Zoe Platt-Young
Design + Strategy

UX Musings

Throwback to my proposed redesign of the Studylink UI + UX

When frustration can be an avenue for research and design validation.

What was it? A three-part user study evaluating an interactive prototype. This UX project came out of a tool I access semi-regularly: the Studylink portal. This is a tool used by a large proportion of New Zealand Tertiary students, as it allows access to apply for a student loan to fund studies, and to begin applications for student allowances and living costs.

I'd noticed that some of the user interface elements, such as icons and visual hierarchy, seemed to be confusing, and that some elements were repeated but for different sections of the website. Thus it was ripe subject matter for a user experience study and prototype UI design.

The tools I used were:

  • Illustrator for creation of UI assets

  • Axure for interactive prototype

  • Usability Hub for administering the UI preference task and for anonymous recruitment

  • Hotjar with Javascript tracking code inserted into the Axure prototype, for collecting user navigation data

  • SUS scale administered via Survey Monkey, and given to each participant via unique URL over email


Project highlights:

  1. 5 out of 5 current or recent Studylink users preferred my prototype UI to the existing Studylink UI.

  2. Statistical significance was found for the control group (of participants unlikely to have prior exposure to the Studylink system). 

  3. Hotjar was evaluated during this process - I wanted to see how it performed in collecting navigation insights. The screen recording feature was great as it can be implemented remotely, however the disadvantage is that you may miss user insights you'd gain in an in-person consultation environment.

  4. A baseline SUS score was gained, which would enable better testing against the current system and more advanced/mature prototypes.

  5. Some IA (Information Architecture) elements were flagged as being more problematic compared to others with a time to action task recorded in Hotjar.

Please see the below slideshow and video for more!

Pictured in slideshow: some outputs of the user tests, such as the results from a Usability Hub preference test, and a Hotjar screen recording, which tracked user navigation of the interactive Axure prototype. 

Zoe Platt-YoungComment