Unite Students

2019 - 2020

Working as a UX/UI designer at Unite Students has given me the opportunity to conduct user testing, create high quality website designs, develop the design system, and work alongside many great creative problem solvers.

I have worked on various agile projects such as:

  • Implementing and maintaining style guides 
  • Re-design of the MyUnite app in Adobe XD
  • User research & testing sessions
  • Website re-design
  • Internal booking system UX review

Style guide

One of my initial tasks at Unite Students was to develop and maintain a style guide in Adobe XD. I went through all of the designs with a fine toothed comb and amended inconsistencies between designs. Whilst doing this I broke each element of the web page into modules so that we could save them, reuse them, and update them across multiple XD documents at once. 

This was a great task as it helped me to hone my attention to detail, and work across a vast amount of different designs to make decisions on consistency. It also gave us a great reference for the development team and internal stakeholders.

User testing & iteration

My colleagues and I in the design team were in a privileged position to be able to conduct guerrilla testing with students. We gained invaluable insights into the issues students face when living alone for the first time. 

We took the opportunity to test concepts for the redesign of the 'My Account' section of the website. Armed with printouts of the designs, a script, and sweets for participants we asked students to please point to where they might find certain features. Paper-prototyping in this way helped us to realise where we might make improvements, and validate some of our design choices. 

Another project that benefited from this style of testing was the uChat app redesign. Led by my colleague we were able to sit with students to find out which chat apps they use, which features they need, and the interactions and gestures that they have come to expect. Unite Students has a wide variety of different students from domestic to foreign, so we gained great insights into the chat apps that are popular with the Chinese demographic. 

My Unite app redesign

A large chunk of my time at Unite Students was spent re-designing the journey, interactions, user experience, and bringing the design up to date with the new branding.

My process was:

  • Conducted interviews with key stakeholders, product owners, developers to see what may be possible and what vision, or research, already existed
  • I audited the app journey and then drew mind-maps for each section to determine what features there are, what features are needed, and what features are not necessary
  • Listed out requirements, and validated  this with stakeholders
  • I sketched wireframes and plotted the interactions between each section
  • I iterated and validated wireframes before moving to low-fidelity wireframes on Adobe XD 

I also aligned the app experience with how lock-out incidents, maintenance issues, harassment & noise complaints are handled by building staff. As well as looking to the 'now' I designed and proposed concepts on how to streamline current processes to aid both staff and students in the future. 

Internal system re-design

A large project that I worked on was the UX review of the internal booking system & customer information database. This system is used by call center staff, building staff, international ambassadors to surface student information, complex details of room availability, group bookings, financial information and track on-going cases.

I spent time getting to know the system and make detailed notes about each time I encountered a bug, missing information, or the inability to complete a needed task. 

I conducted interviews with internal stakeholders and types up each interview after to collect all of the different complaints, needs, and uses of the system. I then went through each interview transcript to pull out the relevant information into a huge thematic analysis mind-map. 

As well as interviews I spent time with the call center to observe and note the types of calls they receive, and the different work-around's they employ to get around the frustrating interface. One of the more interesting observations sessions was a night-shift with the over-night emergency staff to see they types of calls and issues they need to log in the system.