SGA Student Health Portal
The UMD Student Government had a ton of helpful health- and wellness-related resources for students. They needed an elegant and intuitive way to display it.
Over the past few years, the SGA Committee on Health and Wellness had accumulated a long list of on- and off-campus resources for University of Maryland students.
These resources ranged from Suicide Prevention Hotlines to nearby pet care businesses. The Health & Wellness Committee came to the SGA Committee on Information Technology and asked us to:
With this extensive document in hand, a few of my committee members and I set out to create a clean, intuitive website. The challenge was to disseminate all of this information in a way that made sense to the average person visiting the website.
We began by conducting some informal interviews with students. We asked them what they would like from a health portal, and what they would expect to find on it.
Based on these interviews, we identified two quite distinct use cases and attached personas to these cases:
1. Sally has seen the platform before, and she's looking for a very specific resource. She might be in an emergency situation, or simply not looking to "look around".
In order to accomplish this, the committee created an information hierarchy with the goal of getting to any possible resource in a maximum of 5 clicks after landing on the home screen.
2. Ben is a freshman, and on the website for the first time. He is probably not in need of immediate attention, rather just looking to get informed on the resources here at UMD.
To this end, we incorporated "tags" into each resource. Some examples of tags include "free", "on-campus", and "confidential". These tags were curated by the Student Government Health & Wellness Committee. With this infrastructure in place, resources can now be grouped in several ways, allowing for browsing that diverges from merely category-to-category.
The color palette
The landing screen
We aimed to have this screen be as simple and actionable as possible. Having narrowed the resources into these 5 broad categories, we hoped to get the site visitors to the right resource, quickly.
The detail screen
Each resource was formatted to provide quick information. Phone numbers and URL links are placed first, in case the user quickly decides they need to navigate to the resource itself. The body of the text includes some more details about the resource, and the date at the top informs the user as to when this resource was last updated.
This feature was added in a later iteration to this project, after we felt that the site would stay pretty static and quickly become useless with outdated information. The submission screen lets students notify us of false information and input their own resources to be reviewed and added to the portal by our committee. The goal is to create a constant feedback channel and a dynamic where students are helping students.
Although this was a lower-scale project with a pretty straightforward solution, I really enjoyed leading a team to fix a problem that our fellow students were encountering. Because of this, I found this work to be extremely gratifying. I hope to continue iterating on this project to make it a useful resource for the diverse student body here at UMD, and explore how other universities could easily create a similar portal.