Product Design, 2020
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.
UX/UI, Prototyping, Visual Design
Figma, Illustrator, and Flinto
Make it easy for students to quickly inform the school of any building or equipment issues.
Quickly contact non-emergency support if the individuals's issue is urgent or compromised.
Enable facility managers to efficiently browse, track, and assign tasks to other stakeholders on the received issues.
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.
Current work issue form
Interviews with Students
Do you notice when there are campus facility or equipment issues?
Why do you think you disregard apparent building and equipment issues?
Do you feel a sense of responsibility to report on issues to improve campus upkeep?
If you completed the existing form, do you think it would provide facilities with the best context?
Knowing this form exists, are you more inclined to submit facility or building issues in the future?
Interviews with Facility Stakeholders
Could you walk me through your process to resolve a reported issue?
How are updates communicated to the individual who originally submitted the form?
Do you find the office receiving more issues through the phone or the online form?
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
Describe your image
Describe your image
III. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To manage these reports, I designed a dashboard that enables facility managers to efficiently stakeholders to browse, track, and assign tasks to resolve.
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.