Ethos Student App

student app.png

How it started

Students Need an app that actually helps them navigate their university experience

We wanted to give students a modern product that could assist them throughout their day while they go to and from classes and make their lives undeniably more manageable. 

  • Client: Ellucian Stakeholders
  • Timing: Q1 & Q2 of 2017 
  • My Role: Ideating, Wireframing, Visual Design, Prototyping, Story Boarding



Designing something that fits into a student's life

The product should work for any type of student but our main focus was a traditional 18-22 year old young adult who is tech savvy and has a low tolerance for any app that isn't "amazeballs." 

  • How do we use design to really speak to young adults and their tastes?
  • Should we lean towards a basic easy-to-use, a fun, discovery driven experience, or something in the middle?
  • If we want them to use our app instead a combination of existing apps they already have, how do we create that value?



The Process


scope of work

While we knew how important this work was, the priority was getting the company stakeholders onboard and wowing our current clients at our yearly conference. 

  • Build an understanding of students' lives and how they use technology within their education. 
  • Find out where there are pain points.
  • Research our current products to discover opportunities for collaboration.

  • Build out wireframes and test everything.

  • Tell a story through prototyping and story boarding.
 A few of the many Mural boards I referenced in my work.

A few of the many Mural boards I referenced in my work.

Discovery, Prototyping, and Testing

This project was completed using the swarming technique. Many of us were working on other projects but were brought in from time to swarm and collaborate for a couple days to several weeks of time. Therefor I was not involved in every piece of this process, but helped with some and was given access to all the research and caught up enough to do my part effectively. 

  • Conduct student interviews, learn everything we can. 
  • Use mural boards to organize and sort through data. 
  • Create personas, mental models, journey maps, etc.
  • Ideate & wireframe, get feedback.
  • Build low-fi prototypes and test with students. 

Design concepts & deliverables

I was brought into this swarm in time to put the final pieces together. At the time there were only low-fi wireframes, placeholder text, and some big ideas about a sleek, modern interface.  I was given a story to build the workflow out of, but I had to decide how the user would move through each set of requirements. 

  • I used a more adventurous style of navigation and bold, but clear layout and style that would appeal to a younger generation.
  • Different aspects of the product are brought forward depending on where you're at in your day. The things needed most will be right there waiting.
  • Nothing of priority is buried too deep. 
  • Navigation is customizable so the user can determine what is important to them.

Telling the story of a student using our app throughout her day.


Final result

The project was presented at eLive 2017 to a very positive reaction from clients and colleagues alike. 

  • Learned many insights on how modern students can utilize technology to feel empowered and in control of their college experience.
  • Lots of "thinking outside the box" in terms of our current design system and styles.
  • Came up with creative ways to give students assistance and motivation throughout their day. 
  • Team continued to iterate and build upon established concepts.