Product Design
York University case study

Objective
To build a room booking application within a scalable system.

Background
During my time as a student at Sheridan college, I became frustrated with the official mobile application experience. As a result, I looked into applications from other schools to see if they had similar issues. I then focused on York university and documented the main pain points.
1) Several small applications existed which did not encourage students to download them all.
2) Buttons often linked to the main external site and lacked much functionality.
3) The visual aesthetic did not reflect institutional branding.

Project Outline
After doing more research with a York University student whom I met during my internship at IBM, we contacted the university to present our findings. Soon after, we met with the Dean to present our solutions. After pitching our ideas, we were given a couple of initial projects before starting work on the main student App. As a starting point for the App, we were focused on a room booking system for the Lassond School of engineering within York.

The pain points were that Students followed a manual process where they would request room access onsite. Administrators also had no system in place for checking if the students belonged to the engineering school. Using the APIs provided to us by York University, we developed a tool to digitise the booking process while verifying engineering students with their student number. The goal was to build this in a modular way that would allow for scalability when adding new features. As new features are added, the app can eventually move towards becoming the official student mobile application.

Process
We began by interviewing administrators to determine room booking constraints. We also met with the Dean, York's design director, and a project manager to make sure the correct branding was used. We were provided with official brand guidelines which helped us move quickly from wireframes to medium fidelity mock ups. Along with following the Lassonde branding from the main website, we also received feedback to make it a little brighter than the main website. This would help with the ‘fresh’ delivery of the project while keeping it branded

This platform will be great to bring both sets of people together. Beginners will be able to view the builds of seasoned professionals, while professionals can interact with their peers and help each other get better. The outline of this project will give me an opportunity to work on many different aspects of the App and further develop my skills in interaction design, 3D visualization and front end web development.

Target
- Enforce 30 minute wait period between room bookings
- Enforce a 2 hour maximum booking session
- Disable visibility of room numbers prior to booking to avoid back to back booking by students



Redesign

After the several meetings with stake holders, I made a decision to redesign the visuals to better fit the branding of the Bergeron center since this is where the rooms were located. The Bergeron center is a stand alone building within the Lassonde engineering school. The stakeholders wanted the modern aspects of the buildings architecture and web page to show through the app. This is also what informed my logo design.

The stakeholders are currently very happy with the product and we have been staging it on testing servers in the live marketplace. This also helps us generate feedback before the final release. The next phase of this app will be to expand on features so that it becomes a hub for students to perform many tasks.