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Designing a Course Scheduling System: Take 1

Sunday, November 11th, 2012 | Posted by Melissa Chapman

Within this quarter’s Rapid Ideation and Creative Problem Solving class, we were tasked with designing and developing a course registration system. Turns out that our collective memory of archaic, bulky and unfriendly undergraduate class registration processes aren’t a far cry from what exists today.

To attack this problem, we fabricated personas around which we could design. This provides both a set of constraints and assumptions that gives the designer a realistic place to start.

So, my persona. Tony is a second year Information Technology student with a Psychology Minor who live off campus and cares part-time for a sick family member. Because of this, he is limited to afternoon and evening classes and ones that he can get to from the furthest away parking lot (the only one he could afford). He already knows his student ID, login, and has already met with his adviser to talk about this upcoming semester. In front of him, he has a list of classes they discussed during this appointment.

Part of this process was a series of think-aloud user testing which identified (at least) three core problem areas with the first draft. Before we get to them, here are the frames:

Presentation here!

In the next iteration, I have three priorities.

  1. Be more communicative with where the user is within the task. This is based on comments such as “How do I go back?” and “If it’s on the calendar, am I registered?”
  2. Add a ‘map your major’ component where the student can track overall progress within his/her major and minor track.
  3. Get rid of the dropdown menus. Forever and ever.
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