Tigerbook is a directory application that allows students to learn more about and to connect with their peers. Tigerbook has stored student information like hometowns, roommates, and dorm room numbers, enabling students to find shared backgrounds and locate one another to drop off care packages. However, in September 2019 a major privacy update where most student information was removed was implemented after many students expressed privacy concerns. With only student names and photos left, Tigerbook lost most of its value as a student resource for social connection, so ResInDe came in with the goal of restoring its initial value while also addressing student concerns. As much of what made Tigerbook so useful was the information it contained, the now bare-bone version of Tigerbook has lost much of its value among students. Our goal was understanding how we can bring back the value to the application.
At A Glance
- Manasseh Alexander '21
- Ashley To '22
- Sophie Torres '21
- Ameya Vaidya '24
- User Interviews
- User Testing
- User Surveys
- Affinity Mapping
- User Journey Mapping
- Feasibility vs. Priority Graph
- User Personas
How might we provide engaging information & capabilities while balancing privacy concerns?
Reflecting themes of reliability and connectivity.
Our solution to restore Tigerbook’s core value of allowing students to build and foster connection was to provide student information under an opt-in condition. We also focused on creating a welcoming user experience to reflect its themes of reliability and connectivity.
Putting faces to names.
In our initial phase, we conducted eight user interviews and spoke with students about their experience to learn more about Tigerbook’s value. To get a comprehensive picture, we made sure to speak with students who had experience with the previous Tigerbook as well as first-years who only knew of it post-update. We synthesized these interviews using affinity maps and journey maps.
The most popular use cases from these interviews were:
- Attributing faces to names
- Contacting someone for permissions to look at their room before room draw
- Finding someone’s room to drop off a gift or for club pick-ups
- Finding useful information about peers out of curiosity or to connect with based on similar interests
Our research findings highlighted that Tigerbook’s value was more than the information it provided—it was also how that information acted as a stepping stone to support other activities. Understanding what students found useful shed light on how we could re-design Tigerbook to fit those needs without overstepping privacy boundaries.
After the user interviews, we wanted to gain a wider perspective on what information users would find valuable. We sent out a school-wide survey asking students what information they would find valuable and received over 75 responses. This survey solidified the features we were considering while helping weed out unnecessary ones.
Not a social network, but a student resource.
We ideated different approaches from a social media approach with friends-only profile visibility to adding interest outside of academics. Each idea had their pros and cons, but we ultimately decided to approach the major use case of Tigerbook as a student resource. This helped shape the pathway we wanted by avoiding the exclusive nature of the social media, friend-reliant idea and remaining centralized on Princeton-specific interests.
As a core piece to this project was privacy, we balanced privacy and valuable information through an opt-in system. This way, consent by the user is required before any information is shared.
Getting the details right.
In our design, we implemented four main features:
- Control and access to more information
- A new search bar that supports the additional information
- A flexible profile
- A fresh, welcoming design
Control and access to more information.
We open the app with a mandatory, one-time only form where the user fills out information they want shown on their profile. Every student must go through the form once before they can access Tigerbook, as this is the central solution we created to address privacy concerns.
A search bar that supports the new information.
With new, additional information, our design requires a smooth experience for the user to search by that information. To best support Tigerbook’s value of fostering connections, we created a filter to more efficiently find others with similar interests. The search bar in our design visually shows all the available filters allowing the user to easily and more precisely find who they are looking for. As easily as it shows filters, we provide the option for users to hide these filters if they prefer to use search words instead.
With each selection made in the filter, the selection is clearly displayed at the top of the search bar by an orange pill and each menu is activated with color to indicate that there is an active filter. This provides clear system visibility to the user as they do not have to recall which filters are active and can delete an active filter with ease.
Once the user reaches the search results page, the filters adjust to follow a vertical layout on the left hand side of the screen in order to maximize the screen space while still remaining accessible to the user.
A flexible profile.
The core of Tigerbook boils down to the profile. Whether it’s putting names to faces or looking up an email, the profile is the end goal for our users. Thus, it brings the question: how can we design the best profile page that attains the user’s goal?
Our design mimics a “prox” which is the student ID card on campus. The card itself displays the core information that each user has (class year, netID, residential college, major). Additionally, if the user fills out optional information such as pronunciation or nicknames, those will appear here.
A fresh face for Tigerbook.
As our central re-design is to balance privacy with valuable information, we wanted to reflect this in the visual design. We focused on the core adjectives of:
We did so by using rounder assets and fonts, icons, and warmer colors. Our team member, Sophie Torres ‘21, redesigned the new logo for Tigerbook to emulate this vision as well.
Considering privacy from the start.
Privacy is a growing concern in the rapidly evolving tech world. Backtracking a product due to privacy concerns, especially one as reliant on personal information as Tigerbook, could be avoided had privacy been considered from the start. Backtracking is never easy because the value of information itself cannot be replaced, but understanding why and how that information is useful allows us to explore opportunities to bring back that value ethically.