As a designer, I have always wanted to find a solution to the problems we face in our routine life. Though being a hostel resident in my college life gave me memories, it did make me miserable too. And I thought of a simple way to overcome that.
Generally, every hostel has a long list of procedures to renew or install facilities. And that list definitely includes a lot of paperwork. Today’s technology has made paper works a part of the stone age.
I got busy looking for ways to productize my idea. And so, I skimmed through various UX design case studies to gain more exposure to the routine techniques that expertise had adopted for a long time. By the end of a reading marathon, I came down to a four-step process as below:
Spot a problem
Consider a guy who is on his way to file a complaint about a repaired fan in his room. He leaves for college around 9 so that he could make it to the 9.20 A.M class. He waits for a while but then, unfortunately, the office staff told him that the official will come only after 10 A.M. Hit! His wait went useless and he ran late to class.
Coming back during lunch, he again faces closed doors owing to the officer’s lunch break. Hit! The never-ending wait continues.
He talks out of his evening sports practice to file the complaint and runs to the office before the closing time. Though he made it on time, he had other things at the store. He was asked to do a long list of procedures, writing letter after letter and signing so many papers. Hit again! A frustrating line of procedures after a missed practice doesn’t sound very nice.
It has been a couple of days since the day he filed the complaint but he still has sweaty nights. Hit! Fruitless procedures? He goes to the office to check on the status of his complaint just to find his letter still being unattended. The End!
The application designed is to automate the complaint filing procedure. It avoids frequent visits to the office as everything can be done online. Thus keeping the student’s schedule undisturbed. The application comes in with complaint tracking facilities for the student to keep track of his complaint’s status. To top all these, he can also give feedback on the service provided. Designing an application with these features could really be of help.
The designing process is done with the aim of keeping it minimal so that the users find it easy to use. Never to forget the user experience, the interactions are kept at ease and designed in such a way that it is self-explaining. Pixel-perfection is kept in mind on doing so.
On getting an idea of what the solution is supposed to look like, I searched for existing applications with similar objectives. By the end, a similar problem statement has been solved in a star hotel environment. The residents can book online complaints about the room service and also call for one. But never did I come across any hostel complaint filing application. Maybe this application could be of good reach if implemented.
The first step of the process is to collect the requirements from the users. This process gives a better insight of what the end product must look like. In order to implement this step, I framed a set of questions and conducted a one-on-one interview with a few of my hostel friends. The following personas summaries the overall discomforts faced by the hostel residents. The boy’s hostel residents, girls’ hostel residents, and the staff members.
Squinting through a long list of pain points, I jotted it down to three main personas as depicted in the image below.
The following screens together make the application that helps to automate this paper works.
Profile and notification
The login screen designed for admin and students appears as below. Student login requires their name, register number and their date of birth while the admin login (for the warden and other members in the management) requires username and password. The application needs no sign in purpose as the student details are all entered during the hostel admission. The students can directly log in without any further details.
The services screen is similar to that of the previous complaints screen. The categories here are like My room, Mess, etc. while the complaint screen is open to anyone, only the active users of the category can complain in the services screen, i.e, only the members of a room can file a complaint regarding that room.