Ignitus

Designed a platform to connect students with global research internships at top universities.


My Role

Desk Research
Interaction Design
Visual Design
Prototyping


Timeline

Dec 2018 — Feb 2019
(Internship)


Tools Used

Figma
Sketch
After Effects


Team Members

Gurudutt Perichetla
Afelio Padilla
Divyanshu Rawat
Hafsa Nefouci
Paarmita Bhargava
Simanta Pathak




01   INTRODUCTION

What is Ignitus?

Ignitus is a non-profit organization for the welfare of the student community that helps students and professionals get handpicked top-quality global research and industrial internships, for free! The students participate in projects and training programs supervised by experts. The goal of Ignitus is to skyrocket a students’ career by providing the best global opportunities. The platform has got exponential growth after successful internship completion by the associated students with researchers from SAIL (Stanford AI Lab) and Oxford University.

Students work on research projects with professors, graduate students, PhDs, and PostDocs of top universities including Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Oxford, UC Berkeley, CMU, Yale, Princeton and more. The end goal is to publish top-quality papers through a collaborative effort.


THE CHALLENGE

To identify the major challenges encountered by students interested in research internships and professors who are searching for applicants to work on their projects. Design a solution that could assist and provide information wherever they might face a problem.



02   THE SOLUTION

Designing a Web Platform

The solution proposed is a web-based application that lists opportunities posted by professors and viewed by students, also include a chat system to communicate on the application. Students can search for internships based on their fields of interest and form a community of professors and students.


03   THE PROCESS

From Concept to Live Product. Yes, we shipped it!


Research


Comparative Analysis
User Persona
User Stories


Synthesis


Site Map
Brand Identity


Prototype


Sketches
Wireframes
Hi-Fi Prototypes
Design System



04   RESEARCH + SYNTHESIS

Understanding Business Needs and User Needs

Comparative Analysis

To understand how to place Ignitus in the business space, I looked into competitors that offered internship search services. I found two companies - The Intern Group and Idealist which provided internship searching services and analyzed them to find out what they offered, their advantages and their drawbacks. I also looked at alternatives like Internshala and AngelList and found out their advantages and their drawbacks.

By looking at these different platforms, I focused on who to design for? (the user base) and what kinds of features and functionalites Ignitus should offer.


User Persona

Through the existing research at Ignitus, we found out that the target user group would be undergraduate students in countries like India, Brazil, China, and Indonesia. The team came up with a user persona to understand a student’s goals and frustrations. Consider Jimmy who represents a student who is trying to search for a job/research in his specific field and at the same time wants to build his resume strong. So basically he served as my primary persona which I wanted to focus on for this project.



User Stories

The user story represents the core features of the platform. Here, we also display the different features that are to be released in the upcoming versions of the platform in two-week sprints.


Site Map

After the team had brainstormed potential solutions and analyzed pain points, a site map outlining features that need to be developed was created. This allowed us to get a grasp of how the platform would work system-wide. This allowed me to understand the information architecture and how to design a step-by-step process of finding and applying to internships.


Brand Identity

At this stage of product development, we already had insights into the company perspective. So it was the right time to look upon the branding aspect of the application.

Gathering the insights about the education platform we decided to choose a blue color, since blue is associated with open spaces, freedom, trust, loyalty, sincerity. We wanted to create a platform to facilitate communication between professors and students, and we wanted to find a font expressing a friendly and human feeling. That’s why we chose the font - "American Typewriter".




05   PROTOTYPE

Collaborating and Designing, Remotely

Design System

We designed the application using Figma since it allowed us to collaborate remotely. Based on the site map, we had to understand how to integrate all of the different features under one common platform. It was an interesting experience for me since I was collaborating with other designers and we brainstormed a lot about how to design the interface and represent the information in a way that can be easily understood by the user.

Base UI Kit

Color System


Final Prototype Screens

Sign Up

Sign Up Options

Sign Up Form


Login

Login Options

Login Form

Login Form - Error State


Onboarding

Onboarding (1/2)


Onboarding (2/2)


Student's View

Student Feed

Student Feed - Alternate Exploration


Student Profile

Student Profile - Edit Mode


Professor's View

Professor - Feed

Professor - Jobs Board


Professor - Job Description

Professor - Job Applicants


Internships

Internships - List

Internships - Detail


Internships - Apply

Internships - Share

Internships - Success State


Internships - Saved

Internships - Applied


Settings

Settings - General

Settings - Password


Settings - Messaging

Settings - Blocked Users


Settings - Account Deletion (1/2)

Settings - Account Deletion (2/2)


Messages

Messages - Menu

Messages - Detail View


Messages - New Message

Messages - Recipient Suggestions


Messages - Forward Message

Messages - Reply View


Notifications

Notifications - Present Status

Notifications - Empty Status




06   IMPACT

Going Live!

After the prototyping phase, I handed my designs off to developers and had review sessions to understand what was technically feasible. I understood the importance of design systems and how they translated to reusable web components.

The developers built a React App and it was satisfying to see my designs come to life. After we shipped the new version of the product, our user base grew from 286 users to 1178 users in two months!