UX Meets Student Leadership: Improving the Sophomore Experience

Inspiration

Toward the end of the spring 2021 semester, I spearheaded a small-scale UX research effort to survey second year students to better understand what aspects of the sophomore year experience are working well and not-so-well. This entailed creating a survey that managed to collect all the information we needed without being too long for students to get through.

Concept

A core principle of our group, the Sophomore Advisory Group, has long been the notion of connections and knowledge-sharing between upperclassmen and underclassmen. We have other initiatives that we’ve built around this notion, but I saw a new opportunity with our research findings.

Social Media Outreach

With some students still studying remotely in online classes during the fall 2021 semester, social media was the best tool to reach the new sophomore class. I’ve taken the lead of developing our Instagram presence over the last year, and we’d managed to get a decent portion of that year’s sophomore cohort following us.

Reflection

This initiative received positive engagement from students, and the concept was made possible thanks to insight from research. My key takeaway is that even small-scale research can reveal preliminary findings and relevant insights. UX doesn’t have to be limited to interface or product designs; we can (and should!) apply it anywhere the needs of an audience are concerned.

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