Google Design Challenge 2020
By: Toshi Gupta Role: Full-stack User Experience Design Duration: 1 week
"Your school wants to improve the upkeep of campus facilities by creating a new system for reporting any facilities that may need maintenance or repair. Design an experience that allows students to report building or equipment issues on campus. Consider the process of those filing the report and of those receiving and taking action on the issues"
Identifying associated stakeholders of the system
Facilities/IT Admin Team
Before onboarding users to tell me their experience, I myself tried to find a way to file a complaint about a vending machine in the student lounge of my school. I could not find any clue about how to contact the facilities to fix it.
None of the places had any contact/email/communication link to the facilities department in case someone had an issue. I looked up on the internet for the UM School of Information facilities department and explored the link further.
I confined the research to the University of Michigan's School of Information for a better understanding of how the full circuit works.
I conducted interviews with 4 students in person.
Students with prior experience of facing maintenance/facilities issues and have reported them.
Students with prior experience of facing maintenance/facilities issues but did not report them.
I also conducted interviews with the facility manager and IT manager of the school.
Post the interviews, to gauge the awareness of students with the existing modes of communication with facilities/IT department and their affinity to cater to general maintenance issues, I distributed a survey that recorded responses from 25 graduate students at the School of Information.
Students have personal and general maintenance issues that they wish to report to facilities/IT
"I encountered a mice problem in my office last month which I wanted the facilities to resolve as quickly as possible " - PhD. Student
"I saw a broken water fountain on the 1st floor of the SI building for a very long time and wanted to report that to facilities" - Graduate Student
"The first time I contacted facilities was when the conference room projector did not work just 5 minutes before my presentation" - Undergrad student
Most of the students do not know whom to contact hence ignore reporting general maintenance issues.
"I often find dry board markers in the study lounge and wonder the University of Michigan would definitely have the budget to provide new ones, but then whom to go to " - Masters student
"The vending machine at our floor doesn't accept a card from last semester due to some network issues, but I do not find any contact information around the same to intimate to " - Masters student
The students who know the ways to contact generally contact via email or in-person ; they use website portal and emergency call rarely
"In case I have a personal IT issue, I directly try to email the IT manager by looking up the contact at their website" - Undergraduate student
"When you file the issue through the portal, it gets submitted as an email and from thereon it is an email conversation - PhD. student
"I know the IT office is down the hall, so I visited them with my laptop when my Blue Jeans was not working, not sure what where facilities department is located" - Masters. student
The facilities/IT managers prefer students to communicate via portal first and then resort to emails and in-person contact
"I get a lot of requests in-person but I don't want students to rely on that as I take care of 4 satellite areas and might not be found in my office always" - Facilities manager. SI
"We are a two-member team and I manually prioritize the requests, but I check my email every two hours to catch any urgent issues"
Time is a big constraint for students to navigate through the process of filing the issue in that particular building of the school
"I had my classes in the Ross School of business most of the times last semester and they have a different app to book rooms"
"As graduate students, we have less bandwidth of time to research where to file issues that aren't directly concerning us"
"The best experience would be when I am able to pull up a web URL on my phone to quickly log the issue that I came across"
Onboarding: Physical & Digital
Overall Time-taking experiences
Centralized administration & decentralized services
Emerging Problem Statement
How can we onboard students to communicate with facilities by creating time-efficient and interconnected physical and digital experiences?
After knowing from the users that they would want cues around the facility artifacts to report any general maintenance issues, I went around the campus once more to find ways to establish that link.
In my search, the following ways were discovered:
The projector support in the classes had emergency contact listed in the setup for students/faculty to seek help.
The printers of all buildings are numbered/named with an emergency contact listed in case of issues.
The rooms have a QR code that redirects to a link/guideline to operate the projector in that room.
One thing to note that all of these support guideline/contact was only available for IT artifacts. I started ideating upon a similar connected experience for any facilities issue - how can students find the right resources quickly and report problems with ease irrespective of their location in the campus premises.
Adding QR codes/URL to navigate to the facility artifacts helps in the following ways:
Adding QR code to the various facility items can help students scan the code/got to URL that opens the online portal
The QR code/URL can also lead them to directions of using a particular section.
The rooms can have a QR that helps student log any issues in that room (eg. washrooms)