Student Success: A Student Information System In Slack

A Mobile Education System Platform In Slack
Slack (Salesforce)
Oct. 2021 - Nov. 2021
Collaborating Designers: Evan Quan, Ira Puri
Project Managers:  Isabela Moise, Ben Au
Data Analysts:
Nick Melamed, Sera Goksal, Valerie Zhang
My contribution
As the Product Design Lead for this project, I guided the team to conduct contextual interviews, develop journey maps, ideation, wireframing and produce high fidelity prototypes. I also contributed to competitive audits, survey design and analysis, and the synthesis of strategic insights.



Gather inputs from potential users to shape the initial design strategies.

Slack planned to launch a built-in education system Slack App “Student Success” to attract more university clients to become paid users.


Improve student engagement and usability for the Slack App "Student Success".

Slack required input from potential users to shape their initial design and strategies. Therefore, slack reached out to my team at Diversatech, a product consulting club at UC Berkeley to conduct user research and provide product design recommendations for design.


A Slack App is a built-in or third-party applications integrated into the Slack channel.

The users could develop and add these apps to provide additional customized services and experiences.


As a cross-functional team, we collaborated on the research, problem definition and brainstorming process. I led a team of 3 designers to focus on the user testing sessions with the early design iterations provided by slack, ideation and the prototyping process.


To understand the key pain points of the students' academic task experience.


110 Survey Responses

My team created and dispensed a student engagement survey and analyzed the responses to get a big picture of students’ behavioral patterns in dealing with academic tasks in college.


8 Contextual Interviews

To learn about the deeper motivations and frustrations of the students when using the education management apps.


An opportunity to integrate real-time SMS and a centralized learning management system.

My team created and dispensed a student engagement survey and analyzed the responses to get a big picture of students’ behavioral patterns in dealing with academic tasks in college.
research insights
A Need For Centralized Messages & Notifications
The Interviewed Students Are Required To Download Over 5 Education Apps On Their Phone On Average.
Lack of Prioritization & Customization
66% Of The Students Receive Over 10 Unnecessary Messages From Different Education Apps Every Day. They have to filter the important announcements from these duplicate, unnecessary messages
Inefficient & Repetitive Communication Channels
“I just emailed the advisor to schedule a call, but they are always busy and I had to follow-up... Sometimes it takes a week to get their response and the time slot will be another week ahead.”
-Dalia, Junior EECS student
USER persona
Understanding the motivations and frustrations of the student users.
User Testing
remote usability testing sessions
Gathering users’ behavioral and attitudinal feedback
We reached out to the survey respondents and completed 12 remote usability testing sessions in total, where we dived deeper into their subjective opinions about Student Success and documented some of the behavioral responses as follows:

• Task success rate
• Task completion time
• Accuracy of interpreting information

usability testing outcome
The user feedback was positive overall, but they also expressed confusion where we identified the usability issues as follows:
Inaccessible Visual Hierarchy
Academic Dashboard
Lack of Human Touch & Clarity
Chatbot engine
No Bilateral Communication
Appointment page
With the user research and usability testing insights, we intended to respond to a question as follows:
“How Might We Create A Centralized, Customizable And Efficient Student Information App In Slack?”

How to integrate external learning management system into Student Success?

How to cater to different needs from the student users?

How to streamline the task flow to avoid switching among different apps?
Design Strategy
Responding to the user needs and usability issues
Keep in accordance with the users' original mental model

A more digestible dashboard

Building stronger rapport with students

Provide context and follow-up for the appointment process
Design Iteration #1
Our team tackled the original design prototypes by starting by reviewing its information architecture and pinpointing the risks and errors in the user flows.
Design Iteration #2
Wireframe prototypes are created according to the improved user flows and research insights into a more coherent experience.
Design Solutions
Problem 1
Inaccessible & Congested Visual Hierarchy
Students isolate schedule as a crucial, independent component compared to task and agenda.
Solution 1
Implement Customizable Components
• Implementing customization options
• Reorganizing schedule layout
• Integrating external systems
Problem 2
Lack of Human Touch & Feature Clarity
The chatbot “identity” is not in accordance with Slack system with confusing content.
Solution 2
Building Stronger Rapport With Students
Creating a more digestible alert card design with a chatbot avatar branded with the University Seal.
Problem 3
A Need For Bilateral Communication
Users exhibited a prolonged average task completion time and hesitancy in choosing appointment time.
Solution 3
Multiple Communication Channels
Providing urgency level and private note to the advisor as pre-appointment communication tools.
Final Design
Customizable Academic Dashboard
Collapsible Menu Sections
Users are able to collapse or expand the dashboard items to fit their need for information to create a digestible home page according to their habits.

Integration With Canvas Tasks
Canvas (A class management platform) tasks are synced into the “Task” section for more centralized experience, freeing the students of checking emails updates from time to time.

Customizable Task Reminder
The students can also customize the reminder to keep themselves notified before the due dates.
A Chatbot With More Human Touch
Building Rapport With Students
The chatbot avatar is customized in accordance with the symbol/seal of the university. More approachable lines are implemented before the alert is sent.

Alert Preferences
The students can customize the alert preferences based on their need for grade concern, financial aids, etc.

Smart Suggestion Chips
The chatbot will provide auto reply cards of possible actions after the alert is created, e.g. GPA, grading options, drop/add deadline, etc.
Booking Appointments
Urgency Levels
The students are able to specific the urgency level of their appointment request for the advisors to better manage their time slots.

Private Note To The Advisor
They can also add a personal note to the advisor before the appointment starts to provide context for their concern.

Flexible Date And Time Selection
The students are able to select the date and time independently to best match their schedules.
Personalized ≠ Customizable
Providing customizable options does not mean creating personalized content or features.​Customization is leaving the freedom to the users to manage the content, layout or features of the product themselves. It can be targeted at a single user subgroup based on one single persona or multiple personas. Similar examples include providing users to subscribe/unsubscribe from the email list, or the widget customization of iOS home pages (in terms of layout and features).​Personalization is related to the segmentation of different personas, and the approach to increase engagement or usability based on the different user groups. It is largely dependent on data analytics to categorize the traits and types of users, thereby providing them the contents and features accordingly. Similar examples include layout differences between US and Chinese accounts of Paypal/Amazon/App Store.
Consider Different Stakeholders Into The Loop
The context for this project is based in a college, academic setting. Students are the main targeted users in this app, but we also have to consider the role of other stakeholders, e.g. advisors, professors, or even the parents. They are not directly engaged in the product we are consulting for, but the product features will also influence their behavior and experience. That’s why our team added one feature for communicating the urgency level of the student’s appointment request for the advisors to make better arrangements.
Endorsement From the Saleforce team
With the redesigned prototypes, we provided strategic recommendations to the product team and the user research team at Slack to inform their future product roadmap in terms of increase in student engagement and multi-channel communication.

← Our Team!