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Modern Architecture

A one-stop shop for scholarship exploration & applications for UofT students.

Integrating with the University of Toronto's existing scholarship exploration website
Customized recommendation system
One-stop application process


University of Toronto Innovation Hub


Because of the pandemic many students are in financial trouble. Although UofT has an independent exploration scholarship system, students continue to struggle because of a lack of guidance.


Improve match rates by customizing recommended scholarships based on students' personal information.
Provide a help center. Diversity dashboard ensures students stay in the loop.

My Team

Ashwita Satish Midivelli

Nicholas Leong

Jinyu Liu

Sixiao Zhang

Role In Team


User Research

Designed Mid fi

Conducted Usability Testing

Created the Hi fid prototype

Skills Developed

User Research,

Data Analysis

Strategic thinking


Usability Testing





Google Data Analysis

Design Process
User Research
Data Analysis
Pain points
Empathy map
As-is scenario
Big Ideas
Pain Points
Needs Statements
Low FIdelity Diagram
Mid FIdelity Diagram
Main Features Display
The Goal:

1. Understand the difficulties students face when applying for scholarships

2. Fully understand the shortcomings of the current scholarship exploration website

User Research


53 Responses

  1. 89% of students have searched for information about scholarships.

  2. 49% of students have tried to apply to any scholarship.

  3. 60% of the students who have tried to apply the scholarship encounter issues while applying.

  4. Issues: Don't know how to apply.  Too much information. No date notification.


7 Interviewees

  1. When applying for the same scholarship, you may need to visit different websites and re-read a lot of information

  2. It is very difficult to match the scholarship that suits you from thousands of scholarships

  3. During the application process, many documents need to be sorted and uploaded. There is no detailed list, and the plan is very messy

Main Findings

Information lag, frustrated exploration process

On the current website, students say that much of the information is out of date and not available for application, so it is not worthwhile and frustrating to spend time on this information.

No centralized application system

During the survey, many students said that a scholarship might require opening multiple web pages, including the details page, the application page, without details list, making the application process confusing.

Unable to track application status

The application status could not be tracked, and the students said they were very powerless. After completing the application.


​How can we improve the efficiency of students exploring scholarships, improve the efficiency of students applying, provide assistance to students who meet the requirements, and establish a student-centered scholarship application system


Informed by our research findings, we created a persona  Cody to embody the students that Struggling with scholarship applications . To position their needs and obstacles.

"I need guidance with my application"


User Journey

With Cody as the main role, we have developed the whole process of his using the scholarship application system. Locate Cody's pain points by browsing the entire process and propose solutions.


Through the analysis of Cody, we summarized his three needs statements and used them to develop ideas to propose solutions.

Needs Statement

Cody needs a way to be aware of available scholarship so that he can get the right support.

  • Recommendation system

  • Discovery Room

  • Grading System


Recommendation list

Needs Statement

Cody needs a way to solve the problems he encountered so that he can avoid making mistakes and increases his chances of getting the scholarship.

  • Counsellor/mentor guides from start

  • Virtual online guide

  • Personal assistant

  • Q&A


Help Center

Needs Statement

Cody needs a way to apply scholarship step by step so that he never misses any important information.

  • Mail all requirements and date

  • Package delivered online

  • Timeline & To do list


Timeline & To do list


In order to intuitively evaluate whether the changes we made are feasible, we made a prototype and set the task based on the needs of Cody.

Low Fidelity Diagram

Apply for one of the items on the scholarship recommendation list.


‘Get Recommendation’ Navigate to ‘Tips’

Click ‘Next’ Navigate &

Click ‘Next’ Navigate to
‘Recommended List’

Select ‘More’ Navigate to

Select 'Apply’ Navigate Enter Information in ‘Application ’

Select ‘Apply’
to check Materials

Seek Help

Select ‘question mark ‘
Navigate to ‘Help Center’

‘Talk with Expert’ Navigate to
‘Talk with Experts’

Click ‘Chat Panel’
Navigate to
‘Chat panel’

‘Chat Box’
Send message to
experts group

Check the application status & Timeline

Navigate to
‘Application Status’

‘All Status’
Navigate to
‘program Status’

Check ‘status’ Wait for

Navigate & upload materials in
‘Submit’ page

‘Submit Success’

Test Low fid

We conducted the first round of lean usability testing on the low-fi prototype with 4 representative users, asking each one of them to go through all 3 features using the think-out-loud protocol.  

Tasks For Users:

  1. Get suitable scholarship list.

  2. Know what should you do at at each step.

  3. You couldn’t figure out what documents is xxx, how would you find help?

Through the test of low fidelity diagram, we summarized several problems and improved them in medium fidelity diagram.

Mid Fidelity Diagram
Home page
  • Redesign the homepage to be more visually logical.

  • Improve the data presented in the dashboard and highlight the recommendation list

Timeline & To do list
  • Change the presentation style of the timeline and add to do list to facilitate students' application planning

Main Features Display
Recording 2022-12-16 at 04.26.38.gif
Recommendation List

Students can complete the questionnaire according to their own conditions. The system will automatically select feasible scholarships according to the questionnaire of students and provide a list, which will help students better save time in matching feasible scholarships.

Recording 2022-12-16 at 04.25.32.gif
Timeline Todo list

A clear timeline and to-do list that keeps students aware of what they should be working on next, keeping them in the loop.

Recording 2022-12-16 at 04.27.58.gif
Help Center

Connect the existing scholarship consultant system and classify the consultants according to the department. Students can quickly contact the consultants who can provide help according to the department positioning.


1.We will upgrade and evaluate the Mid fidelity diagram again.

2.Specify more features, such as student loans, grants, etc

3.Add more personalized content to improve the accuracy of the recommendation list.


1.We need to focus on features that address pain points for users and don't complicate our process.

2.Although some ideas is very crazy, but can bring different experience to brainstorm

3.A good story can better explain what you have done.

4.We are not users.


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