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50 years of

Find the Perfect Study Space

On UC Berkeley Campus

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Background

Being in one of the largest and most competitive public university in the USA, students in UC Berkeley spend a huge amount of time studying. However, with limited study spaces on campus, it’s usually hard for students to find a good study spot, especially during peak hours.

Challenge

Moffitt library, one of the largest and most used library on campus, is always overwhelmed by people. It’s very common to see people seating on the ground or stair. On the other hand, the VLSB library, which is just 2mins away from Moffitt library, has a lot of empty spots.

Photo of Moffitt Library

vs

Photo of VLSB Library

This is not a rare case,  students tend to go to those large libraries. Some of them are not aware or not interested in exploring other study spaces.  I want to make students aware of all available study spaces on campus, and help them find the study spaces by their preference.

Explore

Insights from Interviews
1. Most students want to see how full the library is on the library website.
2. When there are important things due, students prefer quiet study space; when there is nothing important to do, students prefer a more relax study space(soft seating and allow food).
3. students usually want to find a place to study between class times, during midterms and finals and before projects due.
4. Most people like to study in a place that’s quiet, but not too quiet.
5. Besides libraries, students also like to stay in the seating place in academic building, labs and empty classroom. Some likes café too, because they can eat and study at the same time.

Ideation

According to the findings from interviews and surveys, I want to focus on fulfilling two needs:

1. Students could find study space easily with different needs.

2. Recommend new or rarely-known study spaces for students.

I will still be designing on a website base giving that students are more used to use a laptop on campus, and website could contain more information and clearer map.

After listing out all the needs and features on post-it, I came up with four features: Map, Filter, Recommendation and Live Feeds.

Low-Fidelity Prototype

Design Approach

  • Simple and clear structure

  • Using Tableau to create an interactive map that shows all the study spaces on campus and show the detail when clicked

  • Comprehensive filter function according to the students’ survey

  • Show popular time and estimate seat availability on library’s info

  • Live feeds that allow the user to post and view the newest news related to study space.

User feedback

After the first iteration, I asked four students to give me feedback on the prototype. Here are the key findings

  • 4/4 users think the map feature is really helpful.

  • 2/4 users suggest instead of having the Best study space vote, the website can recommend hidden study spaces because vote can be biased.

  • 3/4 users suggest that feeds could be sort and filter by location and categories.

  • 1/ 4 user suggest that filter is too similar to the school website, and I could add more personalized filters.

  • 1/ 4 user suggest that in the info section, I can add a link to the website of the library or the building.

Map Making

Interactive map with tableau

High-Fidelity Prototype

Key Changes

  • Instead of showing the voting result on the “recommend” session, I change it to “hidden gem” to recommend study spaces that may not be known by many people.

  • Add monthly infographic report for users to download.

  • Live feeds can be sort by time and popularity and can be filtered by location and categories. Users can also like, share and comment to them.

Design Approach

  • Use the color theme of blue and gold which is UC Berkeley’s official campus color.

  • Have monthly infographic for students to download on headline page.

  • Navigation bar is sticky to the top so users can access at anytime.

  • Once click on the mark on the map, the bottom of the map shows the detailed info of that location.

  • Weekly updates on the recommendation of rarely known study spaces.

  • Live feeds that allow users to view the newest announcement and posting.

Reference

1. UC Berkeley Brand Guidelines: https://brand.berkeley.edu/visual-design/

2. UC Berkeley Library: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/