App for Int’l Students — A UX Case Study

Solution preview

Interactive school finder

To help get you a step closer to shaping your future. Latest articles, popular majors, and current favorite schools in the United States

Connect and get in the know

Ask and gain connections with current students and alumni of the school, so you know what to expect.

Easy to follow reminders

To help organize, document, and keep you on track of what’s needed for your application process.


Pre-interview findings
In order to practice human-centered design, I set out to interview a couple of International Students’ experiences applying to the United States. My goal is to build a product from real user problems rather than come up with a concept from a preconceived idea.

With interview results on hand, my interviewees say that one of the biggest pain points is choosing a target school and gathering application documents. Because of that, 7/10 respondents hired an Education Agent.

Secondary research: About Education Agents
I wasn’t too familiar with Education agents, so I did research on what they actually do. Agents help by becoming the bridge between the student and the institution they want to study in. Agents help guide, recruit, and complete all the documents for prospective students.

I found that education agents do not guarantee someone’s application success. They help by becoming the middleman between the student and the school.

Target Audience
This is for prospective students who need a little assistance in their studying abroad process, and don’t want to spend money on Education Agents.

Refined problem + proposed solution

How might we build a solution to help assist prospective study abroad students, so they don’t have to hire an agent?

The prospective student can add personalized to-do lists on the app.
School finder
Displays schools depending on filters tailored to the user.
- Connection with alumni or current students, so the
prospective student can reach out and connect.
0 Articles and information about schools in the United States.


I wanted to refocus my solutions and started off drawing MVP features.

The flows include:
01. Finding a school
02. Connecting with alumni
03. Creating a to-do list

Usability Testing #1 + Setbacks

I did user testing #1 on 5 individuals and realized some of my flows weren’t doable. I had to redo the flows.

“Your first flow isn’t tech-able. You will have to create a partnering app to accommodate the kind of feature you want to make.”
“I’m not sure if a ‘quiz’ is a good way to put it. I would put filter and sort on there, instead of doing gamification on it. This is a pretty serious app.”

Refined direction and scope

User Testing #2
I used to test on a couple of individuals.

Removal of “empty state” on Saved schools on the homepage to remove redundancy.

Added a search bar and geared my homepage towards more of a search page, rather than a profile page.

Details page
Changed the bottom button to the top right for ease of tap.

Switched the modal to confirmation toast for a better user flow.

Saved schools page
Removed the Generate to-do list from the pop-up and added it below the saved school card to improve ease of the task.

Moved the button inside of the card to remove confusion.

Click here for the interactive prototype.

Final results

I did a final Usability Testing on Maze with 20 respondents. The score is 10 points above the average UT score!

I used for this test.

I’ve learned that…
throughout multiple User Testings, trial and errors, feedback, and peer-to-peer sessions, I’m super happy with where the project’s at right now. Here are some things that I’ve learned moving forward:

To keep my solution realistic. I’ve learned that I always want to make the most of the app, but at the end of the day.. There are always going to be limitations and constraints.
To pause and step away for a while. I had always tried to work through this at a designated time. However, I often get stuck in the process. Doing it at a slower and more ideal pace will for sure benefit me in the future.

Full slideshow here.




UI/UX Designer

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Elaine Lumanauw

Elaine Lumanauw

UI/UX Designer

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