NYU Albert Redesign Challenge


This is a two week individual project focusing on redesign the NYU Albert course selection system. Currently, NYU is using Oracle’s Campus Solution suite to manage their student center. This system is truly user unfriendly. Although gaining a lot of complain, it is hard to totally redesign the entire system because there is too many connection inside that need to be modified. This project, by creating an independent course selection website, users can be directly guide to a clear new website and finished the course enrollment process in this system without bothering by Albert.

Comparative Analysis:

To understand the general information needed for a course selection website. I selected and evaluated a total 6 websites including 4 current college course selection system(Penn State University, Ohio State University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Stevens Institute of Technology) and 2 online learning websites(Lynda and Udemy). 

I breakdown key features and conducted a quantitative analysis. Compared the similarity and difference of the workflow between these websites is very helpful to define the main features of a course selection website.


User Interview


How do you feel about NYU Albert

What makes you unsatisfy with it?


I created a survey with target questions to understand behavior regarding course selection. A total of 12 random NYU students, both undergraduate and graduate, were interviewed. They were been asked their pain point and other experiences about using Albert.

It is unsurprisingly to find out nobody likes using Albert. Most of the complain comes from the format of the website design.

Key Finding:

  • People want all the information they need automatically displayed on screen instead of manually click many times.
  • People want course selecting website as simple as possible but still provide enough information so they do not need to go Google for extra.

User Persona

Personas were developed based in the behaviors noted during the interviews and responses to the survey.

User Flow

The user flow is created based on the actions, attitudes, and motivators of interviewee as well as the persona of James. 



Wireframe and User Testing

After analyzing the interviews and creating user flows I made two iterations of paper prototype.


  • Although does not mention during initial user interview, about 50% of students would like to have a keyword searching feature. 30% of them even treated them as the most important feature in course searching website, most of them are above sophomore.
  • Users tend to use as less back bottom in browser as possible.


  • Add keyword searching feature in main searching page and back bottoms in result and detail page.
  • Change the use of some language, for example use "backpack" instead of "cart". According to the feedback, "cart" reminds users of something related to money while "backpack" have stronger relation with school and knowledge.  



By contextual Inquiry, I noticed that 5/8 of users think the 3 searching method are a combined feature. So I decided to combined them together and let user decide which method they would like to use for searching a class. The final wireframe contains 3 main components: 

  • A searching page which have three types of filter for course selection: keyword, criteria and advanced feature. In criteria search user can choose different semester, school and major. In advanced there are filters that already existing in current NYU course selection system(credit, location, etc.) and also "break" and "other major" filter. In "break" user can add time they do not wish to have class. In "other major" user can add more major that may provide similar courses.
  • A search result page which contains all the courses match the search criteria. I organized all information in a table form in order to make it virtually clean and easy to find. User can delete criteria and the result will reload according to the new criteria.
  • A "backpack" page which shows all courses user selected. Can directly enroll from backpack or save them in wishlist.