A Rough Sketch

SketchSketch Description:

Marcy wants to register for next semester’s classes. After clicking on the Register & Drop/Add link on the main page of the Student Center, she is brought to this page. She first sees that the courses from her major (Informatics) and cognate (SPEA) are at the top, which is handy because she wants to add a class in her major program. So she selects INFO and she’s given all the different courses in that department. She wants to add Social Informatics, so she clicks on it. She could now read a description of the course if she wanted. There is a list choices, showing class times along with other details like room and instructor like she’s used to. She compares it to her class schedule, conveniently in plain view on the page, notices that she has a spot open at 11:15 on Tuesday and Thursday, and selects that class using the radio button next to it. Finally, to add the class to her schedule, she clicks on the “Enroll” button.

If Marcy wanted to, she could also search for a class in the same way she used to by clicking on the “search” link in the top menu. This also allows for advanced criteria, like a certain professor or meeting time. Choosing “saved” would take her to a page where she’s already saved classes that she was considering before her enrollment start date. If she knew the exact class number she wanted, she could immediately and simply add it by selecting “enter #.”

Problem Approach:

The menu organizes the site in a way that is more useful to the average user, a student wishing to add a class as quickly and with as little effort as possible, by improving overall navigation. The Back and Main buttons also improve ease of navigation, especially since they’re in a similar place to most web browsers, increasing user familiarity. The Back button and menu also make it more like a web site, which was another of our goals. In addition, the “saved” page enhances organization and reduces the confusion that the “shopping cart” creates in the current student center.

Design Rationale:

We found that many users only use SIS to register for classes, which isn’t very often, so they have to relearn how to add classes each time because it’s not completely straightforward to everyone. Adding a browsing page like this eliminates the need to recall course numbers, instead allowing the user to recognize which one she/he is looking for and therefore boosting memorability. The user shouldn’t have to relearn how to use it each time or rack their brain trying to remember. Also, a few users said that a back button would be helpful, so I added that in a familiar place. Since some users didn’t understand the function of the shopping cart, I added a “save” button to the main browsing section instead of making it a whole different area like the shopping cart. This setup is similar to common shopping websites: categories, subcategories, and the ability to easily save an item in the interface before checking out (or enrolling.) To make it more visually appealing, you could improve my rough sketch my extending the tabs all the way across the page. Finally, I put the schedule in view on the page because the group seems to agree it’s a good idea, and it removes the need to continually go to a different page to check your current schedule, which I personally find frustrating.

One Response to “A Rough Sketch”

  1. lynndombrowski Says:

    Bethany, nice job in using a story to explain your product.

    This technique works really well, in helping others understand your concept. It’s a very user centered technique.


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