Schedule Builder
A redesign of a critical UC Davis tool
Redesigning the process of using schedule builder, which is UC Davis' official course registration tool, to heighten the user experience.

I ran through a six-week design sprint process to redesign schedule builder, leading the prototyping and A/B testing portion of the project.
Project details
My role
User Experience Design, Visual Design, User Research, Led prototyping and Usability testing

Kiara (project mentor), Meghna, Aeon, Kai (all designers) 

Figma, Google forms, Notion, Slack

Six weeks
Solution preview
What is Schedule Builder?
Schedule Builder is the official UC Davis tool to create, edit and register for courses, used by 35,000 enrolled students.
Okay, so what's the issue?
Students undergo a time consuming experience with excessive clicking due to the unclear navigation and organization. Many of schedule builder’s features are hidden under tabs or duplicated, leaving users with multiple ways to access a function, such as searching for a course.

This problem mainly affects...
New students such as freshman and transfers students or those looking to make a schedule in a short amount of time.
This is what schedule builder currently looks like. Students are able to access features such as searching for a course in various ways, making it confusing for first time users. To limit confusion, this is reduced in the final solution.
Understanding our audience
Put myself in their shoes
To approach the redesign of Schedule Builder, the team worked to better understand the needs and concerns of our target audience target audience. Being that Schedule Builder is the central course registration tool for students at UC Davis, our target audience naturally fell to students.

We planned to do a competitive audit but it was unachievable, as we didn’t couldn't get access to course registration systems from other universities. As a team we decided that since our main research goals was to better understand how the platform is utilized, therefore a survey would be the next course of action.
Gathering insight
We sent out a survey asking students how often they utilized schedule builder, and asked them to rate how comfortable they were utilizing certain features.

The ranking questions were based on a scale of 1-5 (1 being extremely negative, 5 being extremely positive) and here is what they had to say...
Rating using schedule builder for the first time
Rating building schedules without conflicting classes
Rating looking up classes they’re interested in
Though the survey was a good way to get insights from our audience, we decided further research was needed to better understand what students are struggling with. Eight user interviews were conducted, and here are key points that my interviewees mentioned.
Now there's a problem, but how do we solve it? 

To streamline the findings from interviews and prioritize the main focus areas we used affinity mapping to categorize related responses together.

  • This was helpful to understand the audience's goals and would lead the remainder of the design process
  • To further streamline the process, we took what was said and categorized it into visual presentation, convenience, accessibility, integration, features, and other

After categorizing them, as a team, we voted on three features that best encapsulated the user's pain points based on interviews

Key points
Reviewing the votes, they were slightly spread out. To narrow down the focus and ensure that we had enough time, we focused on three points, as they had nearly everyone's vote. However, we didn't disregard the other points that weren't pick, and found a way to incorporate it into the final design.

Pictured above are three key points from affinity mapping. We all voted on these as key points to address in our solution as they were common themes that the people we interviewed had mentioned.

While each user had a variety of needs and pain points, after categorizing and looking across all our users, we crafted a how might we statement that encapsulated our user’s main goals
“How might we make it easy to build non-time conflicting schedules and make the user experience more interactive and enjoyable?”
Given all the information, it's time to ideate
The vision
Everyone diverged and created solution sketches based on features that best hit the pain points of our users. Some things we considered were…
1. Restructuring how our users would look at their courses and schedule on the calendar
2. Making time conflicting courses more obvious to warn users ahead of time
3. Making course details easy to read and minimize the navigation on a page
Developing said vision
From our sketches, we split up to develop different portions of our low-fidelity wireframes. My task was centralized around the main calendar and scheduling portion of the interface. Focusing on how users would edit their schedules and how it would display different types of schedules such as the week, day, and finals view.
Mid Fidelity + Usability testing
Preparing for usability testing

After developing a user flow and wireframes, we developed mid fidelity wireframes. At this stage implementing colors, and a more cohesive design system.

Once completed, we had users run through tasks such as opening the schedule page, editing and saving their schedule, as well as searching for courses, while closely observing how they interacted with the prototype.

Things we looked out for...

  • How effortless is it to complete the assigned tasks?
  • How well does our assumed user flow align with our users' approach?
Insights from testing
This is the default view of the KPI dashboard. Users can toggle any of the drop-down menus in the navigation sidebar on the left to see all available pages. The sidebar can expand and collapse and give you access to one of these pages. For the prototype, the page is blank because these pages weren’t in the scope of our project
Final Solution
Hover buttons
Where to view different versions of schedules students have created and view schedules from their current and past academic terms.
Edit schedule
Where students go to edit their schedules and Search for a course function and adding course onto schedule.
Register added classes
Once courses are added, press 'register all' to be enrolled in the course! For new users (freshman and transfer students) this tool is particularly helpful when looking for general education courses, courses with certain unit counts, and courses held in certain days.
Advance search
For new users (freshman and transfer students) this tool is particularly helpful when looking for general education courses, courses with certain unit counts, and courses held in certain days.
What I learned
For the project, time constraints were definitely a big factor in how the project progressed throughout the six weeks. Had there been more time I would’ve loved to user test the final solution and get more feedback on how the prototype is. I really want to ensure that I’m getting to the heart of the problem and create a solution that our target audience needs.

Another unexpected challenge was how to design for a target audience when I’m part of the demographic. It’s easy to start creating assumptions when I’m included within the demographic (a student at UC Davis), however, it taught me to challenge my way of thinking and step back from the project to really design for users.

Lastly, this was my first ever UX design project and I definitely dove headfirst. I can honestly say it was one of the best learning experiences that I’ve had. It taught me a lot about collaborating in a team setting, especially on a design project, which is something I hadn’t done before. Many obstacles were thrown into the mix such as collaborating remotely, varying skill levels, and different time commitments.
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