flow shows a user creating a task with the voice option which then populates in the task list.