The Savannah College of Art & Design offers many extracurriculars, from the Game Development Network to Swing Dance Club, which can open up many networking and skill building opportunities for students. The purpose of the SCAD Clubs website is to corral all student clubs and their meetings into one searchable forum that can be accessed by all current students.
As both a member and officer of extracurriculars at SCAD, I have become aware of a disconnect between clubs and students. There is not a set system in place for students to access up to date information about clubs at SCAD, and this can lead to students missing out on opportunities for joining clubs, networking, and in general benefiting from all that the college offers.
To further explore how students are currently accessing information about extracurriculars, I first created a Google Forms survey and shared it in multiple SCAD Class pages on Facebook spanning from freshmen to graduate students. The survey contained questions as follows:
- What year are you?
- Do you participate in any clubs? If so, which one(s)?
- If not, why don’t you participate in clubs?
- How do you learn about new clubs you may want to attend?
- Are you an officer for a club?
- If so, how does your club most effectively promote itself to potential members?
After a total of 111 responses from a variety of grades and backgrounds, I was able to get a better idea of how students are accessing information on extracurriculars, and found that a majority of students utilize either Facebook groups or Fall Fest (SCAD’s annual club fair) as their main source of information.
As well as this, many students in the survey expressed concerns about the lack of information surrounding extracurriculars at SCAD. Whether they forgot when the meetings were or they could never figure out how to join in the first place, students were having trouble in general with the current systems in place.
With these findings in mind I began sketching and constructing a prototype for a student dashboard that would be able to house student clubs, their events, and a way for students to save events they wanted to attend. As well as this, students who are officers of a club would be able to edit their club profile and create events through an administrative dashboard.
After testing the prototype on students I found that many are interested in saving events to their phone or Google calendars in order to receive automatic reminders as they come up. As well as this, I was able to integrate the administrative dashboard with the student’s dashboard for a more seamless user experience.
I created a functional prototype using Proto.io and gathered events and imagery from actual SCAD club pages on Facebook in order to show real content in the context of the new dashboard. All events and clubs are searchable in the site and the Discover and Featured sections within the Dashboard and Event pages offer students recommendations based on their interests or special events going on.