A new experience going abroad

Redesign user experience and interface for Terra Dotta

Role

UX Designer

Team

Rachel Qian

Sanae Wilson

Time

1 week

Project Brief

In 10 days, redesign for Terra Dotta, a study abroad application software company, to elevate its business by providing better user experience.

Background & Goals

Brand challenge

Terra Dotta is facing more and more competitors like Via, TRM and Horizons are emerging with better products and user experience in the relatively small market.

GSM analysis

Goal

-Attract more new customers

-Increase customer retention

Signal

-Increased usage

-Increased returning customers

-Increased application completion rate

-Increased customer schools

-Less negative feedbacks

Metrics

Research

Stakeholders

  • College student

  • Administrator

  • Director of specific program

  • Other faculty

Personas

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High school

students

Administrators

User journey

By identifying our target user's journey with Terra Dotta, we discovered insights and their pain points to improve in our redesign.  

2

1

phases

overall steps

detail steps and actions

Pain points and insights

Pain points

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  • Many students, especially high school students, find it hard to maintain good time management on application process.

  • Some students claim that they find mistakes in their applications after submitting them but can not do anything anymore.

  • When students are confused about certain part of the application, they have to write emails and wait for responses.

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  • One administrator is usually responsible for several programs. It is often times hard to keep track of all applications.

  • They find it time-consuming to put up new materials for new programs.

  • Administrators often times answer similar questions from students over and over again.

Design Opportunities

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1

How might we make tracking of application process more accessible and intuitive for high school students?

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1

How might we simplify the process of managing the system as well as shorten the time spent?

2

How might we reduce potential mistakes that high school students make before submitting the application?

2

How might we facilitate the communication between administrator and other parties?

Solutions

  • Process tracking

  • Parent involvement

  • Guidance during application

  • Mobile interface to make good use of spare time

  • Prioritized and categorized information 

  • FAQ database

Value proposition

Student

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Administrator

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Design proposals & development

Information Architecture

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Low fidelity wireframes & testing

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Paper mock-ups to find out user's feedback on the re-designed flow

User testing round 1 feedbacks

  • Confusion about app/web page

  • Users prefer swiping motion

  • More clear iteration on chatbot flow needed(especially when message is forwarded to administrators

  • Users like the FAQ feature, but are confused about the buttons

Mid fidelity wireframes & testing

Mock-ups made with whimsical and figma that demonstrate more detailed flow and user interface

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Administrator interface

High school student interface

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User testing round 2 feedbacks

  • Full screen mode on mobile works well because it helps concentrating on the task

  • FAQ creating needs more flexibility to make it more efficient

  • How much do students want to share with their parents?

  • Re-think final submission flow

MVP testing with data gathering

To gather real data from user samples to analyze whether the new design reached the "metrics" we set in the beginning.

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Users interact with our MVP according to their habit and real application process.

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Make interactive MVP in Thunkable

and send out to a group of potential users.

We receive real-time data in Airtable spreadsheet. Data is then used to see whether our new design achieved the metrics and whether we should further improve the design.

MVP feedbacks

  • Users tend to click more into the tab place on the top of the list.

  • Users tend to be reluctant to upload files the first time they open the application.

  • Placing completeness on top of the screen helps reminding the user to keep working on the applications.

  • Showing completeness of each section and check the ones that are finished helps users to continue working on the applications.

Design system

  • Young

  • Travel

  • Explore

Moodboard

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The vibrant feeling of the interface is targeting our new stakeholders-high school students. At the same time, high contrast colors help prioritize and organize information and tasks.

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Color

Typography

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Button states

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Iconography

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Final Design 

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1-1  Step by step navigation and transition

By improving the mobile version of Terra Dotta experience, we provide the high school students the opportunity to make use of their spare time.

Also, as shown in the example on the right, they can easily keep track of application process on the dashboard to make them feel more in control of the process and know where they are in the application.

Value creation

  • Better time management

  • The directional flow helps speed up the process.

  • "One-question-at-a-time" mode avoids information overflow.

Dashboard

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Dashboard shows the progress of each category.

Automatically jump to the next card once an answer is selected.

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1-2  New essay editing feature

High school students will be able to convert existing files and editing the text file on their mobile phone with new Terra Dotta. 

The new essay editor only provides essential editing tools and has an auto-save feature to make sure student's update is always saved.

Value creation

  • Better time management (allows students to better utilize their spare time to think about and work on the essays)

Essay editor

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Parent/student collaboration mode is unique to high school student version.

Parents can track process, make payment and give permission for final submission.

Feature flow

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2 Parent/student collaboration mode

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  • Avoid potential mistakes by having parents double-check materials before submitting.

  • Speed up the process by loop parents into the payment section.

Value creation

Register collaboration mode

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Final submission permission

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3-1  Chatbot for student

Students can enter chatbot anytime during application process to get help regarding different sections of the application.

Chatbot is able to answer basic questions and initiate the conversation smartly depending on where the student is in the application.

Value creation

  • Speed up the process of getting questions answered so that they can continue with their applications ASAP. (efficiency)

  • No need to jump into email and send questions. (efficiency)

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Auto-reply from chatbot

Forward questions

to administrators

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Chatbot is a trainable assistant for administrators.

By adding frequent questions from students and other parties into FAQ database, administrator can have the chatbot reply to similar questions for him.

Chatbot is the feature that builds up long-term connection between the administrators and the software to make it irreplaceable.

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3-2  Chatbot for administrator

  • No need for answering repetitive questions.

  • Centralized place for communications with students. (efficiency)

  • Ability to build the data base over time.

Value creation

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Before & after comparison

Before

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  • Not user-friendly interface

  • Information overflow

  • No guidance & assistance

After

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  • Intuitive interface

  • Management assistance for both students and administrators

  • Prioritized information and actions

  • Better collaborative process

Next Step: further user testing

Feature prioritization

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1. Chatbot

Uncertainty: whether chatbot really makes the process more efficient; how big a data base is needed.

Urgency: High

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2. Tracking&navigation

Uncertainty: how often do students check the system; whether there should be some kind of notifications to encourage students to finish the process.

Urgency: Middle

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3. Parent/children

Uncertainty: how much students are willing to share with their parents.

Urgency: Low

Plan to test chatbot

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