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UMDSurvival. 12/7/2009 Emmanuel T. Apau – Tom Rogan – Ed Nishihama – Alan Jackoway – The Problem. Many things about college are best learned from other people. Some things can only be learned from experience.

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Emmanuel T. Apau – Tom Rogan – trogan@umd.eduEd Nishihama – enishiha@gmail.comAlan Jackoway –

the problem

The Problem

  • Many things about college are best learned from other people.
  • Some things can only be learned from experience.
  • Many University programs and policies are not well known.
  • It can be difficult to anonymously advertise events on campus.
last time on the internet

Last time, on the Internet.

  • Free Stuff @ Maryland
    • Gives information about free events
  • College Confidential
    • Gives information “only a student would know”
  • Rate My Professors
    • Gives information about professors
  • OurUMD
    • Gives information about classes and professors


  • Forum-based community
  • Allows discussion on many topics of interest to students such as
    • Events
    • Class Ratings
    • University Policies and Secrets
  • Users remain anonymous if desired
  • Only University of Maryland students/faculty allowed
live demo

Live Demo

usability test

Usability Test

  • 8 UMD Students and 1 Prospective Student
  • Students were given a few actions such as:
    • Post an event and verify its post
    • Register for the site
    • Find a good class for next semester
    • Find information about a free food event
    • Look for help pertaining to the site
    • Give feedback to a thread creator

Participant #2

He was a 23 year old male Super-senior who lives on campus. He has expert knowledge of computers spending 31+ hours/week on the internet.

This participant was tasked with registering for the website, creating a new events post and reviewing the help page.

                                "yo this is new , i like it".

"I couldn't find the word 'draft' on this page so i had to type 'save' into the word search".

He found the Events Quick-look section innovative but would like a better name defining the section as "Upcoming Events". 


Participant #9

He was a 16-year-old male high school student who is considering attending UMD. He spends more than 31 hours each week on the internet.

This participant was assigned to find an event offering free food and to look for help on how to use the site.

He suggested putting an icon next to events that have food so that they would be easier to find.

"help is often at the bottom.“

He said the help page was fairly effective, but he suggested moving some of the most frequently asked topics to the top, so that they would be easier to find.

usability results

Usability Results

Overall, most participants found the site easy to use.


Problems Discovered

  • Some layout bugs were discovered
  • Saved Drafts hard to find
  • Return to last forum, Page linking glitch
  • Date/time picker difficulty, no clear indication of completion
  • Not being able to be view events for later dates
  • Events posted not related to UMD
  • Display issues in non-Firefox browsers
  • Events offering food need food icons so they are easier to find
future work

Future Work

  • Could add a few additional features
    • Special notation for events (i.e. food)
  • Twitter support/integration
  • Possibility: Require new registrations to come from UMD email addresses


  • Implemented all features from design
    • Tabbed browsing interface
    • Events with dates and times
    • Quick Look bar
  •  Finished site is:
    • Functional
    • Usable