Usearch College App

Graphic: Usearch Logo

Project Overview

Objective

Our class was divided into four groups for this project. Each group was assigned a target user audience to research and understand their needs during the college search process. My group was assigned to research high school students and what their needs and pain points were during their search for colleges.

Research

The first step in my group's research process involved performing a competitor analysis, specifically of Niche.com. Niche offers insight into college rankings and feedback from students currently enrolled in college. Since our target group would consist of prospective students, my group felt that many of these features would benefit high school students.

My group also distributed an online survey to a group of 16 high school students (grades 9-12) that asked them to rank the importance of common interest points in selecting a college, such as quality of food on campus, cost of tuition, and academic programs.

Solution

Our research findings indicated campus life, tuition costs, academic program offerings, and social clubs and activities as the most important factors for high school students when searching for a college.

My group focused on designing search functionality and college information screens in the Usearch app. These features were integrated into the final app, which consisted of features designed by other groups based on their assigned user groups.

My Role

My responsibilities included assisting with the design and implementation of my group's features into the final Usearch prototype. I also organized and distributed the survey to high school students.

Personas

Ashley

Bio

17-year-old female who is currently applying to colleges. She hopes to find a college close to home that offers an exceptional health sciences program.

Goals

To view overall ratings of colleges and cost of tuition She also thinks it would be helpful to see what her chances of being accepted to a college are before completing an application.

Frustrations

Difficulty finding information about admissions deadlines and tracking her different applications.

Damien

Bio

16-year-old male who is just starting to look at colleges. He's unsure what program he wants to go to school for but wants to start getting an idea of what life is like at colleges across the region.

Goals

To find out how difficult classes are at college. He wants to find a college that will challenge him in his studies. He also would like to be able to favorite any colleges that he thinks he might want to apply to next year.

Frustrations

Lack of information about the cost of tuition, scholarship opportunities, and social clubs and activities offered.