Serving Students Better
OneStop IITG is an application that allows IIT Guwahati students to lodge complaints, get notified about events in campus, access their course timetables and a get lot more done, easily.
This project focuses on making a one stop solution to all student needs while being in campus and aims at making a student’s life better.
Project Manager, UI & UX
4 weeks, Fall 2018
The initial phase of the building the app involved extensive user and market research to better understand what a student of IIT Guwahati could want. I started with evaluating the existing apps which solve some problems for students, and analysing it’s structure and interaction flows.
Additionally, a user survey was carried out on some of the discussion forums which had the whole population of the campus (student + faculty) present.
The ‘Hello IITG’ app is the only solution which exists exclusively for the campus of IIT Guwahati.
Alternatively, other IIT and universities also have student apps which were studied for reference.
While Hello IITG is an essential tool for students, it is scarce in useful features which would be useful to students, lacks hierarchy, and is inconsistently organised.
More importantly, the entire code is static and has to be manually hard coded everytime there needs to be any change made. This becomes very hard when you have to manage multiple timetables which change every semester. An urgent need to make the whole system a dynamic one was needed.
Along with the user survey, I also looked through common discussion forums for the entire campus to find recurring problems and pain points students would face.
There exist multiple different forums through which discussions/news about campus reaches a student. ‘IIT G Current Campus Junta’ on Facebook and WhatsApp groups for Hostels, Branches, Year of Studying etc. are the most common ones.
Somethings which were recurring were -
Using the forums as an unofficial platform for complaints, Events whose could not reach to the interested people, in time…
And asking for information which ideally should be easily available but isn’t.
Seeing that Hello IITG (while not amazing to use) was already being used by almost all of the campus population, we wanted our app to replace it (through an update) while making sure we don’t alienate the existing users of the app into adopting something new.
Because of this, I decided to thoroughly analyze the existing app along with my other research and came at the following insights-
Based on the extensive research, I set a vision for what I wanted the new app to accomplish. A certain set of goals it should fulfil.
I took a step back and asked myself what it really means to have an app which acts as the one stop solution for students.
After multiple brainstorming sessions, I built upon the idea of having a digital-toolkit of sorts which would accompany every student in their everyday life.
Along with giving students the facilities and information they need to done with each semester, this will give them everything from their hostel mess menu and emergency contact numbers. The interface should be pleasing, fun and intuitive.
I believe with an enormous user base of a campus with about 4000 students, having an consistent and common platform has the potential to tap into the campus’ collective knowledge, ability to affect change, and provide people with resources/contacts,
OneStop has the potential to be an extremely valuable platform for students.
Keeping a fun, helpful and pleasing mood was a must with the interface of the app.
The illustrations used in the app were designed with reference to the campus itself and has elements which students will connect with.
Students are greeted with an illustration contextual to their own college and on-boarded in 2 simple steps using their university provided email.
Students are shown a feed of all events happening in the college in the upcoming days. They can favourite the said events.
Special care was taken to consider all edge cases/error states and give a clear direction for the student in case they encounter one.
A simple call to action allows the student to lodge a complaint in any of the 3 categories which cover all types of problems that could warrant a complaint.
Since there also exists a portal for lodging of a certain kind of complaint, we give more visibility to an official medium to post complaints.
Timings include all 3 types of transport a student might take added with the ability to set an alarm in their phone for 15mins before the transport departs.
The list of contact information includes a lot of numbers and email IDs which students often only needed for a one-time use.
Giving the ability to directly call/mail via the default of the device being used helps avoid a scenario where students go on a hunt for the number of some student executive or transport at the last moment, as we saw in our initial research.
Some new features were also added, like displaying the mess menu of every possible hostel as well as having a map with custom locations colour-coded according to a key.
Some of the custom locations include - Food Trucks, Classrooms, Student Hubs and basically anything which doesn’t have a location in Google Maps.
Wherever possible, all different states were accounted for and the copy had a fun, humourous and friendly tone!
It was incredibly fulfilling to build something that my peers, professors and really anyone who visits my college use every day. Replacing an app that people have gotten used to- “Hello IITG” pushed me to create a whole design system from start to end: a simple and intuitive navigation, a unique visual language and a truly amazing experience.
In future updates, I would like to add features which allow students to achieve more academic value through this, since that in itself is an integral part of college life. We are also currently working on implementing live GPS tracking for city buses, so that anyone opting to travel knows exactly where a bus is, in the app itself.