SelfService is a portal for Brown University students to perform important actions such as updating personal information, checking student accounts, looking up grades, and more. Despite its importance for students, its interface does not sufficiently meet many of the usability criteria from usability.gov. The most significant failings are intuitive design, ease of learning, efficiency of use, and error frequency and severity.
In part 1 of the redesign, I focused on navigation and user flow, which is a large reason the original design is unintuitive. Although my prototype in part 1 addressed learnability and error frequency and severity, I decided to address these issues differently in my second iteration, in a way that would improve subjective satisfaction and efficiency of use.
The first redesign consisted only of a navigation bar, but I decided to condense the bar into a single page with the primary groups (personal information, academics, student account) as sections, where all links are displayed. Thus, the improved navigation from part 1 is displayed in an even more intuitive manner, since all available information is laid out in front of the user in an intuitive and structured fashion.
In addition, when the user clicks on a link with subcategories, rather than opening in a new window, a list of links appears below the clicked link. These can be hidden by clicking the link again. Thus, if the new user clicks on an incorrect link, the user can simply click on the link again to hide the list of links that appeared instead of reloading the main page again and again. This change improves both ease of learning and error frequency and severity. The personal information section was delegated to a sidebar as well as the search bar, and some pages I had originally included in the personal information category were moved to student account, so more content can be displayed on the landing page.
Fig. 1: The default view. "More..." in the sidebar is a link to https://www.brown.edu/gateway/current-students.
Fig 2: Clicking on "Registration" from the default view (Fig. 1). Click on "Registration" again to hide the new links, and return to the default view.
Fig 3: Clicking on "Student Records" from the default view (Fig. 1). Click on "Student Records" again to hide the new links, and return to the default view. Both link displays for "Registration" (Fig. 2) and "Student Records" can be opened simultaneously.
Fig 4: Clicking on "Account Summaries" from the default view (Fig. 1). Click on "Account Summaries" again to hide the new links, and return to the default view. All link displays for "Registration," (Fig. 2) "Student Records," (Fig. 3) and Account Summaries can be opened simultaneously.
Fig 5: The results page for a sample search using the newly implemented search bar. Clicking on "Return to main page" returns page to Fig. 1.