This project identifies how Swinburne students seek connection and propose a solution to increase student-to-student connections on campus.

Through primary research consisting of interviews, surveys, and a “free lolly stall”, where lollies were handed out in exchange for students answering a question, we found that students want to form connections through clubs and events. However, few students knew where to find information about such things and fewer thought they were well promoted through Swinburne Student Life.

After several prototype iterations, we found that this issue could easily be solved by updating the Swinburne student app to make club and event information, news, and timetables more accessible.

We were tasked with finding a way to improve student connection at Swinburne. From our first round of interviews, we found that students want to form connections with other students who have similar backgrounds and interests in order to feel comfortable during their time at university. Most students were forming connections only from classes, which, although satisfactory, were not meeting their social expectations. It was immediately clear that being off campus heavily affected these connections, and online classes and communities were largely disliked as a way to form “real” connections.
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When we pushed this research further through a survey, we found that students who are on campus often find it difficult to socialise between classes. This can be because they feel their timetables are too packed, they feel pressured to study, or they don’t know what’s on. Furthermore, the distance students live from campus affected their willingness to participate in events and activities outside of class, even if they enjoyed being on campus.
The survey also probed their expectations of life as a Swinburne student. The majority of respondents suggested there would be more “social culture” at the university. Students expected to meet lots of people, go to parties, be encouraged to join clubs, and recognised for their participation. This expectation had not been met, and many had not participated in any extra-curricular activities through Swinburne.

From these insights, even without prompting respondents, clubs became a main focus point. To gain an even deeper understanding of students' thoughts about clubs, we created a “free lolly stall” in the atrium.

Initially, our interview structure focused on the initial experience and connection outside the class. After that, we found out the organisation “student life” does not meet the student’s expectations, O-Week is a good beginning, and the timetable makes students unable to socialise on campus.
The data from that activity proved that students feel connected when they join a club and are willing to join ones that interest them. We spoke to some of the students while they left their note and found that most of them didn’t know Swinburne had clubs, and if they did, they didn’t know how to find them.

We needed to create an easy way for students to access club and event information and participate.
We all know that students are looking for a connection. They want to make new friends and spend time with other people who have similar interests, and mingle with people from different backgrounds. Most importantly, students want to do something that is unrelated to classes and get involved in what’s happening!  

The key issues we have found from our research is that although students want to make connections, most don’t feel like they are. A large portion of students are not a part of a club, though would like to be. They found that clubs are difficult to join, or they can’t find any information about them, and they are acutely aware of the lack of club or social culture at Swinburne. 

Aside from clubs, many students have expressed their interest in fun activities outside of class, but again, aren’t aware of what’s on. Even when they are, they find their timetables quite restrictive, where they don’t line up with events or other friend’s timetables so it becomes to difficult to socialise outside of class. Most importantly, students want to form connections on campus. They are disinterested in online communities, with many saying it’s not a place to form real-life connections. 

Another key insight is that local students potentially feel less connected than international students. International students have events organised specifically for them and are informed of what’s on, whereas local students don’t seem to get the same care. We believe this may be because international students could come to Swinburne ready to seek connections, whereas local students may be less prepared to leave their comfort zones. 

Our research showed that students are generally interested in joining clubs and attending events. However, most of them aren't doing so! We want to figure out why and devise a way to solve this problem.

Identified some gaps in our knowledge such as what are Student Life and the university admin currently doing to address this issue
Swinburne already has an app that students are encouraged to download and is advertised on the TVs in various buildings across campus. Currently, the app allows students to access a daily view of their timetable, their student ID, and more. However, a lot of the information is hidden, unappealing, or is accessed through external links.

By redesigning the Swinburne app, students will be able to easily view their timetable, see clubs and events that are happening and add them to their calendar, easily view their student ID, and get a real-time newsfeed that is interesting and fun to scroll through and stay up to date.
Feedback from early prototypes also suggested that the app have widgets available so it is easy to see their timetable on the go.

As we started to speak to students about using an app for planning their schedules, we tested both the existing Swinburne app and the calendar feature in Canvas. We found that almost all students already had the app and used that exclusively to check their timetable. They liked the idea of being able to see what else is happening outside of their classes easily, especially if they would already be checking there. Students were equally as enthusiastic about the other add-ons we proposed, such as widgets, a news feed, and an easily accessible student ID.
Although we are predominantly targeting first-year undergraduate students, we believe this is a solution that will benefit all Swinburne students. It will be especially helpful for students learning their class timetables, navigating around campus, staying up to date, and planning their social lives. As an app on a smartphone, especially one that is already available, this is a system that can be used anywhere, anytime. However, we anticipate that it will be especially helpful during the first 3 weeks of the semester.

Our aim was to not only encourage student connect, but to raise awareness of what student life at Swinburne has to offer, make it accessible, convenient and fun. This has all been achieved simply by taking a system already widely used by students. This makes it easy to implement for both new and existing students.
Our aim was to not only encourage student connect, but to raise awareness of what student life at Swinburne has to offer, make it accessible, convenient and fun. This has all been achieved simply by taking a system already widely used by students. This makes it easy to implement for both new and existing students.
Updating the app would provide multiple benefits to Swinburne students. It will help them find their timetable, subsequently assisting with time management, and keep them up to date on what’s happening in the Swinburne community. Most importantly, the increased accessibility of club and event information will help students to form the connections they have been seeking on campus.

This update will also benefit the university by increasing engagement in student activities. In the long term, we anticipate that this could help to bring back the buzz that the Swinburne campus previously had, as well as build a social and club culture at the university. Not only will Swinburne students be more satisfied with their student life, it could attract new students to enrol at Swinburne for study and life.

To help build the buzz around the updated app, we recommend that the student ID feature be used for students to get their food from the food trucks during Orientation Week and Welcome-Back Week, rather than showing their physical ID card. The student ID could potentially also be added to student’s phone wallets for even easier access and for entry to buildings on campus after hours.

If the redesign of the app is successful, a number of other features could be integrated, such as enrollment and timetabling, integrating maps in timetables, managing clubs and events for committee members, and accessing academic and wellbeing support. The Swinburne app has the potential to become a one-stop-shop for new and existing students to manage student life!
Redesigning the Swinburne app could play an integral role in increasing student connections on campus.

 It is clear that students are unsatisfied with their student life, and there is a lack of awareness surrounding the clubs and events that the university has to offer. 

By making club and event information more accessible and effortless to add to their schedule, Swinburne can increase the engagement of students in social activities, helping them to make the on-campus connections that are so sought after. Not only is this a feasible and cost effective solution, it simply solves the needs of Swinburne students.
Self contribution
I participated in this project’s idea generation and discussion sections, from stakeholder and affinity mapping to interview questions and the system map. I interviewed a total of three people in this project. I joined the prototype creation and drew the slogan in the data collection prototype. Besides, I assisted people who left feedback for our prototype outside the library. In the middle stage presentation, I was in charge of the slide of the focusing area. I participated in 5W1H, five why and persona. Created 2 points of view statements and joined how might we statement discussion. I joined the final stage idea session and assisted in building two prototypes. 
For “help, my social life”, I drew the slogan and created it together as a model to present the circumstance. Another prototype: Swinburne app 2.0, I created News Feed and Widgets pages. And I tested it on two people. I joined the discussion of the user experience map and business canvas. For the solution video, I was the model for demonstrating the app and explaining the features of the development. My significant contribution is to white paper design, from layouts and diagrams to mockups.

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