UX Designer

Jan 22 - July 22


Study Buddies is a website that helps local students find other students based on subject to form study groups with.

The Problem

Not every study group fits into a student schedule and large study groups aren’t productive for some students.

Project Overview

The Goal

Design a website app for students who are looking for study buddies that are available when they are.

Study Buddies

Mobile and Web App for Students

User Research


Assumptions and Research

I conducted interviews and created empathy maps to understand the users I’m
designing for and their needs. A primary user group identified through research were students and adults that would like to continue their education beyond their degree.

This user group confirmed initial assumptions for the need some students have for a dedicated study app. Some users found platforms like Facebook useful, but distracting with its other social features and other sites lacked social features that they wanted.

Pain Points

Users found that some sites had so many other social features that they could get lost in everything else and lose focus on studying with other students.

Users wanted to be able to easily keep track of the files that they have uploaded on their account, so if they needed to post it to two groups, but they weren’t on their main device they could attach the file from their profile to the 2nd group

Some major group sites lacked chat features either private chats between 2 or more users or within groups.



Chat features


User Journey Map

Mapping Mary’s user journey revealed how helpful it would be for
users to have access to a dedicated site for study groups.

Site Map

Privacy is a concern and will be able to be set by the user in their profile settings. By default the user’s profile will be private.
There will be events created for groups, but events can also be created independently of a specific group.


Taking the time to draft iterations of each screen of the app on paper ensured that the elements that made it to digital wireframes would be well-suited to address user pain points. For the home screen, I prioritized a easy access to groups and events that the user is interested in.

I wanted to make sure that the three icons present in the desktop version of the site was still easily accessible and the two side panels accessible through a hamburger menu placed on the same line as the other icons

Paper Wireframes

Digital Wireframes

I made sure that the user’s groups were listed and easily accessible. The home page shows all activity from groups, events, and chats that the user is involved in.

The user’s groups are easily accessible

Upcoming events are easy to find and explore

Digital wireframe
screen size variation(s)

The goal of the mobile layout is that the same features would be easy to access regardless on if the user is on a mobile device.

Low-Fidelity Wireframes

Using the paper wireframes, I created a low-fidelity prototype. The primary user flow is account creation and viewing the activity, events, and chat feed so it could be used in a usability study.

View the Study Buddies
low-fidelity prototype

Useability Study

Users wanted to create their own events and groups
Users wanted filtering options on the search feature

Users wanted to be able to easily upload files to their account from different locations on the site.

Mockups and Changes

Added the ability for users to filter their search results

Removed “Your” from view of user’s Buddies. Added “See More” buttons for Buddy and User profiles

High-fidelity Prototype

The final high-fidelity prototype presented cleaner user flows for creating an account, events, and groups. It also met user needs for viewing all of the files that they have uploaded.

View the Study Buddies high-fidelity prototype

Accessibility Considerations

Make sure that all fonts are a readable style and size

Make sure there is enough color contrast for all parts of the site

Allow users to add alt text for any images they upload to the site.


What I Learned

The website lets busy learners find study groups that work with their schedule.

One quote from peer feedback:
“It was easy to create an account and find groups I wanted to join.”

While designing Study Buddies, I learned that as a project is built out, the more features that you will think of, some essential to the function you are trying to achieve, some not as essential.

Next Steps

  • Conduct another round of usability studies to validate whether the pain points users experienced have been effectively addressed.
  • Conduct more user research to determine any new areas of need.