Layout of Course Browser



Research, design, and prototype mobile application




1 week


Figma Prototype

Google Design Prompt

Getting questions answered

Your school is gearing up to welcome a new incoming class and would like to help them adjust to campus life. Design an experience that allows new students to ask questions about the school life, and experienced students to share answers and advice. Consider the needs of a student who has questions, and the experience for a student who would like to give advice.


Sharing experiences and knowledge

App preview

Key Features:

  • Streamline all Q&As to one platform
  • Support discussion with upcoming events
  • Create connections between underclassmen and upperclassmen through mentorship

The Problem

How can we create an experience for students
who have questions or want to help their peers?

Adjusting to campus life as a new student is a big deal—it can be nerve-wracking and challenging. At Wellesley, first semester grades are mandatory pass/fail so students can prioritize adjusting to college life.

Facebook and GroupMe are two popular platforms Wellesley students use to ask questions and share resources. However, these platforms are highly saturated with other content, which clutters relevant information or questions shared by students. How might we improve communication between students and allow a streamlined process for students to get their questions answered while promoting mentorship and community?

User Analysis

Understanding new and experienced students

After chatting with three first years, one sophomore, and two seniors at Wellesley, I discovered four common themes:


New students feeling nervous

All first-year interviewees felt nervous about academics, dorming, and making friends
From user interviews: “I was definitely unsure about the pace of classes and also living in college dorms.


Mentors wanting to give back

All upperclassmen shared the same sentiment about wanting to share their experiences with underclassmen , or to give back to their community.


Contacting upperclassmen via Facebook, GroupMe, and text

Upperclassmen were key people to get their questions answered. All frequently used Facebook, GroupMe, and text to ask questions.


Personal Experience > Logistical Questions

Many students wanted to hear about personal experiences. There is no right or wrong answer.

Competitive Analysis

Comparing 4 platforms that foster community,
discussion, and resource sharing

While Wellesley students primarily use Facebook and GroupMe, I decided to explore and Elpha, two online communities/forums that allow people to ask questions or share resources related to career advancement

Competitive analysis

Main takeaways:


Searching, sorting, and filtering content

Having the ability to organize and filter content is essential for ease of use and reducing clutter.
User Interview: “I’ll usually search a keyword such as “Internship” or “CS” to make sure I didn’t miss any questions that have already been asked.”


Community Powered

Having a sense of community is very important. This allows students to feel comfortable asking questions and building connections.
User Interview: “Yes — having a tight-knit community is important. Since college has its stressful times, it’s nice to have people supporting you .”


Showing popular or relevant questions

Some form of upvote system allows students to indicate which questions are commonly asked and more popular

Direct Observations

Deep dive into Wellesley’s two
main communication hubs

comparison chart

Both platforms allow students to:

  • Ask questions
  • Promote events/school organizations
  • Share resources
  • Other miscellaneous comments/posts



Quick and casual is best

One of GroupMe’s biggest advantages is that it was extremely easy and quick to both ask a question and get it answered. Because it’s a “chat room,” it is a very casual, low-cost, high-impact experience.


Ability to support or revisit multiple questions/threads

Facebook’s biggest advantage is that conversation can be expanded on or revisited (via posts). Because GroupMe is in a chat room format, it is difficult to start a new conversation without abandoning an old one.


Peer-to-peer support

Most questions asked in the GroupMe were directed towards peers in the same year, rather than upperclassmen. Questions included “How much clothes are y’all packing for move-in?”

Types of Questions

What are new students asking?

I went back to Summer 2019, the summer before my first-year at Wellesley, on both GroupMe and Facebook to investigate what types of questions new students asked. By observing questions from Facebook and GroupMe during my first year, I saw the following common themes:




A LOT of questions about classes, professors, and majors. These types of questions are asked and answered by all years.

Dorm specific questions about shared spaces, available resources, etc.

Where do I get...? How do I get to Founders?

Academic related  questions Tooltip feature Form dissabling feature

Timing of Questions

Critical events for students

While common “types” of questions continue to pop up, even as students become more experienced, there are critical times when students ask many questions!

The following events produce a large influx of questions that are specific to a certain period of time and event:

  • Course Registration (Fall/Spring)
  • First-Year/Transfer Orientation
  • Wellesley Traditions (Flower Sunday, Tanner Conference, etc.)


“New and experienced students” reimagined

Users reimagined

Students seeking help or asking questions can be a freshman, a senior, or even a transfer student. While the prompt makes a clear distinction between “new” and “experienced” questions, the person answering a question does not always have to be experienced or older. Anyone can ask, anyone can answer. At Wellesley, first-years often confide in their peers, as well as seniors for advice or questions. This application aims to provide a supportive space for all students, with additional features for new students.


Pain Points and Solutions

Best of both worlds

Users reimagined

Low Fidelity Wireframing

Simple, quick, and intutive


At the beginning of my wireframing, I wanted to make the layout as simple as possible. Through my competitive analysis, I knew that searching and filtering through questions would be essential to the application.

High Fidelity Prototype

Questions, answers, community, mentorship

After researching and understanding the needs of Wellesley students, both new and experienced, I came across three main features of the application:

Preview of task screen

Q&As in one place

The home screen is a feed of questions and comments/answers posted by students. Filters afford students both flexibility and control over what they see. During my first year, I found academic/dorm questions helpful, so I would definitely take advantage of this feature.

Preview of community screen

Relevant Discussions

Specific Wellesley events, such as course registration or first-year/transfer orientation, generate a large influx of logistical questions. This discussion feature gives students a space to ask away about these specific, impactful events.

Preview of community screen


Some underclassmen struggle with finding mentors, while upperclassmen who want to help go unnoticed. This feature aims to make those who want to help accessible to students who have questions or want guidance.

Preview of community screen


The filter interaction is meant to be simple, straightforward, and intuitive. Students can filter by four of the following topics: academic, dorm, campus, or organizations

Design decisions

Diving into Material Design

For this design exercise, I decided to use Google's Material Design components and guidelines. This was the first time I worked in a foreign design system, and I was in awe by the intention and purpose behind each component. Here are a few design decisions I made based on Material Design components and guidelines:

Design decisions

The filter bar and expanded few of the filter options replicate the layout of Google Maps and Google Drive. Thus, it is optimized to blend with the rest of the Google Suite applications. After two rounds of usability testing, users found the overall application intuitive.

Takeaways & Next Steps

Intentional Design

As I was exploring the Material Design compontents, I learned more ways to be purposeful with design through compontent and guideline documentation. Additionally, it was a refreshing experience working in a different design system. While working within the Material Design system, I learned the importance of creating a cohesive brand and creating components that afford accessibility and intuition. As a designer, I hope to be confident in my own brand and voice while at the same time, be adaptable to different design styles or systems.

Next Steps

  • Conducting more user interviews and usability tests with a larger population of Wellesley students
  • Fleshing out the "Mentor" feature to provide students and mentors with more resources to connect and support each other
  • Explore student culture and mentorship at larger universities