ONtrack is a tool that connects students with the resources they need to navigate the transfer system in Ontario and successfully change post-secondary institutions.
As students move through post-secondary education, the transfer system must encourage their desires to pursue diverse opportunities without posing barriers. With the dynamic and technology-based nature of today's post-secondary landscape, students expect a more responsive, adaptive and efficient transfer system. Answering those expectations, we created ONtrack.
You can navigate a summary of our design process by accessing our infographic.
You can also interact with our prototype.
Student experiences are varied, with students pursuing post-secondary education at different periods throughout their lives as well as changing institutions and programs.
The Student Mobility team has identified that the current solutions fail to meet the needs and expectations of the current generation of students, who consume information in a more dynamic, synthesized, and responsive manner in this data-intensive society.
As part of the SXD Lab and in partnership with ONCAT, the Student Mobility team’s objective is to foster a more responsive and usable transfer process among Ontario post-secondary institutions for transfer students.
Journey Mapping Sessions
Employing a user-centred design approach that places students experiences at its core, our team conducted workshops with recent transfer students to understand their perspectives.
It provided the means to get an in-depth understanding of the student transfer experience, including positive aspects, pain points and what they would like to see improved. It also allowed students to guide the interview process, which lead to insights we may not have otherwise been able to collect.
We categorized the data collected in common themes. We looked for connections and patterns that would help us understand recurring pain points and priority areas. We also looked for patterns in what students found successful in the process.
User Research Insights
We recognized that students consider transfer advisors to be a valuable resource to navigate the transfer process. However, some students were unaware of or had difficulty contacting advisors. We identified other barriers to a satisfying transfer process, including challenging website navigation, information overload, and unclear deadlines.
Based on the journey maps and interview data, we created an experience map where the critical phases of the student transfer experience were highlighted. It includes a list of opportunities for our client, ONCAT, to improve the overall student experience
The Student Mobility team concluded that students experience challenges in finding the appropriate resources needed to facilitate a smooth transfer process experience. We utilized the 100 ideas generation strategy to come up with and elaborate on our design solution.
Access to information should be efficient and easy to navigate. Our design solution seeks to guide students throughout their transfer process using a medium that fits into their existing patterns and caters to their needs and preferences for finding information, resources, and assistance.
Students interacted with our clickable prototype. Using a tool called feedback grid,
we asked students to share what they liked, thought needed improvement and any new ideas they had to build on the app. We synthesized this into a final improved design solution that meets the needs of current students.
User Testing Findings
ONTrack seeks to reduce students’ stress by empowering them with a tool that effectively helps them manage deadlines and requirements and helps them connect to resources and advisors.
Our design solution comprehensively addresses the critical challenges faced by today’s transfer students. The user-centred design method placed students at the centre of the design process to reveal how the transfer system could be changed or improved for future students. The research and suggestions in this report represent the lived student experience of transferring between institutions in Ontario.