Simplifying module planning for students with SUSSMODS

What prompted the creation of SUSSMODS?

Currently, students are provided with a comprehensive PDF file containing a list of modules to choose from each academic year. However, the extensive list lacks an easy method to ensure that module credits are met.

Students are eager to discover the optimal modules. Recognising this, a group of students explored if there is a simpler way to streamline the tedious module planning process.

SUSSMODS is designed by students for students to replace the tedious module planning process.

Understanding students' perspectives on their current module planning method

Interviews were conducted with 7 SUSS students to understand their experiences with module planning. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we were unable to conduct face-to-face interviews, leading us to opt for online interviews via Zoom as a viable alternative.

What we learnt...

Turning insights into action with a comprehensive user flow

Speaking to students from SUSS on their experiences with module planning and challenges they faced helped us understand their pain points, and allowed us to make informed adjustments and prioritize features that align with their preferences and needs.

The insights were used as design goals to prioritize features. The 3 main design goals were:

  1. Students should be able to check the number of credits they are currently taking and have left
  2. Students should be informed if there are clashes in modules they have selected
  3. Students should be able to look for modules based on some defined criteria

An in-depth user flow was created to outline how we imagined students will interact with the web app.

Creating the wireframes

I explored my concepts with digital wireframes based on the major touch points in the user flow.

Profile Setup

Students have to finish setting up their profile when they create an account on SUSSMODS. This ensures that they get an accurate idea of the number of credit units they have.

Filters to narrow down choices

On the Modules page, students have the option to filter their choices by semester, credit units, major, and minor programmes to refine their search results.

Simple scheduler

The Schedule page provides students with a clear visual representation of the modules they have planned for the upcoming semester.

Credit calculator

The credit calculator is located on both the Modules and Schedule pages, allowing students to track the credits they’re taking in the upcoming semester, and the credits that they are left with.

Insights from usability testing

We invited the students we previously interviewed to participate in testing the mid-fidelity prototype via Zoom. The usability test findings revealed that:

What's next? More iteration!

Utilizing SUSS’s existing design system, I made final adjustments to the SUSSMOD’s design based on the feedback from our usability test. These changes included:

Allowing students to finish their setup later

To allow students to complete setup later, a secondary button was added. A soft warning was included under the credit calculator to remind them to complete their setup in order to get an accurate calculation of their credits.

Easily remove modules from Modules page & planning ahead for future semesters

Students who have added a module to the wrong semester can easily recover from their mistake by clicking on the “Remove” button. Doing so will change the button state to “Add”. At this point, students can select their desired semester from the dropdown beside.

Improved schedule

The hover state added to modules makes it clear to students that the item is clickable, and directs them to view the module in detail.

Additionally, including the timings of the modules enhances their planning capabilities and enables them to organize their schedules more efficiently

Next steps

In the next phase of the design of SUSSMODS, I will revisit the 2 insights that were initially deprioritized:

  1. Ability to create multiple plans for a semester
  2. A reviews section so students can share their experiences of a module, and others can make better informed decisions with these shared reviews

While the web app didn’t launch, to track success and impact, I would have monitored the following: