My role: user experience, user interface, visual design
College student resources, like math labs and writing centers, need to offer regularly scheduled appointments. Faculty and advisors need to schedule office hours, advising sessions and other times for students to meet with them. Retention managers and student success staff sometimes need to schedule appointments with students themselves, or for students to visit other campus resources.
We noticed our clients struggling to find a great solution for on campus appointment scheduling. None of the systems they tried or created were able to completely and easily satisfy their needs. Also, none of them were integrated with our campus portal, which is the primary place their faculty and students interact online.
This need was brought to our attention by our customers through research we were doing for our Jenzabar Retention product. As we noticed it come up more and more often, and because it had a larger scope than just the specific campus staff involved in student success, we decided to focus on it as a separate project. We went back to the users who had brought it up to us for more specifics and they reached out to others on campus who had needs in this area, to get a broader understanding of the specific unique needs and use cases our schools had around appointment scheduling.
Once we understood our user’s scheduling needs, I did some competitive research of calendars and appointment systems to gain an understanding of established patterns and potential expectations with similar products. This way I understood the ways that our users were already familiar with adding, rescheduling, viewing, signing up for, and generally interacting with events over time. We wanted Appointments to work the way our users expect a calendar to work in general so we could focus on the areas where we needed to do things differently to accommodate the special functionality we were adding.