A new experience applying to programs and schools
Redesign user experience and interface for Terra Dotta
Terra Dotta is a platform that many schools use for applications, including applications to academic school programs as well as study abroad programs.
In 10 days, redesign for Terra Dotta, a study abroad application software company, to elevate its business by providing better user experience.
Background & Goals
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.
-Attract more new customers
-Increase customer retention
-Increased returning customers
-Increased application completion rate
-Increased customer schools
-Less negative feedbacks
Director of a specific program
By identifying our target user's journey with Terra Dotta, we discovered insights and their pain points to improve in our redesign.
detail steps and actions
Pain points and insights
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.
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.
How might we make tracking the application process more accessible and intuitive for high school students?
How might we simplify the process of managing the system as well as shorten the time spent?
How might we reduce potential mistakes that high school students make before submitting the application?
How might we facilitate the communication between administrator and other parties?
Guidance during application
Mobile interface to make good use of spare time
Prioritized and categorized information
Design proposals & development
Low fidelity wireframes & testing
Paper mock-ups to find out user's feedback on the re-designed flow
User testing round 1 feedbacks
Confusion about the app/web page
Users prefer swiping motion
More clear iteration on chatbot flow is needed(especially when a 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
High school student interface
User testing round 2 feedbacks
Full-screen mode on mobile works well because it helps to concentrate on the task
FAQ creation needs more flexibility to make it more efficient
How much do students want to share with their parents?
Re-think the final submission flow
MVP testing with real user interactions
To gather real data from user samples to analyze whether the new design reached the "metrics" we set in the beginning.
Users interact with our MVP according to their habits and real application process.
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.
Users tend to click more into the tab placed 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 to remind the user to keep working on the applications.
Showing completeness of each section and checking the ones that are finished helps users to continue working on the applications.
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.
1-1 Step by step navigation and transition
By improving the mobile version of the Terra Dotta experience, we provide 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.
Better time management
The directional flow helps speed up the process.
"One-question-at-a-time" mode avoids information overflow.
Dashboard shows the progress of each category.
Automatically jump to the next card once an answer is selected.
1-2 New essay editing feature
High school students will be able to convert existing files and edit the text file on their mobile phones with the new Terra Dotta system.
The new essay editor only provides essential editing tools and has an auto-save feature to make sure student update is always saved.
Better time management (allows students to better utilize their spare time to think about and work on the essays)
Parent/student collaboration mode is unique to the high school student version.
Parents can track the process, make payments and give permission for final submission.
2 Parent/student collaboration mode
Avoid potential mistakes by having parents double-check materials before submitting.
Speed up the process by loop parents into the payment section.
Register collaboration mode
Final submission permission
3-1 Chatbot for student
Students can enter the chatbot anytime during the 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.
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)
Auto-reply from chatbot
Chatbot is a trainable assistant for administrators.
By adding frequent questions from students and other parties into the FAQ database, the administrator can have the chatbot reply to similar questions for him.
Chatbot is the feature that builds up the long-term connection between the administrators and the software to make it irreplaceable.
3-2 Chatbot for administrator
No need for answering repetitive questions.
A centralized place for communications with students. (efficiency)
Ability to build the database over time.
Before & after comparison
Not user-friendly interface
No guidance & assistance
Management assistance for both students and administrators
Prioritized information and actions
Better collaborative process
Next Step: further user testing & MVP
Uncertainty: whether chatbot really makes the process more efficient; how big a data base is needed.
Uncertainty: how often do students check the system; whether there should be some kind of notifications to encourage students to finish the process.
Uncertainty: how much students are willing to share with their parents.