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Product Development:

ACAD webService


An outline of the process and steps followed to create this project.











Phase 1: Discovery

In groups randomized by the Instructor, Students selected a major usability friction point on a website, web app, or native app and compared it with existing similar applications.



Phase 2: Definition

Continuing individually, Students gathered user research in order to exemplify the problem and delivered personas and user stories that will allow them to provide a solution.



Phase 3: Design

Students drafted low-fidelity wireframes and translated the Information Architecture into a navigation system, as well as communicated a solution for their user. 



Phase 4: Development

By creating high-fidelity wireframes, students clearly communicated a detailed interactive solution, including the navigation, page components, and interactions.



Phase 5: Optimization

Finally, Students submitted a clickable prototype including all touchpoints and interactions for the user flow while performing user testing for future product optimization.

Problem Discovery:

Where is the gap?

Our first order of business is to find a problem to solve. Starting this process in groups, we set off to collect research and data by interviewing our fellow peers through several rounds of surveys. We were quickly drawn to a common issue among students of all years - our student portal.

Multiple surveys were designed as a way of collecting quantitative and qualitative data for different types of people and their needs. Many segments were considered such as current year, subject of study, major, age, and course load.


Teachers were also interviewed, and further research was collected by analyzing student portals from other schools and interviewing their students as well. Finally, we had participants measure our student portal using the System Usability Scale giving ACAD's webService a below-average score of 64.

Problem Definition:

What do students want?


The student portal known as ACAD webService is well known as a convoluted website with tedious navigation and an interface design that does not reflect the skills and talents of the students who use it regularly. Furthermore, there is no mobile application to allow students access to their important information at any time. Students should have a say in what they need for a proper resource to stay on top of their academic careers.


Empathy Mapping:

Get into their shoes.


Looking at the behaviours and attitudes of students based on their initial experience.

What tasks are students trying to complete?

Students want a space where they can easily review and register for courses, pay tuition and fees, monitor grades, and ultimately plan their academic future.


How do students feel about the experience?

Students are frustrated by the inefficient navigation and often give up, uninterested in future use.

Thoughts & Feelings

What might influence how students act?

Students need access to necessary information and don't always have access to a computer or time to meet with the advisor.


What obstacles might students face?

Students are worried they won't get into the class they need without timely registration.  

Pain Points


How will students measure success?

Students want to properly plan the academic careers, with the comforting knowledge that they are on track to their academic goals.


User Personas:

Who to solve for.


Further understanding of our students and their needs.​


Chris Fowler

As a first year student, I want to know what steps to take so that I can plan my academic career.

Year 1   |   Painting   |   Age 19


Anna Karpov

As an entrepreneur, I want to know what courses are available to me so that I can better my knowledge and further enhance my skills.

Year 5   |   Ceramics   |   Age 33


Chelsea Stein

As a returning student, I want to know my enrollment status so that I can verify that I am eligible to graduate.

Year 3   |   Illustration   |   Age 22

Solution Defined:

What do students need?


It is evident that students need a native application that allows them to review and access information quickly and efficiently from a mobile device. 


Design & Ideate:

Building a proper platform.


Wireframe sketches and conception of ideas informed by research and communication of Information Architecture.

Log In

Students log in with username and password, then tap submit.


The dashboard is displayed, students can scroll or tap on menu options.





Students can review, print, and download their current and previous course schedules.


Students can review grades from all courses in one convenient place.









Students can review course information and register in the same place.



Make a




Students can check their schools and make payments directly.


Students can access help with nagivation and frequently asked questions.

Visual Development:

Building on ideas.

Filling out the details and visual components of the application.



The first iteration.


A clickable prototype that reflects design and interaction.​

app mockup_phone.png

User Testing:

Constructive feedback.


It was important to test the application and allow students to provide feedback in order to achieve the best solution.


Jen Thiessen

Click to view user test >


Derek Matthews

Click to view user test >


Nathan Prince

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Megan Novac

Click to view user test >


Bethany Chok

Click to view user test >

Optimize & Refine:

Going forward.


While the application has achieved successful results, there is still room for testing and refinement. The design needs to be further polished and more users are needed to provided their thoughts.

app mockup_tablet.png
app mockup_phone.png

ACAD webService

Concept & Design by Lindsay Anderson

Program: Sketch

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