A redesign of CMU's housing website
As incoming freshmen, my co-designers and I had all experienced some problems with the school’s room selection process. Mainly, we felt that we weren’t adequately informed before we made our housing decision. This was partially due to the fact that some of the information we wanted was not available, but mostly because the information that was available was not being effectively organized and distributed.
Since our idea was based primarily off our own experience with the school’s housing system, we first needed to assess who our stakeholders were and what our territory map was. That is, we needed to uncover all of the areas and people who were either involved or affected by the room selection system. Once we had narrowed this down, we interviewed Residential Assistants, the Housing Director, the Housing Marketing Director, Housefellows, and freshman students. Through this, we discovered that the dorm selection system is incredibly complex, but that many other students were also unhappy with its provisions. Students felt that a better visual representation of dorms would have been helpful, including dorm photos and a map that put the dorm in context of the city and the school, as well as clearer information about pricing and dorm amenities.
RESEARCH & PRESENTATION POSTER
We considered the idea of approaching this problem with a physical solution, such as in the form of mail-out information or better on-campus events to help better inform students. Because most of the information was already obtained by students through CMU’s website, however, we thought a redesign of the housing website was most logical. Our proposal included the reorganization of existing information as well as the addition of missing and requested information. The proposed version of the website included a more evident layout, more visuals, clearer descriptions, and the addition of a map and news feed of the dorm’s social events.