The CCA Tribe Finder allows students to find student organizations that best fit their interests while encouraging interdisciplinary engagement and leadership development.
Design an experience for new students to browse, search, and propose new student organizations.
role: interaction and product designer
duration: 1 week design sprint
This project is a digital experience proposal for the California College of the Arts. The digital mobile experience will be introduced during the new student orientation.
The experience will be an addition to the existing student portal to facilitate engagement in student organizations. The experience must account for CCA’s goals of interdisciplinary exposure and student empowerment.
research: finding the problem
Humans are creatures of habit. As such, we tend to gravitate towards people and activities around our comfort zones. This insight is key in understanding the context and user base for this experience. Additionally, while the digital experience will be introduced during new student orientation, both existing and new students will have access to Tribe Finder.
CCA wants students to work and explore beyond their comfort zones to accomplish the school’s goal of interdisciplinary design thinking. However, the underlying problem is that students will most likely choose tribes that appeal to their interests and won’t necessarily choose to venture out on their own, which is a fair position. Here we have a typical case of business goals vs. user goals. Let’s break this down further.
To better understand the goals and needs of CCA, I researched the school’s values and mission. CCA’s mission revolves around inclusion, interdisciplinary work, and community development. This vision is ingrained in both the classroom and in the extracurricular events.
We want to encourage students to venture out of their comfort zones and promote interdisciplinary collaboration between student organizations.
We want students to take on leadership roles and become active agents in creating and proposing new student organizations.
As a CCA student I hold a personal opinion of the existing student organization structure within the school. However, to holistically understand the problem, I decided to interview some of my classmates to gain more insight into the user needs. Below are some prominent quotes from my findings.
An interesting theme emerged in my research where certain students felt unheard in the CCA community. This sentiment was heightened by the fact that certain student organizations were overshadowed by more popular groups and, therefore, did not receive the same amount of exposure to the student body. This issue prevents passive participants from potentially knowing about the organization and possibly joining it.
We want a platform that equalizes all of the student organizations or in the least highlights less popular groups to increase their exposure and engagement.
We want a platform that allows us to crowdsource participants and advocate for missing student organizations within the school.
developing a strategy: solving the problem
While the overall experience of Tribe Finder is to help students search, browse, and propose new student organizations, I felt it was necessary to expand the scope after evaluating my research findings.
In addition to the above tasks, Tribe Finder will help students discover new student organizations and allow them to actively engage with peers by advocating for their own student organizations. Keeping these things in mind, I came up with the following mission statement:
This will be achieved through these 3 goals:
Help students find tribes that align with their interests through a personalized profile
Encourage interdisciplinary exposure by featuring tribes in the periphery of the student’s interest
Develop leadership skills by creating a campaign model where students are able to recruit and advocate for their own tribes.
With the goals established, we now have a better idea of our intent with the UI. Time to start designing!
ideation: sketches and wireframes
After completing the research phase, the features, actions, and the content required were readily apparent. I decided to make some quick sketches and map out the user flow. Sketching is a great way to iterate quickly and generate ideas while synthesizing the insights from the research.
After completing a couple of paper iterations I had the general user flow mapped out. It is time to transition to the digital world where I could further iterate in Sketch. Below is the final wireframe after further iterating within Sketch.