The digital bulletin board
Borrowing board helps members of college communities be better lenders and borrowers
Past research which examined the experience of college students who are in LDRs versus those in in-person relationships found that those who are in LDRs are significantly less likely to engage in self-disclosure, perceived significantly lower levels of companionship, and had less positive outlooks on the relationship. This both validates the difficulties college couples in LDRs experience with communication and suggests that this area is ripe for improvement.
Matthew Lim, Grace Barkhoff,
Sara Lin, Jack Towery
UI/UX Designer, UX Researcher
Figma, Cognitive Walkthrough, Heuristic Evaluation, User Personas, Empathy Maps, Heuristic Evaluation, Semi-structured interviews,
Graduate and undergraduate college students living within campus housing.
How might we better support borrowing and lending to reduce waste in college communities?
Borrowing Board is a digital bulletin board system placed in a community common spaces. It is controlled by users who live in the building. Users can upload bulletins for lending and borrowing items as well as other moderated requests.
View bulletins posted in your residence hall
Simply scan a QR code located in a common space or go to your campus's website and enter your hall's code.
Craft bulletins to be posted in your residence hall's common space
These posts are moderated to ensure that the bulletin board is not polluted or offensive.
Create milestones & important reminders
Track of important dates related to your relationship. Record anniversaries, past meaningful trips, reminders to write each other notes, and future meetup dates.
Look through past notes to reminisce
Open your love jar to find all the notes your loved one has previously sent you. Watch videos and photos they have attached with personal messages.
Create notes with lovingly crafted prompts
Show your love for your significant other with our diversity of psychology-backed prompts. From lighthearted to meaningful, our app helps your relationship shine.
The end-to-end design process of Borrowing Board.
1. Defining the Problem Space
Understanding the problem space that we are addressing, its set of pertinent users, and the issues and constraints that are involved in the problem.
Literature Review, User Characteristics, User Goals, Market Analysis, Stakeholder Analysis
2. Gathering Requirements
Conducting exploratory user studies and developing design requirements.
Surveys, Semi-Structured Interviews, Task Analysis, Personas, Storyboards, Empathy Map
3. Ideating Designs
Turning requirements into potential products.
Ideating w/ Design Sketches, Storyboards
4. Wireframing and Feedback
Mocking up our design ideas and receiving feedback to filter and improve them.
5. Prototyping Evaluation and Validation
Receiving feedback and evaluating our prototype.
Figma, Prototyping, Heuristic Evaluation (4), Cognitive Walkthrough (4), System Usability Studies (4)
1. Defining the problem space
Our primary user group will be Georgia Tech students who currently live in on-campus dormitories or off-campus student apartments that are close to campus. Our secondary user group will be the spouses and children of Georgia Tech students. As a research-oriented university, Georgia Tech has just over 20,000 graduate students enrolled according to the latest U.S. News Student Life report. This large population of graduate
Using those goals and characteristics, we conducted a literature review and a market analysis. We were able to see what was lacking in these platforms already on the market.
In order to be better aware of any ethical implications of our work, we researched the larger context in which the product would act, like the social/physical setting of college and the psychology behind romantic relationships.
College campuses cater to student populations, which have been surveyed to prefer WIFI over laundry and even utilities.
90% of public university students and 87% of private non-profit universities are under 25 years old.
Colleges provide stressors for relationships in the form of alcohol abuse, participation in college activities, loneliness, and academic stress.
Dating culture has more recently turned to digital means, with around 30% of Americans 18 to 29 using digital dating apps.
We also searched for applications in the problem space and evaluated how well they supported our user goals and characteristics. These products are Streetbank, GT Thrift Shop, and Nextdoor respectively.
2. Gathering Requirements
During this stage we conducted user research in the form of surveys, semi-structured interviews, and hierarchical task analysis. From there we distilled the results, using affinity mapping, into insights and user needs which we framed as design requirements.
We conducted 7 total semi-structured interviews of our target population. 3 were female and 4 were male. We asked questions about difficulties and benefits of their long distance relationship, communication methods, and how communication impacted their relationship.
Hierarchical Task Analysis
We broke down how users video call with their partner and perform a relationship check-in to better understand each process.
Created from groupings on the affinity map.
1. Asynchronous communication is vital but not as good as synchronous communication.
2. People use a variety of platforms to communicate a variety of information.
3. Alone time is a big benefit of long distance relationships.
5. Partners need a variety of fun and serious conversation topics.
6. Texting leads to frequent miscommunication.
7. Video calls create a "shared experience" where both partners are doing the same thing at the same time.
8. Not planning for physical meetups in a long distance relationship leads to breakups.
From the generated insights, we created a list of design requirements that would guide our design ideation.
Users can send asynchronous messages
Users can save memories to view at a later time
Two users are part of a private group
The product should make the users feel safe
3. Ideating Alternatives
In this stage, we brainstormed two ideas and generated storyboards for each. These ideas were a digital bulletin board and "venmo for borrowing".
After sketching out brainstormed ideas, our team filtered the ten ideas down to two that best met the design requirements and storyboarded them. These are shown below separated by white text over black by idea. Click right to see more of the storyboards.
4. Wireframing and Prototyping
For this section, we created a wireframe of our final product and a visual design language for an eventual prototype. Once this was completed, we developed the wireframe into a full prototype.
Glow's Visual Design Language
5. System Evaluation
Finally, we conducted a discount heuristic evaluation and system usability survey, with expert evaluators on our prototype.
Evaluation Methods & Results
System Usability Scale
The system usability scale survey was conducted after the heuristic evaluation and cognitive walkthrough. The resulting system usability score calculations were 67.5, 62.5, 95, 87.5. The average score for system usability scales is 68 and the average score of our system was 78.
Evaluators went through a list of ten usability heuristics and described issues with the prototype. The results were recorded and grouped on a miro board.
The cognitive walkthrough was done in conjunction with the heuristic evaluation to allow the user to view several functions while evaluating the system freely. The tasks required by the cognitive walkthrough were:
Set up your account
Send a love note
View a message you have previously received