Frankie Hayman Nudge
LecturersTim Turnidge, Karl Kane
"Each year it is estimated that 1 in 5 university students drop out after their first year of study. After extensive research with past, present and future students, I discovered a common thread. University course descriptions are “fluffy’ and uninformative, therefore there is a lack of radical transparency. This insight informed the foundation of my project, Nudge.
Due to studying within a creative field, the majority of students are creative and visual thinkers. However each year these students are provided with short course descriptions and minimal student work exemplars, making it hard to know what you’ll be studying. I decided to position my project around this specific issue.
Through research and my own experience, knowing older students can be critical when picking papers, yet many don’t have access to this ‘resource.’ This is where Nudge steps in. Nudge is an online tool that aims to help students within creative fields navigate curriculum through radical transparency, so they can make informed decisions when picking papers. This tool gives students access to student reviews, student work and alumni hindsight, acting as a window into the university experience. Once students have finished a paper, they are able to review their experience and upload any work they want to showcase to their peers. Depending on their review, this will generate suggested papers for the coming year, creating a radically transparent, ongoing and personalised system. By including alumni hindsight, students are able to see how opinions on papers may change overtime, creating nuance and encouraging deeper thinking towards their own future.
Nudge is designed as an online tool to be accessible to all students, both remote and onsite learners. When designing this platform, there were major tensions between being reliable yet casual, authoritative yet friendly. To combat this, specific design decisions were made. I paired casual everyday sayings like ‘Yeah, Nah’ with official university terminology to help create a casual tone of voice that still felt trustworthy and official. I used bright vibrant colours paired with a clean typographic layout, making it legible yet playful. Each time a student refreshes Nudge, there is a different colour combination hinting to the idea of inclusiveness and the diversity of students. The sliced side panelling links to filing, reiterating the aim to help students organise their curriculum. All decisions were influenced by extensive user testing and the help of my peers, the students. Overall the design method links to my project’s aim, as the style and navigation feels playful yet official, allowing students to still feel confident when picking papers, helping to maximise their time studying.
I believe Nudge has the potential to help more than just design and fine art students but students from a range of universities/polytechnics. The architecture could be white-labelled and applied to different educational systems, showing that Nudge is scalable not just within New Zealand but on an international level. This platform doesn’t determine a students academic pathway, it just helps nudge them in the right direction."