Monash Nav Overview

Type: Capstone Project
Role: Background research, UX/UI design and prototyping, Team Leader
Tools: Adobe InDesign, Figma, ProtoPie

Year of completion: 2022
Research Phase
This project began with a six week research phase. We used this time to design and conduct an ethnographic research study to help define a problem space that our design response (developed over the subsequent six weeks) would attempt to address.
The purpose of our study was to understand how students currently navigated to campus and how they found their way around on campus, and to explore their feelings and opinions on these processes. We limited our scope to travel between and on Caulfield and Clayton campuses.
We decided to focus on international undergraduate or masters students at Monash between the ages of 18 and 30 who did not speak English as a first language, and used a combination of research methods to gather our data:
        • Site observation on Caulfield and Clayton campuses
        • Semi-structured interviews with our participants
Usability tests asking our participants to use the Monash Study App.

Documentation of our research process. The participants' faces have been obscured to maintain their right to privacy.

Analysis Process
After conducting the initial research and collating our observations, the next step was for us to synthesise these observations through thematic analysis. We did this via a four step process:

Step 1: Each team member added codes to the observations they had collected individually. We then put these observations together and decided on a unified set of codes and subcodes.
Step 2: Categorise all of our observations against each code. Further categorise observations by pain point, expectation, need, etc.
Step 3: Look at all the observations in each code and write key findings against every category. Remove duplicates.
Step 4: Organise key findings into headings and subheadings.
Step 5: Categorise the key findings as actionable, not actionable, descriptions and opportunities.

Step 4

Step 5

After all these steps of categorising and re-categorising the information to spot common themes, we identified the following key findings as the most important:
...and to drill deeper into the problem, we conducted two visualisation exercises: a persona, and a journey map to outline the problems that a student might face while navigating at Monash.

Our Persona, Perry Wang

A journey map of the problems Perry runs into due to his problems navigating at Monash, and their respective consequences.

Based on all of our research thus far, we defined our problem as follows:
How might we improve the experience of navigating around Monash beyond the currently available basic use case, so that students can find their classrooms and other services more easily, and continue to use wayfinding services throughout the university term, rather than just in the first few weeks?
It was time to move on to the UI development phase.
Design Style
Pretty early on in the design process, we decided that the key philosophy of our app would be "friendly guidance". This proved to be quite difficult to translate into a visual style - it took us several attempts to find a style that was both functional and approachable, using bright colours and friendly guiding characters called the Monash Pals to at once differentiate ourselves from similar navigation applications and communicate to the user that the app would be a "friendly guide" on campus.
FInal solution
Our group responded to the problem area that we had defined in the research phase of our project by creating Monash Nav - a mobile app for enhanced navigation that ties into the university’s existing Monash Study App.
It brings together all of Monash’s existing wayfinding and scheduling services with a fun and friendly visual language to provide an overall user experience that is both functional and approachable to students at Monash.
Furthermore, to keep students engaged with the service, we also added in several social functions that would help them get to know about events and locations on campus they can visit in between their class schedules, and a location sharing function that they can opt into to let their friends know they’re on campus.
Jump back up to the video at the top of the page by clicking on the "Back To Top" button below to see a quick overview and demonstration of the app's functions.
Final Thoughts
This project required our team to undertake a full run-through of the Double Diamond design process, from discovery to delivery. I personally learned a lot about the design project lifecycle, and taking on the added responsibility of managing a team of 4 fellow designers and playing to each of their unique strengths was also a learning experience.
I also really enjoyed having the opportunity to work in the tertiary education space, and hope to be able to do it again soon.
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