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The Client: University of Florida, Digital Worlds Institute

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Work Done

What work have you done?

UX Research, Visual Design, User Experience Design, Interaction Design

Timeframe

4 months

Overview

UF’s Digital Worlds Institute is on the cutting edge of digital arts and sciences — both in our research initiatives and innovative approach to education. We are a recognized leader in combining arts, communications. engineering and science, with a focus on advanced skills

UF Alumni Status

Social media connections between alumni from the 2000s to the present.

Using technology centers to gather alumni together and create future internships and volunteer programs

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Timeline

July 2022 - September 2022 (Contract)

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My Role

UX Researcher as part of increasing alumni engagement

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Deliverable

Creation of a responsive website to increase alumni engagement

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Company

University of Florida, Digital Worlds Institute

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THE BACKGROUND

The Problem

Digital Worlds Institute has dedicated undergraduate programs and graduate programs that needs to improve its alumni engagement because alumni currently lack information and support.

STAKEHOLDER STATEMENT

The Statement

“We need to find ways to increase alumni social engagement, establish a communication, and make connections that would incentivize alumni to return and give back to the community”


(James Oliverio ,Executive Director of the Digital Worlds Institute)

Heropage UF alum

HMW PROBLEM STATEMENT

How Might We Increase Alumni Engagement?

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How might we support students’ mental health and interpersonal skills?

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How can we engage with local events to improve and showcase our alumnis' portfolio?

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How might we generate an environment of engagement and growth between alumni and current students?

USER INTERVIEW

In-depth User Interview Summary :
1 faculty 4 alumni 3 students.

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We shared a LinkedIn survery to more than 40 people of total by Google Survey. I've come to realize that students and alumni needed communities to share up-to-date information and support from experienced ones.

I need to conduct in-depth interviews with alumni about what they need and how they felt to navigate their careers after graduation.

I conducted in-depth user interviews of 8 peoples by Zoom.

I interviewed one faculty member in the AI department and four Alumni among the undergraduates and graduates schools, and three students who currently attend the school.

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“Once I moved out in Hollywood for a Job, I don’t remember the last time I communicated with other alumni”

“Are only alumni invited to the networking events?”

“ I’ve received tons of supports from professors but not from any alumni or the school. “

“Diverse food options are important for school life”

THE OVERVIEW

Overview of 4 Research Findings

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01

Broaden Mental Health / Career Counselling

(3/7 of interviewed users interviewed mentioned the need for a larger workforce on this; it took 1–2 months to get counseling despite the demand, and some interviewees didn't even know there was a counseling program)

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02

Offering Alumni Perks

(Alumni can also benefit from school growth and continuing education for discounted rates)

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03

Connect With Alumni Through Social Media

(Currently, they’ve mostly connected through Discord but at present only 6% of alumni are on there)

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04

Keep an Up-to-Date Database

(Harvard, USC, and Calarts use Almabase to keep up with alumni data; when social gatherings happen, this database will be a great help. 6/7 users interviewed agreed)

THE FINAL DESIGN

A Sustained Approach is Needed
For Long-Term Success

1. Constant consultation for mental health and feeling that you are not alone in the career process is important not only for students but also alumni.

2. Planning consultation schedules

3. Hiring a workforce for the counseling department to create approachable student counseling services.

4. Executing this in the short term and making sure the institution is committed to the long-term outcomes.

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DIGITAL WORLDS INSTITUE DASA REUNION

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS

Competitive Analysis

These listed Schools are known for "The 50 Best Video Game Design Colleges" from successfulstudent.org and my personal point of view of what makes student selects these schools. What I notice is that Digital Worlds, as a  pretty brand new department and still needs to grow for their career services and build alumni connections.

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THE SOLUTION

Recommendations

Based on WCAG Guideline and usability.gov user experience guidelines, visual elements, search and navigation systems can be improved. In addition, organization structures for information architecture can be more efficiently delivered to alumni. I asked an interview with 8 alumni from the school and took google survey format to investigate the issues thoroughly.

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Desktop Digital Worlds Institute Hero Page Concept Design

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THE CLICKABLE LINK

Clickable Prototype (Full Figma Link Attached)

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Mobile Digital Worlds Institute Alumni Community Page

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Mobile Digital Worlds Institute Hero Page

CONCEPT TESTING

Accessibility Testing

Based on the existing website, the research team has surveyed a total of 30 alumni and shared the data.
I also researched on web accessibility evaluation tools by wave.webaim.org and posted on askable.com for user testing.

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THE FINDINGS

The Findings

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Broaden Mental Health

A sustained approach is needed for long-term success
Constant consultation for mental health and feeling that you are not alone in the career process is important.

Planning consultation schedules
Hiring a workforce for the counseling department to create approachable student counseling services.
I recommend executing this in the short term and making sure the institution is committed to the long-term outcomes.

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Offer Alumni Perks

Alumni relationships with their alma mater should not be one-way
Effective alumni outreach should include offers of professional and personal support, such as professional networking events and career services, continuing education opportunities, and use of campus facilities.

UF doesn’t have to spend money on a venue-
the school has already built a brand-new innovative hub and technology lab, and has gear and collaboration from local companies.

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Connect through SNS

Digital Worlds Google traffic analytic reports.

Audience interests reveal key details on the browsing interests of digitalworlds.ufl.edu's visitors.

digitalworlds.ufl.edu's audience interests include:
Computers Electronics and Technology > Social Media Networks & Social Network.

THE RESULT

AB Testing For the Win

Alumni Arrangement Search Traffic

This new output focused design was run as an AB experiment against its former version. From the results, the output focused design achieved 3x more conversions.

The Conversion

The conversions in this instance are defined as the click through from course page to checkout. And this is also the step where the user's email is collected. This will be beneficial for marketing's re-targeting efforts.

3x

Faster Accessibility

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CONSIDERATION

Client Reception of Recommendations

INQUIRIES

Get In Touch

For more work inquiries, or grab a coffee, email me at rachel.cho5257@gmail.com

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