Coming2LPZ

Universität Leipzig | Faculty of Social Sciences and Philosophy

Context

Germany is experiencing a period of transition towards digitalization. This is a challenge for education, in this case the Faculty of Social Sciences and Philosophy of the University of Leipzig has decided to digitalize the experience of international students, supporting them to plan their trip before, during and after.

About the product

We’re creating an app for the international students of the faculty of Social Sciences and Philosophy that experience multiple problems in planning the semester abroad (living and studying), for this reason we will like to support them organizing their study life before to come to Leipzig. The idea: design the first MVP in a short and easy way.

Discovery

  • Gaps in the communication process
  • Friction with the exchange of documents (Emails and PDF's)
  • Limitations with the german language

Goals

  • Reduce time and effort for the international students.
  • Centralize the entire process in a single way.
  • Simplify and improve the experience for both: faculty and students

My responsibilities

As UX/UI Designer

01

Rol

I was responsible for the completely design process from Discovery, analyzing data and information collected, conducted usability studies to validate the prototypes and prepared the files for the development team.

02

Process

It was a short-term MVP (3 months) so I decided to approach it in the beginning with a Workshop to understand the problem and collect ideas. I also run 2 usability studies to validate and prepared the prototypes to delivery.

03

Team

I joined as the first designer, working directly with the team of the faculty, a full stack developer, student coordinators and international students that supported us with the testing phase.

Understanding the user

The Problem

The Students of the faculty of Social Sciences and Philosophy experience multiple problems in planning the semester abroad (living and studying), for this reason we will like to support them organising their study life, to take away at least, one of these three problems.

Our Persona

Camilo Pérez
25 – Sociology student – Melilla Spain – Always music 


“When I am planning all the stuff that I need for the semester abroad I feel overwhelmed and I have not clue where should I start. I would like to have all the important information in one place and very handy so I can plan and prepare better for the new challenge, in this way, I could start to feel more engage in the university experience”.

Needs:
The Need to plan a new semester-life in a completely new country, new culture and new language. It is his first time in Germany and he’s struggling with everything he needs for the semester + hasn’t found a WG (flat) to live in so far. 


Potential Solutions:
1. A functionality that offer to the students tailored information based on Study and Program.

2. Categorize the places most requested by students and allow them to quickly find the location and all the main information.

3. Support the student journey before, during and after the stay; centralizing all tasks in the app, so users can reduce uncertainty in semester planning.

My Exchange

We use a form that aims to filter student information, minimizing the “My Exchange Status” process. Students only need to answer two questions about their studies and program which they are enrolled. With this, we can recommend tailored information such as professors, general information, links and tips for before, during and after the semester.

Explore LPZ

To support the student's journey, we have created a list of the best places (carefully curated list) to guide them in the city. With this, the student will be able to browse the categories; Libraries, Canteen, Faculties, Dorm, Social and Culture and find the most important contact information. Students will also be able to see this option as a list or map to have better orientation in the city.

ToDo

This solution reduces the friction of the faculty's internal team that sent PDFs via email to students during the semester. This process took time and caused a huge lost of important information from one email to another. Internal research showed us that students didn’t read those emails. ToDo will allow students to have more control of the information from the internal team, so that they will be able to focus on what is most important: monitoring the tasks during their Erasmus process. There will also be modules, meetings, exams and courses. Everything centralized and avoiding long and clunky PDFs that increased uncertainty during the journey.

Research Study

Moderated usability study Location: Leipzig – Germany, online, sessions took place in September and October 2023. 8 participants navigated the application. Each participant completed a questionnaire about the experience. Each session lasted between 15 to 20 minutes.

Research goals

Initially we gathered all the feedback from student helpers who are the persons in contact with international students. We also validated the idea with a survey carried out last semester where the pain points that students experienced before traveling to Leipzig were already evident.

As a second phase, we wanted to figure out what specific difficulties users encounter when they try to complete the core tasks of the Coming2LPZ app: My Exchange, Explore LZP, ToDo features, and general-app navigation.

Primary research questions

How long does it take for a user to complete successfully My Exchange task?, Are users able to successfully get the info of My Exchange?, What can we learn from the steps users took to navigate through the app?, Are there any parts of the process where users are getting stuck?, Is the navigation bottom easy for the users?

KPIs

Time on task: how much time users spend on each task, Conversion rates: how many users complete successfully My Exchange task (our core feature), User error rates: how often users get stuck trying to complete a task.

Storytelling

For the test we created a fictional person and this person was Camilo, a student of Communication coming from Spain. He needs to plan a new semester-life and as a starting point he would like to get the first information regarding his study and then he would like to check about student flat’s, libraries or canteens in Leipzig.

Priorities

Recommendations after research

01

the font size on the overlay used to display more information regarding My Exchange and ToDo is too hard to read, an insight is: users should read this options without difficulties.

02

although all users completed this task, there were 2 users who need more time, an insight is: users should have clear information about how to use the checklist to get familiar with the feature.

03

enhance the copy to clarify CTAs and add badges to indicate hierarchy on cards so users can have a better overview about the category/topic related.

Takeaway & Next steps

Although we had many limitations with time and dates to be able to do the usability tests with the students, I think we have achieved the main goal of the MPV. The next step will be to implement the prototype, validate some ideas for another design phase and create the desktop version.

Nice to have – for future implementation:
1. Analyse the abbreviation of “LPZ” between international students to validate the perception of this wording and the branding.
2. Create more categories related WG’S or room-search for students on the Explore LPZ option. Add a section to search for a seminar rooms