▪ Idea development + Product Design + Brand identity ▪ January 2022 - Ongoing
As a team, we observed that many students at various universities were creating their own Instagram accounts to discuss a range of topics related to college life. Through this discovery, we recognized the need for a more efficient and effective space where students could communicate and connect with one another. This lead us to develop Overheard, an innovative college community app that allows students to connect anonymously with classmates and also gain insights to courses and professor information. As a UX designer/Identity designer for Overheard, my responsibilities were to conduct user research, design wireframes and prototypes, collaborate with the development team to ensure design feasibility, and doing usability testing to ensure the app's success.
Campus news and important college events are frequently missed on scattered channels such as websites, emails, Instagram pages, etc. Students may not always have the time or the inclination to check each one regularly.
1. Missing out campus news
PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS
Centralized platform where students can access relevant information and be more engaged with the college community can have a positive effect on overall college experience.
First year students have a steep learning curve as they navigate their way through a new and unfamiliar academic environment. They may be unfamiliar with the courses offered, the structure of the academic calendar, the locations of important buildings, and resources available to them.
3. Challenges of first-year students
I have listed 5 main problems related to college networking by surveying 50 students from various colleges in the United States.
When it comes to choosing courses and instructors in college or university, students often rely on information from online resources such as Rate My Professor, which provides ratings and reviews of instructors based on previous students' experiences. However, searching for a good class can be time-consuming as it requires manually searching for each professor's names.
4. Difficulty in choosing courses
Building social networks and sharing school information can be challenging since there are no exclusive networking platform for college students. Some students mentioned that lack of supporting networks contribute to social isolation.
2. No trustworthy platform to build social networks
On any other networking platforms, there is no community exclusively for college students in the United States. This can make it difficult for students to build a sense of community around their academic experiences. Some students mentioned "Blind," a platform that groups companies together.
Student validation system
Dedicated space for a college can familiarize first-year students at a faster rate. They can connect easily with peers, stay up-to-date on news and events, and gain access to useful resources. Over 20 students reported difficulty in finding resources during their first year.
An exclusive channel for each college
We are currently working on building an up-to-date database of course descriptions and current instructor profiles. Creating various incentives for students to post course and professor information is crucial to our success.
Comprehensive database of courses and professors
One of the key features of this app is the log in page, which is designed to ensure that only students with a valid college email address can sign up. This helps to verify the user's identity and prevent unauthorized access. From hearing numerous opinions from students about how they feel more comfortable when being anonymous, we came to a conclusion that students must create an anonymous username when signing up to protect their privacy.
To create a post, students should first choose a topic. Overheard provides 9 topics which, according to our survey, was proposed by students. The students can also select a channel between general or college-specific, add polls to ask questions and of course, photographs.
Students can select their favorite topics to appear on the homepage, allowing them to quickly access the content that interests them the most. They can also review their previously created posts and class reviews, enabling them to reference their work and make edits if necessary. There are also bookmark and block user features to help students personalize their user experience.
The class page allows students to search for courses and professors, read reviews, and submit their own reviews. The students are required to include the class code, semester, and year in the review submission in order to ensure the accuracy and relevancy of class reviews.