Upkeep

Product Design, 2020

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Upkeep is a property operations platform that enables anyone on campus to swiftly report building and equipment issues. In conjunction, a receiving platform for stakeholders to resolve reported issues.

ROLE

UX/UI, Prototyping, Visual Design

TOOLS

Figma, Illustrator, and Flinto

TIMELINE 

7 days

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Report

 

Make it easy for students to quickly inform the school of any building or equipment issues.

Access Support

Quickly contact non-emergency support if the individuals's issue is urgent or compromised.

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Manage Reports

 

Enable facility managers to efficiently browse, track, and assign tasks to other stakeholders on the received issues.

I. UNDERSTANDING

User Interviews

Through casual and informal chats with 16 students and campus stakeholders, I aimed to gain better insight into:

  • Whether students feel the shared-responsibility to maintain campus facilities

  • Whether they were aware of the available resources to report issues

  • How campus facility stakeholders effectively manage and resolve these issues in a timely matter

I also conducted user testing on the existing campus work issue form to understand if users experience any problems or difficulties impeding them from completing the form.

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Current work issue form

Interviews with Students

Do you notice when there are campus facility or equipment issues?

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Why do you think you disregard apparent building and equipment issues?

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Do you feel a sense of responsibility to report on issues to improve campus upkeep?

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If you completed the existing form, do you think it would provide facilities with the best context?

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Knowing this form exists, are you more inclined to submit facility or building issues in the future?

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Interviews with Facility Stakeholders

Could you walk me through your process to resolve a reported issue?

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How are updates communicated to the individual who originally submitted the form?

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Do you find the office receiving more issues through the phone or the online form? 

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User Interview Insights

The Bystander Effect

  • Able-bodied students were unlikely to either notice issues with campus facilities or take action when they did

  • This creates a diffusion of responsibility; when others fail to react, individuals often take this as a signal that a response is not needed or not appropriate.

The Feeling of Burden

  • Students with disabilities or injury overall were more likely to report issues with campus facilities and equipment

  • In a difficult situation, they feel burdensome to those who help them and described the feeling as a loss of independence.

Communication Preferences

  • Majority of issues are submitted through their direct phone line

  • Reviewers follow-up with online forms anyways to clarify details and obtain the best understanding of the issue

  • Facility solutions aren't always resolved overnight; some require  contractors or materials/parts to be ordered

II. DEFINING

Who am I solving for?

"Loss of control,  stripped of independence, feeling burdensome, altogether, I wasn't inclined to attend class anymore or participate on campus."

- Student with injury

I chose to progress this design challenge by focusing on students with injuries and disabilities as my primary users, and students in general as my secondary users.

 

Creating primary and secondary user groups ensures that the experience I am designing is useful and relevant; it attempts to resolve the pain points while being available to service everyone.

A two-sided solution

STUDENTS

How might we allow students to report on, follow the status of, and access real-time support for building or equipment issues on campus?

How might we...

report: make it easy for students to quickly inform the school of any building or equipment issues

follow-up: promptly confirm that a student's report has been received and enable them to check the status of their report

access support: make it easy for students to immediately contact a facility manager if their accessibility is urgent or compromised

through a facility management

platform?

FACILITY MANAGERS

How might we allow facility managers to receive, manage, and review student issues with campus buildings or equipment?

How might we...

receive: prioritize the severity and notify facility managers of new reports submitted by students

manage: enable facility managers to efficiently browse, track, and assign tasks to other stakeholders on the received issues

review: provide a simple workflow for receivers to investigate different campus issues until completion

through a facility management

platform?

Wireframes

From here, I began exploring visual representations of the flow using wireframes. For students, I decided to design a mobile app because the portability of a mobile device allows users to document issues and draft reports on the spot.

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wireframes

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wireframes

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III. IDEATION

User Flows

Bringing my findings and insights together, I began mapping out the user flow for both students and facility stakeholders. I started by defining the actions needed to resolve an issue and was able to construct high-level user flow to align the experience for all users.

student flow
student flow

Describe your image

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student flow
student flow

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III. FINAL DESIGNS

Final Designs

Bringing together my research, understanding, and ideations, I was able to come to these final designs for onboarding students, reporting issues, accessing emergency support, and an admin dashboard for facility stakeholders.

 

To clearly explain this feature, I have broken down each flow into its individual components and included a prototype.

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Onboarding
Student

Students can log into the Upkeep app using their Student ID. They will need to grant permissions for the app to send push notifications about new broadcasts or status updates of their reports.  

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Onboarding%20flow_edited

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Report
Student

From the home screen, users can quickly draft a new report. The addition of department categories, location services, and photo uploads enables users to quickly provide specific information for reviewers. The form will generate better contextual resources to refer to alongside the short description describing how the incident has negatively impacted the reporter.

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Follow-Up
Student

After the user submits the report they should receive a confirmation email including the JOBID # and a summary of their report. This promptly confirms that a student's report has been received and enables them to check the status of their report on the app. 

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Access Support
Student

Non-emergency support is also a quick-access feature on the home screen. Students with disabilities and injuries mentioned that it wasn't uncommon to find themselves stuck in a situation where they needed help. Their situation doesn't require the attention from 911, but allows them to immediately get in touch with someone on campus who can assist them.

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Manage Report
Facility Stakeholders

To manage these reports, I designed a dashboard that enables facility managers to efficiently stakeholders to browse, track, and assign tasks to resolve.

Dashboard - All Tickets 4
Dashboard - All Tickets 4

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Dashboard - All Tickets 4
Dashboard - All Tickets 4

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IV. CONCLUSION

Takeaways

There’s a definite opportunity here to expand how we can design experiences that centralize valuable campus resources to improve student morale and support university stakeholders outside of the classroom setting.  If I had more time, I would continue working on a better understanding of how complex correspondences can become when multiple SMEs are needed to resolve an issue.

My focus building this app was to listen to and empathize with users to create a seriously valuable solution. This solution did not need to be something extremely innovative, but something to make a positive impact through problem-solving with design thinking.