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EventMate

EventMate allows people at UM to search and register for events across all schools while generating personalized recommendations, location-based searches, finding mutual friends, asking queries and handling event clashes.

Role

UX Designer

UX Researcher

Project Context

Fall 2021 (Sept - Dec 2021)

Interaction Design Coursework

Solo Project

Tools

Balsamiq

Adobe XD

Miro

G Suite

The Problem

University of Michigan is home to nearly 45,000+ students with 275+ degree programs and 1600+ student organizations hosting huge number of events on a daily basis. Due to multiple sources being available for registration of events, students at UM face hard time getting aware, prioritizing, signing up, attending on campus events/occasions of their preferences and usually end up missing events. 

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Studies show that 43% percent on an average easily get distracted towards activities like drugs and alcohol which deter self growth completely. At the same time, studies show how students who participate in extracurricular activities benefit themselves from good grades, self confidence within in and get less distracted.

So now, the big question is ....

How to encourage students at UM to take part in extracurricular activities and locate on campus events of their preferences at ease?

The Solution

Welcome Screen
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Search All Events Screen
Choose on Map Screen
Single Event Information Screen

EventMate generates personalized suggestions of events for the user based on their likings, selected preferences and past events they attended, provided them a great user experience and taking away the burden of researching from various websites.

The Process

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Research

Problem Analysis Needfinding Interviews

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Analysis

Competitive Analysis
Sketches

Personas

QOC Diagram

Narrative Storyboard

Scenarios

Storymapping and User Flow

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Design

Low-Fidelity Wireframes

Theme Selection

Medium-Fidelity Prototype

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Testing

Usability Testing

Key Features

Takeways

Next Steps

Research

After articulating the problem statement, it was important not directly jump to the solution, but instead research and explore the big problem. Hence, this led to some brainstorming where various tool ideas were generated to analyze the problem.

Problem Analysis

Through braimstorming, 8 different tool ideas were generated and were analyzed with respect to various factors like affordance, features, technology, social aspect, environment, constraints, qualities and abilities. Finally this was resulted into a collective Needer's Group layout.

Users

Student at UM
Lives life on own responsibility
Owns a smartphone, laptop
Interested in Extracurricular
Uses time, money, efforts wisely
Technology Literate

Environment

Indoors
Outdoors
Good exposure of light

Technology

Internet
USB Charger
Phone, Laptop, Tablet (GUI)
Batteries
GPS
Wi-Fi

Social Aspects

Individual student
Group of students
UM Faculties
UM Staff

Needfinding Interviews

​I chose to complete 5 interviews to better understand needs of users that might have got missed during research. Resultant findings gave more sense to why the problem statement requires a concrete solution because it answered that how or why students end up not attending events.

Key Findings

01

​Students are not aware about it and hence can’t plan beforehand for it.

02

Multiple sources of information makes the decision process difficult and has lack of personalization.

03

​Students wish to socialize but also have known company along instead of attending events alone.

04

​Different registration process and absence of reminders leads students to forget about events.

05

There is no concrete way to get clarification on doubts user have before registration.

06

Students like recordings of events because they can be watched on self pace.

From the findings, it was clear that ....

Students at UM wish to attend events but face difficulty since correct resources don't exist in one place.

Analysis

After concluding the research, time was invested in a series of steps to analyze what kind of conceptual model has the potential to get transformed into an effective system which fits all user's needs.

Competitive Analysis

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This in-depth comparison of partial, analogous and indirect competitors led to focus on the needs of users which were not being acknowledged and required attention. Each competitors met some need of user but did not met all of them which made it difficult for students to rely on multiple sources.

Sketches

Declutter Emails
Interactive TV Board
Smart Event Recommender
Email Reader Plugin
Solar Interactive LED Screen
AI Event Bot Finder
Interactive Maps
Mood Event Recommender

After a clear market research, various sketches were generated to ideate and move towards the solution in a broader view. Aim of this was to realize how efficient above tools ideas were to fit as a real life solution to make the process of events better.

Personas

"People ignore design who ignore people" by Frank Chimero emphasis how important users are when it comes to design, hence 2 primary, 2 secondary and 1 anti persona were generated to draw a clear view on behaviours, personalities, needs, goals and motivation.

QOC (Questions, Options, Criteria)

After researching and analyzing till this point, it was important to decide which tool concept could be mapped into efficient solution to address all pain points us users and hence QOC method was used.

Narrative Storyboard

Through above research and analysis, it was clear that Smart Event Recommender tool concept had the potential to be transformed into a real world solution. Below storyboard was prepared to deliver an idea of how an user would progress through the tasks in the event system and details of interface, user's motivation and emotion.

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Scenarios

To decide more concrete steps on how user will progress through tasks in the system, below scenarios were formed to outline motivation of student with respect to events and context in which system will be used. Each scenario contains detailed description of what students with do with the system and why they would do it that particular way.

Storymapping and User Flow

Once the tool was sketched and the scenarios were ready, storymapping for every persona was developed and all of those were combined to form a Common Map for students at UM. ​Here, solution idea of Smart Event Recommender and Storyboarding was narrowed down to each step user would take while interacting with the system in form of Task in red, Sub-Tasks in pink and Activities in yellow.

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Through storymapping, user flows were created for each persona's pathway through design system. A general user flow was then created including all possible pathways and considering elements like screens, user actions, decisions, interactions, logic loops, etc. Testing and running through this helped eliminated a lot of confusion on lo-fi design on later stage.

Design

Analysis helped figuring out all concrete pathway user could choose while interacting with smart event recommender, hence next step was to move to design to deliver all the process in visuals. 

Low-Fidelity Wireframes

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Above wireframes acted as a skeleton for the system. Not only the screens were developed but also each possible interaction generated from user flow was mapped here and run throughs were done with real-time people to verify each of them.

Theme Selection

Blue (#00274C)

Maize (#FFCB05)

Black (#000000)

White (#FFFFFF)

Scope of the system was University of Michigan Campus, so I used the Primary Palette - Signature Colors from University of Michigan's Brand and Visual Identity.

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Smart Event Recommender was finally named as EventMate since design goal of this system is to help UM mates in their whole process of interactions with events.

Mid-Fidelity Prototype

Finally, this prototype was created developed which included medium level of fidelity and contained 70+ screens to deliver all major and micro interactions.

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Testing

"Design isn't finished until somebody is using it" by Brenda Laurel emphasis how important users are when it comes to design, hence 2 primary, 2 secondary and 1 anti persona were generated to draw a clear view on behaviours, personalities, needs, goals and motivation.

Usability Testing

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More than what users said during research, it was important to see what users do when EventMate as solution comes into their hands. Hence, 5 users were invited to complete 16 crucial tasks of the system. User Matrix was created, tasks were noted and user's feedback ratings were recorded on how efficiently task got completed where 1 noting to least efficient and 3 noting - most efficient. Analysis were done and issues were recorded to revise Mid-Fi Prototype.

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Poke friends button was added at top right corner but rest control buttons

Key Features

Personalized Events

EventMate generates personlized recommendations of events for user based on past events, liked events and school preferences. This process saves time of user and makes the process easy.

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Nearby Events

EventMate will search nearby locations in real-time for users using the current location or inputted location.

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Ask Query

EventMate allows user to feed in a quick query which reaches directly to organizers, once the answer received is satisfactory, it can be marked as resolved.

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The only clickable checkbox was converted to label + checkbox click.

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All Search

EventMate not only gives recommendations, but also allows the user to apply search by keyword and filter by date and location to generate general results.

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Poke Friends

No longer users have to manually gather friends for events, EventMate give a quick poke option to alert them.​ This friend list can also be changed from the profile.

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Event Clash

EventMate syncs to user's calendar and detects the event user trying to register is clashing with schedule or not, in case of clashing it RSVPs the user, only for the recording.

Takeaways

EventMate was my first ever UX Design Project I worked on after starting MSI at University of Michigan. It was a great experience throughout as I proceeded from step 1 to step n learning new concepts. My course instructors not only encouraged me building my idea into solution but also made sure that I understood the Why's behind it. 

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Looking back, I remember a number of challenges that I faced while developing EventMate. I changed my scope twice and finally outlined it correctly. Since my background being in Computer Science, my thinking strategies sometimes became too granular in design but I learned managing and targetting them into positive directions.

Next Steps

I plan to develop High-Fidelity Prototype of EventMate. Also diving a little more deeper into research and running tests of Hi-Fi through some more users would help gaining insightful findings.

Final step could be presenting it to UM Happening@Michigan department and starting to build this application. On super later stages, it could show the potential of capturing other 2 campus / universities.

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Key Features
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