Tutor Match

The Project
Tutor Match was created for Digital Product Design, a project-based class at the University of Michigan where students identify problems they would like to solve and design apps to solve the problems.
Final App Design
Identifying a problem
Before I could start designing, I needed to identify a problem that I wanted to solve. I began by interviewing a few of my peers and asking them about their everyday activities and hobbies. Then, I transitioned my questions and began to extract information about the pain points and challenges that keep my peers from doing these activities in the optimal way.
One pain point that stuck out to me was that multiple of my peers felt it was difficult to keep up in large lecture-based classes and get time with the teaching staff at office hours. This problem is particularly important to solve because it keeps students from doing their primary job: learning.
Based on my conversations with peers, I formulated a problem statement to base my app design project around:
College students want something to connect them with peer tutors so they can succeed in their courses and gain a better understanding of class material.
Identifying the audience
To find solutions to the problem, it is important to first understand the people who will be using your product. I identified my primary persona as a student who is looking for a tutor. My secondary persona is a student who is looking to tutor other students in a subject they understand well.
Jason, the student looking for a tutor:
Jason is an 18 year old freshman in college who is trying to adjust to the demanding workload at his large university. Most of his classes are in large lecture halls and he it is rare that he gets individual help from instructors, making it difficult for him to understand the material. Jason would like to get individual help from someone who knows the course material and did well in the class, but he doesn’t know where to look.
Amanda, the student looking to become a tutor:
Amanda is a 20 year old college student who is passionate about computer science. Amanda wants to add to her resume, gain teaching experience, and make some extra money. She is looking into becoming a tutor for another student who needs help in a course she understands well.
Brainstorming solutions
After I formulated a problem statement and identified key personas, it was time to brainstorm solutions. I gathered ideas from peers and brainstormed different features that I could implement in a tutor-matching app. Some of these features included searching and scheduling capabilities, online question forums, tutor matching algorithms, video chat capabilities, online workshops, and more.
Although brainstorming a variety of possible features opened my mind to the possibilities of this app, I ultimately decided to minimize the number of features and create something simple and easy to navigate. The necessary features that I identified were:
1. Students and tutors should be able to edit their profiles and add and delete classes
2. Students should be able to contact tutors and schedule meetings
3. Students should be able to search and filter through tutors
4. Students should be able to add a tutor to a list of favorites and save that tutor
Sketching and initial drafts
After settling on a few key features, I brought my brainstorming into the visual realm by sketching my ideas by hand. I laid out the options for displaying and filtering search results and sketched a few ideas for a profile page.
My first few digital screens focused on on-boarding, the profile pages, messaging, and search. I chose to use blue as an accent color because it is calming and my app is catered towards students who are stressed and struggling in their classes. Other than the blue accent, I didn't use bright colors and kept the functional parts of the app simple and sleek.
Feedback and Revisions
After designing a few initial screens, I asked my peers for some feedback. I watched a couple friends navigate through my app and took note of the choices they made and the screens they accessed. My peers also gave me feedback on individual screens and parts of my design that they felt were confusing. I made some annotations on the screens my peers commented on to highlight the proposed revisions.
In my final app, I made some changes to improve the user's flow through the app, limit repetitiveness, and make the design more intuitive. The tab bar at the bottom of the app outlines the four key features and allows users to easily search for tutors, view their favorites, send messages, and change the information on their profile. 
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