FRENCH EMBASSY HACKATHON
MY ROLE: UX/UI DESIGNER
TEAM: MOLLY FU, ALI BAGHERPOUR, ASHLEY SOBHANI, KIAN BEHDAD
DURATION: 12 HOURS
TOOLS: SKETCH APP, INVISION
In 12 hours, create a solution for the French Embassy, directly addressing the declining number of American students choosing France as a study abroad destination.
The French Embassy has reported a 10% decline in the number of U.S. students choosing to study abroad in France. This 10% decline raises red flags and is statistically significant.
A full redesign of one of the study abroad promotional websites, "Campus France". Our team of Data Scientists, a UX Designer and Visual Designer collaborated for nine consecutive hours to propose a solution that would address the direct pain points that were discovered through our data-focused research.
Each team's final designs were evaluated by a panel of judges from the French Embassy and General Assembly. Our team was awarded one of the two honorable mentions for our website redesign and data-driven research.
DATA SYNTHESIZED | CURRENT FLOW | PAIN POINTS | COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS | MOTIVATIONS
THE DATA SYNTHESIZED
The graph shows France is ranked #4 on this list, behind the United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain.
The percentage of students choosing to study abroad in Europe, relative to other regions of the world, is declining. Meanwhile, regions like Asia, Latin America, and Central America/Mexico are on an upward trajectory.
We also found the country with a noticeable percentage increase in US students was Germany, leading us to a main competitor.
CURRENT FLOW & PAIN POINTS
We broke down the current process that a U.S. student interested in studying abroad could hypothetically experience. The process is both lengthy and unnecessarily convoluted. There are three websites - owned by the French Embassy - that were created to entice a U.S. student to choose France as a study abroad destination. The image is the website flow one would need to go through in order to find all three of these sites.
Meanwhile, it is important to note that when one googles "study abroad in France" or any similar phrase, none of these sites appear on the first page. Instead, a student would come across private study abroad organizations, highlighting all study abroad programs across the world, not just France.
THE PAIN POINTS
Lengthy, unclear process
No clear CTA
The image is the homepage for Germany's study abroad website. I decided to look into the various features of their website that meet conventional standards expected by university students today. Their homepage has a clean interface and an organized navigation system that highlights a potential student's needs.
The research on the motivations behind students' decisions to study aboard are: Reputation, Culture, Scholarships, Language, Network.
These are the features needed to be highlighted in order to create a site that would be intriguing for a potential student.
SKETCHING | HI-FI MOCKUP | ITERATION | PROTOTYPE
Based on research our team conducted, I highlighted the feature bullet points directly under the hero image.
To keep the user engaged, the website should also include an events calendar.
Based on the current flow and usability test, we add another CTA (call to action), button, "Get a Visa". A visa is one of the most important things required in preparation for study aboard.
FINAL HI-FI PROTOTYPE
Setting up "Google Analytics" for all four sites, and tracking the data periodically.
Optimize Campus France's SEO so that students searching "study abroad in France," or any phrase of that nature, are directed to our redesigned site.
A built out Digital Marketing Campaign to highlight the benefits of studying abroad in France.
A Seamless Flow among the four French Embassy websites, or a Centralized System, with Campus France being the epicenter.