Find Space: Work Space you need.

OVERVIEW

App to help students find vacant study spaces on campus that will meet their equipment needs.

Duration

One Week

METHODS

User research, Interviews, User Testing, Rapid Prototyping, Wire-framing.

Project Type

Design Exercise

Prompt

What it is about?

Design a solution to help students find vacant group collaboration spaces on campus that will meet their equipment needs.

Research insights

Qualitative study

Not informed

There is lack of information related to the space available to the students, such as capacity, amenities available, and the equipment that can be additionally requested.

Longer Process

Sometimes it take longer processing time to get response to the online form request, during this time the students are losing the opportunity of booking other free spaces. 

Immediate reservation

Student seek immediate reservation confirmation rather than receive it few hours or days later.

Alternate Options

Student are open to user other spaces on campus, if necessary but are not aware of the options available.

Online Request

Student prefer booking the space online rather than in-person, to save time and also it will ease the process of deciding on the meeting time as a group.

Delay in

Students face delays while occupying the room, since the previous user is not aware of the time.

Design goals

Based on the user needs

After the research, I set my design goals based in the users’ expectations, needs and current problems. This helped me to keep the user as the center mind when designing the user flows and app.

design details

How can the application benefit various students?

To brainstorming and ideation, I created one persona based on user research and observed behavior patterns of the interviewees. Later to consider different use cases user stories are created.

No Sign up

To provide flexibility for booking the spaces on campus, student can sign in using the universities email address and password.

Home page can help students make decisions faster when in need.

I designed the home to help students easily find the nearby study spaces, by showing the spaces near their location.

Rationale: In interviews, 4 students said that they mostly try to find the collaborative spaces near their current location.

Finding the common available time automatically.

Student can easily find their common available time by adding each teammate calendar, the system automatically detects the common times and highlights the specific time.

Rationale: Student spend lot of time deciding on the time and if the room is not available, they need to follow the same process again.

Inviting the teammates and requesting other equipment

Students can invite their group members by inviting the team directly on the app which directly send the google calendar meeting invite. In this page users’ can request any other facility or equipment needed if required.

Rationale: From interviews it is fount that it is difficult to update the team members about the meeting because only the member booking the room has access to all the meeting request data.

Space information

The study/meeting space is illustrated with various details such as the room availability, location, equipments available, and amenities accessible. This helps the student decision making process easier while choosing the room.

Rationale: On campus students are unaware of the amenities available in the room and the capacity it can cater. Some interviewees also shared that they get lost finding a space that they have booked.

Altenate study space options

If the spaces are unavailable the system suggests other options which avoids the delays in the meeting.

Rationale:  All the interviewees shared that they are open to use open spaces, cafes, common studies if the rooms are available, but are not aware of the other options that can cater their meeting needs.

Filters

Students can find the spaces according to their need by using the search filters.

Rationale: From interview it is found that students have various needs while reserving the space such as windows, computer, projector, capacity and nearby amenities. 

Behind the design

Understanding the user needs, problems and experiences

DESIGN process

Outline of the process followed

Before designing the solutions it is important to understand the current system, find student needs and map out various problems while finding spaces on campus. Firstly I started finding collaborative spaces using the room reservations systems available on campus and later interviewed 4 students on campus to capture their experiences. This helped me to understand the  strengths and weaknesses of system implemented.

CONTEXT

Focus of the design exercise

Students work on campus either individually or in groups for their coursework and it is important to find a space that meets their needs. Most student spend lot of time finding a common time and collaborative space. To understand the student needs the project is focussed on the University of Michigan student, their problem and their experience finding a space that match their meeting needs. 

Research

What's happening now?

I conducted some exploratory research by understanding the current booking/reservation systems available on campus. The students on the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor campus need to follow various guidelines and steps to find and reserve group collaboration spaces. Every student at U-M have certain limitations while reserving the spaces such as: –

1) The student cannot book the space for more than 2 hours in a stretch

2) Students can only book the rooms in their school/department or the spaces available in the 3 libraries on campus 

U-M uses different systems to book spaces such as google calendar, online reservation form, online reservation portal, request through an online form, request through email and reservation at information desk. I looked into each of these system to find the students pain point and the space requirements.

Google Calendar reservation system used by the School of Information

School of Information, uses google calendar to facilitate room reservation system. Student can find and reserve the available meeting room in their school using the google calendar system.

Take Aways

  1. Students can invite their team while booking the space.
  2. Gives the flexibility to create a reminder about the scheduled meeting.
  3. Student can also add a conference invite for the remote attendees.
  4. User can only view the room availability but not the equipment available and the capacity the room can cater.
  5. Google calendar doesn’t show the location of the room in the building.

SpAce reservation system used by Shapiro Undergraduate Library

There is a online reservation system available at the library website where student can find the available spaces and reserve. Students need to submit a form after selecting the available room based on the capacity and equipment needs.

Take Aways

  1. Students can view various rooms availability. 
  2. Student can book the space based on the capacity and equipment needs. 
  3. If the room are not available it doesn’t show other available spaces on campus. 
  4. Even thought the room names are tagged with the capacity it can cater, the system doesn’t have an option to filter the spaces according to the student needs. 
  5. Student need to use separate system other than their schools reservation system.

reservation Form used by Duderstadt Library

To reserve conference spaces at the Duderstadt Library student need to fill an online room reservation form. If the spaces are available according to the user need, a confirmation email is received from the library desk. Students need to collect the room keys from the information desk before using the space.

Take Aways

  1. Student are not aware of the room availability before requesting through email. 
  2. Students cannot view the available meeting rooms. 
  3. Need to wait for an email from the library regarding the reservation confirmation. 
  4. Location of the space in the library is not available. 
  5. Students don’t have an option to change their preferences if other meeting rooms are available. 
  6. Collecting the key at the information desk consumes valuable time.

reservation Through Email used by Duderstadt Library

To reserve spaces such as music studies, fabrication studios and multimedia rooms, student need to email the library. Each space have their own page on the Duderstadt website where students can find the email address to reserve the space.

Take Aways

  1. Student are not aware of the room availability before requesting through email.
  2. Need to wait for an email from the library regarding the reservation confirmation.
  3. Location of the space in the library is not available.
  4. Students don’t have an option to change their preferences if other meeting rooms are available.
  5. Collecting the key at the information desk consumes valuable time.

reservation AT Hatcher Library Information Desk

Currently, Hatcher graduate library doesn’t have any study space reservation system, students need to visit the library information desk and need to book the space before using it. The rooms are reserved for the students by first come first serve basis.

Take Aways

  1. User can not find the space availability before reaching the library information desk.
  2. Users are unaware of the equipment available in the space or the capacity it can cater.
  3. User need to change their meeting schedule or find an alternative space, which wastes their valuable time.

Interviews

Understanding user needs and problems to find key insights

To understands user experiences, needs and problems, I conducted 5 user interview with students from various schools at the University of Michigan. Interviews gave me a clear picture of how students use the reservation system, what helped them and what annoyed them and how I could improve their experience.

PERSONAS

How can the application benefit various students?

To brainstorming and ideation, I created one persona based on user research and observed behavior patterns of the interviewees. Later to consider different use cases user stories are created.

User Stories

    • As a student I want to find a space with specific requirements, so that I can meet my team and complete my assignment.
    • As a student I want to reserve a space as fast as possible, so that I get my room and fix my schedule.
    • As a team member I want to share the meeting details so that everyone on my team are updated about the meeting.
    • As a student who couldn’t find the space, I want to explore other possible spaces on campus so that my work is not delayed.
    • As a busy person, I want to save my time while deciding on the meeting time according to the room availability so that I can focus on actual work.

    • As a student, I want to find a nearby space so that I cant start working ASAP.

Ideation

Various possibilities to address the user needs.

Considering the design goals, I explored various design solutions that cover some or all the insights from the research. Later I filtered down to six top solution that can help students in various scenarios such as booking from home, booking in a bus and finding alternative spaces.

User Flows

Taking multiple scenarios

Wireframes

How can the application benefit various students?

The features, screens and actions needed are decided in the user flows, later I started to creating quick sketches of all the screens and iterated based on the A/B testing. After multiple iterations I created a final set wireframes that can be converted into hi-fidelity mocks ups.

Hi-fi prototyping

How can the application benefit various students?