Graduate student at University of Michigan

Wolverine Access - Web Design

Web Design

Wolverine Access Re-Design

Web Design



As people all know, registering classes efficiently is vital to all the students. Yet, For a University of Michigan student like me, we really have difficulties using it. We believe the biggest Problem is: Users can’t find the features they want to use, even when the features already exist in the system. We started the project with a hypothesis that students from the University of Michigan don’t have a user friendly way to register classes on Wolverine Access. In order to further understand its process and problem in a comprehensive way, we did several deep interviews and an online survey to substantiate our assumption.


Research Process

Online Survey:

In the online survey we created, we tried to cover as comprehensive and integrative as we can to gather useful information that we can use for further design.


From the Survey, the listed numbers below are the conclusion that we summarized

  • most students(85%) have confusion on the overall registration system

  • more than 75% of students wish to have a instruction before registering

  • only 19% of people think they can find classes efficiently under current website design

  • almost half of the audience has no idea on which level of classes they can choose due to lack explanation.

  • there’s not enough accessible information provided for the students(82%) in terms of degree required classes/electives

  • NOBODY really uses the “Plannar” bar (shown in deep interviews)

Here are 3 of the 68 students taking the Survey on their phones

survey phone.jpg

Deep Interviews:

Besides the school wide surveys, we took our time and did 5 deep interviews to the students around us with the same questions. We tried to focus on analyzing the problems on searching class and registering class procedure/sequence. The pages involving those two are the places where most of the miss-leading information/choice exists. Here are the findings shown on the screen shots below:

1. Searching procedure

Wolverine Competitive-05.jpg
  • The navigator at the top right corner leads to unexpected pages.

  • The main navigator(seems like) on the left takes too much spaces while it provides repetitive information on the right.

  • Complicated double navigator bar.

  • “Planner”navigator bar is not necessary since its use is unclear.

  • The hierarchy of the navigator bars does not match people’s priority when registering for classes.

  • lack of annotations and quotations.

  • lack of the most important information on the first page(weekly calendar).

  • Information of requirement of degree completion classes is missing(recommendation for registration).


2. Registration/Backpack procedure

Wolverine Competitive-05.jpg
Wolverine Competitive-07.jpg
  • using of abbreviation of class names causes confusion to students.

  • No further actions can be done after searching and browsing the course (when people try to register).

  • Insufficient Information leads to unsuccessful identification of sections.

  • Not enough course description while trying to know the class.

  • Backpack/registration is the place to register class, but it has repetitive information with searching page (shown in searching procedure).

  • Can’t click on Professor’s name for his/her contact information


Brainstorming Solutions

Competitive Analysis

Before jumping into designing and solving the problem that exist our registration system, we attempted to look at the registration page from other schools. Also, we highlighted the positive points on their website so that we could learn from them when we start the re-design.

1. Rice University

Wolverine Competitive-01.jpg

2. University of Washington

Wolverine Competitive-03.jpg


After all the Research progress and Competitive Analysis, we started our re-design with sketches and hand drawings. We fixed all the issues that we found out in deep interviews and surveys, and created a sample version of first page, class detail page, and class searching page, so the class registering sequence should be simple and clear, and sufficient information will be provided.

1. First/Main Page


2. Class Searching page + 3. Class Details Page (Detail page follows Class searching page)



After theorizing our sketches, we started to finalize our re-design deliverable. On the first page, Navigation bar is clear and the hierarchy can be seen easily. in-useful information has been taken out. Students can search for classes under the “Add” tap so they are not confused by the difference between Backpack and searching (what exists now). On class searching page and class detail page, information is sufficient and layout is consistent throughout. Students can register after they browse/search for classes. They can also find useful class descriptions and professor’s information on pages.

1. First/Main Page

1st page-1.jpg

2. Class Searching Page

3rd page-1.jpg

3. Class Detail Page

2nd page-1.jpg

Future possible adjustments

  1. How can the website better guide people if the class is full? Is there a related-class button that can lead them to the useful information?

  2. Is there a navigation bar that only serves the degree audit session? We assumed fulfilling the degree requirement is a very important part of registration.