© 2020 by Gloria Deng.

Design Challenge

​Personal/ 1 week

Your school wants to improve the upkeep of campus facilities by creating a new system for reporting any facilities that may need maintenance or repair. Design an experience that allows students to report building or equipment issues on campus. Consider the process of those filing the report and of those receiving and taking action on the issues.

I will go over the whole process that I made for this design challenge and give out the reasons why I made these decisions. Noticing that not all the student lives on campus, I will mainly focus on facilities of administrative or academic buildings.

Background research and SUS Questionnaire

SUS reveals some current situation:

  • Students don’t use this system frequently;

  • Although students don’t need technical support or extra learning, they still think the current system cumbersome to use.

Before I start to solve the problems, I need to find the root causes. So I conducted deeper research through interviewing.

User Research

Interview “reporter”
I interviewed 9 students in CMU who are from different departments. Limited sample number due to limited time. I visualize the process of how I ask questions and their answers.

Before I start to analyze the insights, here are some things that need to be noticed:

  • Making phone calls is the best way for emergency situations. For now, I only discuss the non-emergency situation.

  • Some departments will assign tables, chairs, and computers to students. Students are more likely to classify these items as “personal items”. When these “personal items” fail, they have a great chance to report for repairs.

Interview “receiver”

I interview the facilities manager in my department. By asking her how the system works after they receive the reports.

  • “When the students report a chair is broken, it’s hard for us to identify which one is broken since there are so many same chairs in the room.”

  • “Although we have regular maintenance of the facilities, there are many problems that we still can't find until we receive reports from users”

By interviewing the stakeholders, I came up with some insights.
 

​Insights

Insufficient motivation:

  • students are more likely to report “personal items” while they are less likely to report the public facilities which are not closely related to them.

  • Contacting faculty might be a barrier that stops students to report something.​

 

Process fragmentation:

  • Remembering and writing down the details information which is easy to forget takes effort and which may stop student to report.

 

Workload increase

  • Repeated reports will both increase the workload of students and the management system.

Set a mission and design goals

Mission statement: Improve the campus facilities maintenance system

Design goals: Design an easy-to-use experience for building and equipment issues reporting and encourage students to report. Help the facilities management team find the broken equipment quickly and accurately.

  • Minimize the barriers and simplify the process for students to report facilities issues.

  • Encourage students to report the issue of public facilities.

  • Help facilities management team find efficiently what needs maintenance

Ideation

I used the Reverse Assumption Method to help me generate new ideas. I write some important facts I discover during research as assumptions. Then reverse them which means write down the opposite of each assumption. At last, use each assumption as trigger of new idea.

Here are the new ideas:

  • Student can directly send the report to the facilities management system

  • Each area has its own QR code which important information to determine the location. By scanning the QR code, students don’t need to write down this information by themselves.

  • Students can finish the report in a short time on their phone after noticing the broken facilities.

  • Use tags to categorize the management types. Click instead of typing.

  • Add the sign to broken facilities after being reported to avoid repeated reports.


I found that use applications to report the facilities issue could also be a barrier. Using application means a long process including download and sign which contrary to my easy-to-use plan. Therefore, I discard to application solution. My design focus is on the web page that appears after scanning the QR code.

User journey

Each room and the public area has its only QR code with tags. The QR code provides information about department building, room number (example in the picture).

 Low-fidelity Wireframe

With some rough wireframe on paper, I use sketch to draw low-fidelity mocks wireframes. The final version is the result of several iterations.

 Medium-fidelity Wireframe

By simplifying the process, users only need to click 3 times to report the facility issue.

Before check status, users have to login their student account.

With the consistency of the process and controls, the responsive designed website can be used on both mobile phones and computers.

Visual Design

How tags look like?

 I researched the facilities management system at Carnegie Mellon University. In the CMU Facilities Management Service website. By analyzing the information I gathered through the website, I came up with this concept for explaining the current service system.

This is the system that CMU currently using for report facilities issues. I got a basic understanding of how the system works. In order to figure out whether this system is working effectively. I conducted SUS (System Usability Scale) questionnaire.

I sent out 20 questionnaires among students, 18 of them were effectively collected.