Helping over 96 universities, 116k students, and 16k orgs connect during a pandemic.
UX / UI Designer
2020 - 2021
Ready Education enables institutions to build and engage their campus community, improving communications and experiences that drive student success. Ready Education Acquired CampusGroups from Novalsys Inc in May 2022.
When the pandemic hit in early 2020 universities and campuses across the globe were faced with the challenge of creating and maintaining their communities online.
One of the biggest concerns for clients was how they would be able to handle their large student organization fairs, career fairs, and conferences. These large-scale events likely wouldn’t be allowed due to covid-19 restrictions and they needed to provide an online equivalent for these events.
Fig. 1 Students and Admins all over the world are able to connect together for live online virtual fairs and conferences through the virtual fair web portal. This dedicated portal allowed students to all have a unique experience to connect with their peers while being fully remote.
May 2020 was an incredibly stressful and challenging time for colleges and universities across the globe. They didn’t know whether students would be allowed back on campus in the fall or if they were going to continue on remotely. With the summer approaching higher ed teams across the world were looking to the fall academic year trying to plan for every possible scenario. With most of the world adapting to remote life in the months prior they were already equipped with tools they needed to continue functioning but hadn’t had the time to implement tools to help create a better college experience for their remote students.
Create a solution to turn their in-person large-scale events like Career Fairs or Student Org Fairs into an online experience.
Fig. 2 The first low-fidelity wireframes created after the all hands brainstorming session in mid 2020. This was the starting point for our developers and allowed our sales team to secure deals before we launched the feature.
Due to the lengthy sales process for Higher Education Institutions, we had to solve this problem as fast as we could. The CampusGroups team was a nimble 15 employees and growing quickly, this allowed us to pivot our roadmap and put all hands on deck into this problem. Our Sales and Customer Success teams were gathering data and client insights while trying to maintain positive relationships with current and future clients.
We held numerous all-hands brainstorming sessions to ideate what was to become the Virtual Fairs feature. We brainstormed use cases for existing features to be adapted and used in a new way and we used our teams' expertise, 150+ years of higher education experience, to find new solutions.
This was one of the first projects I participated in as a UX Designer, until this point developers had to design and develop together as they went because of the scale of the organization. Our developers had been tasked with creating this new feature based on just a few hours of discussion and they had little visual direction about what needed to be done. As a result, I created the first low-fidelity wireframes and introduced them to the team, and proposed we create some prototypes in order for the sales team to continue moving forward with their leads while our development team worked on the project during the next few sprints.
Fig. 3 Admins are allowed to upload a custom graphic map that our team then creates a clickable mapped area that allows the students to have a unique branded experience with their campus. This feature is incredibly popular, in 2020 we created a marketing campaign to college and share the custom maps, this lead to lead generation for the next quarter.
The end product created was a dedicated module of our platform that connected our groups, event hub, surveys, chats, and many more of our product features into one isolated experience.
We created a digital map view to mimic the in-person conference booth map. The product allowed Admins to set categories and create an application process for booth hosts. The product had a default Map View that showed live engagement data so that students felt like they were active participate. Admins also had the option to upload a custom map graphic and dynamic links over their categories. Each category had a unique listing for each of the virtual booths in that category and users could see live engagement data along with live and upcoming video conferencing so that they could interact with the organization officers. Students were able to view these booths and join the group, message officers, request more information, and mark their interest.
Fig. 4 In 2021 while the gobal pandemic condinued we continued developing the virtual fairs feature. I worked along side the CEO to map out the needs a campus would have in order to create a virtual Career Fair that differed from a typical Involvement Fair. The career fair allowed recruiters to join the virtual platform and host booths and collect users resumes.
The sales team was able to secure 3 client deals with the low-fidelity wireframes I provided and in the following weeks, the development team was able to push out the first version.
In the first three months after the product launch, we had 96 schools create over 212 fairs. These fairs had over 16k booths for users to visit and 116k fair participants who visited booths 618k times. 60% of the booths used our video conferencing feature and sent 128k chat messages. During Q4 of 2020, we developed enhancements that supported career fairs and integrated more of our existing platform features.
This feature brought in 30+ new clients that purchased a dedicated Virtual Fair Package that brought in roughly $30,000+ of revenue in 2020. Many of these clients were so satisfied with the feature they came back in 2021 and 2022 to upgrade to the full CampusGroups solution we offered.