Start NYU is a website where all students, faculties, and staff to manage their accounts and security. The redesign aims to improve the usability with a contemporary design and provide users with an effortless experience to manage their identities.
We conducted research including focus group, online survey, user interview, and usability testing, and heuristic evaluation over the existing site. The participants including are students, faculty, and administrators from New York campus as well as Abu Dhabi campus.
1) 76% of the users access the website through desktop.
2) Change password and set up Multi-Factor Authentication are the most important two features for users to come to the site.
3) The site is text-heavy and users often just skip all the instructions, and cannot find the information they need easily.
4) The design does not align with mind model well. For example, since the UI is misleading, most users instinctively enter a new alternative email through this step is optional.
We also looked into how other sites deal with account management page and changing password, read about standards of a good security question. This helps us to learn from the good practices.
We mapped out the journey of the four users participating in the usability testing of the existing site. This helps us understand what are the common pain points for users.
Design Challenge Framing
We re-categorized the existing information and created a more intuitive architecture and flow.
We decided to create a low-fidelity design to test with users because we found many testers without design experience have difficulty understanding the placeholders. Also, in this context, what and how we present the information is crucial to this project ( if the instructions are easy to understand and users can find needed information without redirecting to other sites). Therefore, we created this low- fidelity design to get feedback on the IA, flow, and what/how information to present on the screen.
Login & Activation
State what the page is for
Differentiate returning users and first-time users
Tell where to find NetID
Provide hints for NetID and password
Main Page / Home
Categorize all the tasks into groups
Add visuals to understand at a glance
Requirements in bullet points and validate while user entering input
Show/Hide password to reduce errors
Provide information what will be affected by the password change
Successful message to confirm change
Show preview of current directory profile
Separate view-only and editable information
Group similar information to make it more clear
Show system status to reduce uncertainty
Users all agree the new design is much more friendly to perform expected tasks.
The real-time password validation helps users to create a password that meets requirements easily. However, though they all can understand the meanings of the three colors of validation status, it takes efforts.
It is nice to be prepared about the time limitation of session with the timer, however, users feel anxious seeing the counting down.
As we found users are not aware of the website and suggested to integrate with other NYU systems, we managed to integrate the site as 'Account management' in NYU Home.
Therefore, we changed the design towards existing NYU Home styles.
NYU Home has the directory feature so we merged the directory settings with it.