Education Explorer


Surveys, user interviews, empathy map, competitive analysis, site map, wireframing, prototyping, user testing

Team Members


Tools Used

Figma, After Effects


28 weeks

View Prototype

Project Context

This project for Hackville 2021 focused on improving Sheridan College's Accessible Learning (AL) Accommodations application to help students with educational barriers reach their full potential.

πŸ† Our product came in 3rd place out of 100+ participants.


Choosing a program of study can be challenging due to the lack of opportunities to explore different fields.

Survey results reveal that a majority of participants expressed uncertainty about their current path, and employed individuals also expressed curiosity about exploring a different field due to unmet expectations.

Solution - Education Explorer Video
Pain Points from Qualitative Interviews

Grasping participants' struggles with limited guidance and uncertainty about where to seek support and its future impact.

During the interviews, participants expressed their lack of awareness about available resources, particularly during high school when they struggled with researching and knowing where to look. They also noted the lack of depth in education, citing examples such as studying broad subjects like chemistry, biology, and physics without exploring specific sub-specializations.


🧐 Decision Paralysis

The challenge arises from insufficient guidance, scattered resources, and the struggle to conduct thorough research.

πŸ”Ž Limited insights


Descriptions on university websites can become lost in translation and there are limited insights available at university fairs.

πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸŽ“ For international students


Gaining insights into their fields/programs of interest poses challenges due to limited connections and language barriers.

πŸ’Ό Employed individuals


When seeking a return to school, finding affordable and reputable alternatives beyond traditional post-secondary education poses a challenge.

Pain Points from Qualitative Interviews

Revealing recurring themes: seeking help with resource discovery, opportunities for experiences and having candid conversations.

The interviewees aimed to explore college/university life, programs, and potential industries. They valued guidance and open discussions from experienced individuals, prioritizing navigating research complexities and finding relevant resources. Hands-on experiences, like job shadowing, were seen as crucial for gaining insights beyond limited research.

Getting connected

All interviewees wanted to be able to connect and talk to people in their occupations of interest, such as professors, students and alumni in the programs they’re considering.

Fostering a safe environment

They seek open discussions about fears, the pros and cons of programs, challenges people face and to ask questions freely.

Discovering resources

People exploring post-secondary options desire to be informed about the diverse resources, assistance available and all the different options for learning.

Job shadowing

This experience provides firsthand insight into occupations, helping individuals understand a job's day-to-day responsibilities and gain insights beyond classroom learning.

Takeaways from the Empathy Map
There is a need for a more user-friendly approach to accessing information and making informed decisions about educational pathways.

From qualitative interviews, I utilized an empathy map to highlight the particular needs, struggles and challenges individuals encounter during post-secondary applications or while contemplating a career change while employed.

Competitive Analysis

Comparing educational platforms and finding existing enrichment programs offered by institutions.

The initial competitive analysis I performed contrasts platforms used by specific schools with other existing resources, identifying their strengths and areas for improvement. The subsequent analysis focuses on examples of enrichment programs and workshops offered by universities, colleges and organizations.

Platforms and Resources

Examples of Enrichment Programs/Workshops at Universities/Colleges

Information Architecture

The participants grouped and named sets of information they categorized, with the majority opting for four groups.

In order to name items and structure them effectively, I used the card sorting method, where I created 15 cards for users to organize based on what made sense to them. This method helped me determine how to categorize the groups.

Gathering the most commonly used words given to describe groupings through the Best Merge Method.

Based on the responses from the card sorting exercise, I used the best merge method to analyze the data and group content for suitable placement based on the results. This was also used to determine the optimal number of pages needed and how to effectively name each page.

Planning the Site Map

I refined the site map based on insights gained during user testing sessions, identifying and addressing areas that were causing confusion for users.

See After βœ… and Before ❌

User Testing for the Mid-Fidelity Wireframes

Gathering Feedback for the Mid-Fidelity Wireframes.

I conducted user testing for the mid-fidelity wireframes, employing the "thinking out loud" method to gain insights into the user experience. My focus was specifically on identifying areas of frustration and potential confusion within the flow.

Feedback Capture Grid

Improving Prototype Development: Eliminating Ambiguity, Confusion and Enhancing Intuitiveness.

I utilized the feedback capture grid to systematically collect and structure user feedback. This approach enabled me to effectively monitor and analyze user comments, suggestions, and concerns, helping identify patterns and areas for improvement in the design process.

High-Fidelity Prototype

A walk-through of Education Explorer

The University/College Experience

This section features tabs for viewing open house dates and exploring enrichment programs offered by institutions or large organizations. Additionally, there are lecture tips and recommended tools to support their studies.

Experience a Day in the Life

Explore a day in the life of different occupations from partnering companies offering job trials or shadows. Observe the daily activities of your desired occupation, ask questions, and immerse yourself in the company's structure and culture.

Preparation Resources

Discover specific resources across categories such as reference letters, portfolios, scholarships and more. Attend informative sessions, Q&A panels and workshops to enhance your insights. You can also discover industry-standard tools for your fields of interest and access lists of popular tutorials and YouTube channels for further guidance.

Get Connected

Schedule calls with current students, alumni or professors from schools and programs of interest. Our platform connects you to other popular platforms so you can find industry professionals to gain insights into their job satisfaction, challenges and engage in transparent conversations.

Alternative Options

Discover reputable bootcamps, workshops, and online courses that offer certificates and are renowned for their high job placement rates post-completionβ€”all thoroughly researched for your convenience. Learn a new skill set or expand your knowledge with these cost-effective alternatives.


Reflecting on the process

The power of user research and testing to reduce convolution

During the Empathize phase, surveys and user interviews were crucial in narrowing Education Explorer's focus by identifying resource and support gaps. When creating mid-fidelity wireframes, I initially felt confused and lost with the amount of content to organize. However, after conducting user testing, valuable feedback eliminated ambiguity and confusion, enhancing project clarity.

Elevating my Figma Auto Layout skills

Before this project, I had a basic understanding of Auto Layout but lacked proficiency. I struggled with it and tended to avoid using it because of the time-consuming process of navigating unintentional layers. However, this project motivated me to practice consistently, eventually leading me to conduct a workshop which introduced Auto Layout to an audience.

Crafting compelling narratives with After Effects

Creating the product video helped me think about how to craft a cohesive narrative. This project motivated me to improve my animation skills. I was initially hesitant to dive into After Effects, but I persevered and learned extensively by watching many tutorials which helped me become more confident with telling a story through video creation.

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