Foundational Design and UX Strategy for an Inclusive Edutech Experience
As the sole UX designer, I played a hybrid role as UX designer, UX researcher, design systems lead, and even policy researcher to create and improve digital products that support low-resource college students.
Avanti Pointer — Graphic Designer
Asha Owens — CEO and Cofounder
Victoria Lincourt — Program Manager
Maggie Zhang — Engineer
Ruby Rinken — Engineer
Kimala Cochran — Engineer
Stephanie Friend — Engineer
Gloria Huang — Product Management
Hudson Powers — Engineer
2 years (2020 - 2022)
Due to the nature of working in a close-knit startup environment, I wore many hats in my role — while primarily doing design work, for web and mobile, I also conducted research relating to product but also on policy due to the nature of the space we occupied. Additionally, as our projects began to grow I began to find ways to create and manage a design system for scalable use.
Universal Eligibility Screening
Together with the team, I designed and tested our Universal Eligibility Screener, which allows low-resource or non-traditional college students to fill out one application to use for all their resource applications (ie SNAP) so that these students aren't having to take large amounts of time to fill out multiple applications that could potentially take time away from school and other duties they may have like childcare or work.
Once a student completes their screener, they can create an account. This leads them to an entire ecosystem of educational support. I led the design from low-fidelity to high-fidelity of the step by step journey a student takes through the landing page to learn more about BestFit's support options, and moving post-screener into creating an account with BestFit, then viewing their student support dashboard, and finding support resources.
Universal Application Launch Site
As part of the Universal Application program, I designed a site that students can view prior to starting their application. Since the universal application requires a bit of time, it makes sense that students would want more information about the program before determining whether or not it was something they wanted to do. This site serves to give a comprehensive picture of what the program does and either guide them to the next step of the process or help them find resources if they decide the application is not a good fit for them.
Learn More About My Results
It can be painful to go through an application and then find out you aren't eligible for anything. To combat this, I architected a user flow for ineligible students.
The student dashboard acts as the homebase for the student user. Here they can manage the status of their Universal Application, look for resources, keep track of resource applications, and contact school support.
Establishing Student Personas and Journeys
Part of my foundational work involved me speaking to students and establishing a set of core personas and their respective day-to-day journeys. This was crucial to the rest of our work as we used these personas as a reference for who we were designing for.
Below are 2 examples of what these personas looked like!
Working in a Social Impact Startup
I look upon my time at BestFit fondly because it helped me not only become a better designer but also grow other adjacent skills that would ultimately become essential to effectively shipping good design (ie cross-functional collaboration, research, graphic design.)
Most importantly, I loved the opportunity to work on something so socially impactful, especially for a user group that typically gets overlooked within the broader field of edutech.