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Creating an experience that empowers college students to get involved on campus and find personal communities 

Project Overview

At MICA, clubs and activities that enable students to participate on-campus, find interests, and make friends. However, it is difficult for students to find information about campus events as well as the motivation to participate.

I designed a campus app that centralizes on-campus activities and resources and motivates students to engage with their community.


  1. Evaluated MICA's current system and identified pain-points in the current process
  2. Interviewed 8 students and MICA employees to identify behaviors, motives, and pain points regarding student engagement
  3. Mapped out the current journey, created an affinity diagram, and established a user persona
  4. Defined features and established an information architecture
  5. Sketched out ideas and created low-fidelity mockups
  6. Tested and iterated mockups
  7. Designed high-fidelity prototypes

Design Challenge

How can we empower students to become more involved on campus and build communities around their interests?


A campus app that centralizes on-campus activities and resources and motivates students to engage with their community.


What’s the current system?

Interviewing students

I conducted 10 semi-constructed interviews with freshmen, transfers, and upperclassmen to learn about the current ways students discover and join organizations.

  • What are some clubs you are a part of and why did you join it?
  • What resources/sources of information do you have about joining a club?
  • What do you like and dislike about the current resources you are given on clubs?
  • What do you like and dislike about the current resources you are given on clubs?
  • When during the semester are you most and least involved in student clubs?
  • How was your experience with MICA’s involvement fair?

Here are my main findings:

1. Students are a lot more interested in specific events more than regular club meetings

2. Students will join multiple clubs at the beginning of the semester but will lose interest at the end of the semester.

Interviewing the director of the Center for Student Engagement

I interviewed Bella, the director of the Center for Student Engagement

Bella identified the problems of the current system: Emails can be delayed, posters might go unnoticed, the MICA website is not intuitive, and student organization information is very scattered.

She also said a mobile platform would be essential for this product, as students are very accustomed to phones.

Defining the problem

1.  Information is very unintuitively presented. From emails to club fairs, it is difficult to track which clubs a student has joined, or where the meetings are. Resources on the MICA website requires a lot of digging. The majority of the resources lives on MICA’s website, but student very rarely visits the school’s website.

2. Resources and motivation decline as the semester progresses. At the beginning of the semester, students have more free time to participate in clubs. However, towards the end of the semester, there are no engagement fairs and students are very busy with their school work.

Understanding the situation

There are two types of meetings: regular weekly meetups and special events. Special events, such as showings, competitions, and outings are higher stake events where students outside of the club will also be interested in attending.

Students have a multitude of digital platforms to communicate with each other. I didn’t design a messaging system because students already use social media, messaging apps, email, canvas to talk to each other remotely. Social media is especially a common tool students use, so integrating this experience with other digital platforms is key.

Designing with the user in mind

Sketching out Ideas

Taxonomy of student activities

I used Optimal Workshop’s similarity matrix tool and asked 5 students how they would sort club categories. The categories students came up with are:

  • Art
  • Culture
  • Hobbies
  • LGBTQ+
  • Recreational
  • Religion
  • Social Action

Club component design

Based on my user interview, I identified the most important club information. They are marked with blue

  • Club name
  • Club description
  • Organizer/President
  • Organizer Email
  • Meeting times
  • Location
  • Activity image
  • Category
  • Upcoming events

I then iterated on the club component card design.

Wireframes for activity exploration

Using the above components, I experimented with a variety of layouts, identifying advantages and disadvantages with each.

Final Explore Design

After my design exploration and user inquiry, I decided to utilize a spacious horizontal layout that displays imagery, club name, meeting times, and category. Those information was deemed the most useful for students when deciding what clubs to join.

I decided search should be a secondary function, as students aren’t always exactly sure of what clubs to find. However, I highlighted categories with chips component to help users narrow down their preferred clubs. 

Creating an event based experience

During the user interview, I learned that students get caught up with their schedules and forget about student organizations. Many students also told me that they care more about the club activity than regular club meetings.

With this in mind, I decided that the product should be inherently event based, similar to a calendar.

The calendar highlights clubs that the student have followed. I also included additional events and meetings of the day that are worth attending.

I separated the calendar into day view and month view. The day view can be used for learning the in-depth schedule of the day, and the month view can be used for learning about how various clubs fits into a student’s overall schedule.

I also explored a personalized messaging feature, where club owners can send custom messages to students regarding their upcoming club meetings. When talking to students, I also learned that many are more inclined to learn about the club from a member’s perspective.

Final Event Calendar

What I learned

Let users inform your design decisions. This project involves a variety of user research, from user interviews, to card sorting and testing. By talking and testing with users, I generated design opportunities and goals that I would not have known.

Iterate designs to test concepts. I produced numerous card and layout designs. By evaluating these designs, I could see which concepts work and which didn’t.

Say Hi!

I would love to talk about anything and everything. Reach out!

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