UniFi Scholars is a platform to encourage financial literacy for high-school and prospective college students. UniFi Scholars helps students project short-term and long-term costs for college, including college costs, financial aid, semester to semester budgeting and projected income and expenses post-graduation.
I worked with the team at UniFi Scholars to determine the primary user goals and stories, functionality requirements, page types, information architecture, and desired overall look and feel for the platform.
I created designs and a clickable prototype for the entire platform. The platform is currently under development for beta release.
The team at UniFi Scholars had done extensive research prior to beginning work on the product. They conducted user interviews with students, teachers, parents, and advisors at both the high-school and college level. Some common trends that emerged from research were:
- Students did not have a firm understanding of the implications of student debt in relation to their long-term goals.
- Students did not have a firm understanding of the salary expectations for many of the possible college degrees.
- Students did not have a firm understanding of basic budgeting as it applies to planning for a semester or a year.
- Parents find it difficult to navigate the massive amounts of information available in regards to loans and grant programs.
- Applications for aid in the form of grants and loans happen in several different places.
- It is difficult for parents and students to get a complete picture of projected aid and debt obligations
- There is a disconnect between student expectations and advisory recommendations
These insights helped drive the product requirements and design direction. The goal was to create a platform that allowed students and parents to see the connection between college choice, potential aid and debt, and resulting income expectations based on a student's chosen major. The resulting three "pillars" of primary content areas were:
- College choice
- Financial aid and budgeting
- Income expectations post-graduation
- User Personas
- User Stories
- Information Architecture
- Content Strategy
- Visual Design
Below is a sample of the designs created.