EMAC Advising Site

online tool to ease class registration and college planning for Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication Students at RPI

The primary audience for the EMAC advising site is RPI Students pursuing Electronic Media, Arts, and Communications (EMAC) majors. We identified key characteristics that were indicative of these users to help in the process of creating a product that will fit specifically to our target audience. A few other groups that the site would apply to are:

  • Academic Advisers assigned to EMAC students—as this is just a supplement to the advisers provided by the school
  • Perspective RPI Students considering an EMAC major—they will find the site useful for understanding the EMAC program and allowing them to picture themselves as an RPI EMAC student
  • Parents of Perspective RPI Students considering an EMAC major—they will find the site useful for understanding the EMAC program and allowing them to see all the possibilities and opportunities for their child as an RPI EMAC student
In order to better design and develop a program that would suit our audiences we created personas to represent the different characteristics of EMAC students and groups of people who would use the site.

  • Sarah, artistic scholar 18, from Chicago, Il, High school senior, recently admitted into RPI’s EMAC program, started Entrepreneur Club in high school. Sarah is exited to attend RPI in Fall 2014. She’s always been one to plan ahead. Sarah wants to get an idea of what classes she will be taking each semester. Sarah locates the EMAC website, and she tries to determine her required classes based on a template form. She is confused about electives that she needs to take especially HASS classes.Sarah wants to easily know which classes she can take to graduate on time.
  • Martin, laidback aspiring web designer 18, from Brooklyn, NY, 2nd semester freshman at RPI, majoring in EMAC, freelance web designer, member of UPAC Concerts. Martin has spent a semester at RPI, and the school continues to grow on him. Martin had a tough first semester, and his GPA suffered because of it. Martin is optimistic about the Spring semester, because he is taking a lighter course load. However, this means Martin must take summer classes. Martin’s advisor left RPI, and he hasn’t been able to schedule an appointment with his new advisor yet. Martin wants to know what his schedule for the following semesters will look like if he takes summer courses. He also wants to strategically choose which classes to take during the summer. Martin wants a visual representation of which classes he has taken and needs to take. The online template is too much work for him. However, making an appointment with his advisor seems impossible.

Once we'd identified who we were designing for and worked through what they needed, we began to wireframe the program and interactions. We did some testing on the wireframes then moved quickly into higher fidelity prototypes.

We shared our initial designs with users and heard a lot of great feedback. They really enjoyed the content and saw the program as valuable, but they still found that aspects of the experience could be improved. For instance, one user said they didn't like the pop-ups modals as it made the whole process seem more complicated. We realized that we could simplify the experience even more for our users and game to a final prototype.

We made a rough digital prototype for users to click through to get an actual experience and then had them test it out for us. We got additional feedback through the testing process and documented it in our final report.


The Team

  • Designer: Bridget Cohen
  • Designer: Ann Novelli