Our seventh Design Sprint took place on May 8, 2018. The problem we came together to solve was: « As a prospective student, I would like to compare two or more courses. »
Day 1, Morning: Review the problem together
The first part of the Design Sprint saw Steve and Rob present some background information on the problem. Course comparison tools are becoming popular on the web and help a prospective student make a more informed decision. This is because the tools allow them to show courses side by side on a single screen without the hassle of switching through different reports etc.
To begin with, we need to think about the potential users who will use course comparison —
- One audience or many?
- Do they have different behaviors?
- Can we choose a « core audience »?
And also about the end-to-end user experience:
- How do users arrive or initiate?
- What are the entry points?
- What is the ideal or target path or flow?
- What are the key moments or touchpoints
- along the road?
- Is it a single or multi-session experience?
- how does the experience end?
- what are the exit points?
We looked at several online course comparison tools and could see that most didn’t offer much customization to compare against and most were hard to read once the user entered their criteria.
Definition of content requirements
This was a busy part of the morning as the large amount of information associated with courses can be very confusing to a user, allowing a user to choose what they want to see and comparing will hopefully set us apart from other universities. Some of the potential criteria that a user can choose are shown below in pink post-it notes:
Problem, content discussion and goal setting
We discussed the large amount of information that would be shown and how best to present it to the user once they entered their criteria. Everyone agreed, like the examples shown in the morning, that a table format with related headers would be best for this. The possibility of comparing at most 2-4 courses was also discussed as more than 4 would present too much information to a user at once.
Day 1, afternoon: Brainstorm for a solution
After free lunch, we gave people some time to gather their ideas and knowledge from the morning session before moving on to drawing.
Now it was time to move on to the first sketch of the day.
Participants fold an A3 sheet of paper into eight rectangles. Then they sketch an idea in each rectangle or sketch a trip.
Here is the guide we give to the participants:
- Choose the quantity, don’t worry about the details or making them beautiful, just try to convey your idea
- Focus on the main elements or just a part of the page
- Weird, impossible, and impractical ideas often give way to truly inspired ones
Examples of Crazy 8 are available below:
After performing the Crazy 8s and voting, participants were given 30 minutes to draw a solution inspired by the ideas of the Crazy 8s and what was voted on (represented by the stick on the red dots in the photos).
Day 2: Prototyping a solution
To test the ideas from the voted solutions, we designed a prototype. While this isn’t the final design, it does allow us to share the prototype for testing and feedback from the wider community.
View the full prototype and provide feedback
Check out the country page prototype and add your comments (keeping in mind the problem we’re trying to solve). This prototype has interactive areas you can click to see other pages and tips.
Next step: test the prototype
As well as gathering feedback via comments on the prototype itself, the solution will be tested with staff and students over the next week.
Did you participate in the Design Sprint? Thank you!
We’d like to thank everyone who took a day out of their schedule to join us on the journey to a new country page experience.
There were great ideas and discussions throughout the day. Some great ideas, unfortunately, didn’t make it into the prototype, but we have notes and photos of everything that will feed into the design process going forward.
Didn’t do the Design Sprint?
Don’t worry, we have Design Sprints booked every two weeks on Tuesdays throughout 2018.
A day may seem like a lot of time to spend, but when you consider that our website has over 3.5 million visitors a year from every country in the world, then it’s vitally important that we succeed. We can’t do this without engagement from the university community, so anything you can do to get involved or encourage others to participate would be greatly appreciated!
Check out the list below and reserve a spot in one or two Design Sprints that interest you.