The Career Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers professional and career development services to all University students. They engaged with Pixo to build a custom scheduling and event management system. With highly complex business rules, multiple user types and numerous exceptions, this project provided many interesting problems to solve, and Pixo loved the challenge!

Rigorous Research

With a diverse staff, thousands of students to serve, and a variety of locations, services and events, coordinating all of The Career Center’s moving parts is a major undertaking. In the last academic year alone, The Career Center served more than 28,000 individual students. Clearly, such a highly trafficked service requires a sophisticated and time-sensitive management system.

Pixo began with a rigorous research phase. Through on-site observation and staff interviews, our UX team gained an extensive understanding of what the new system needed to do. To further this understanding, we dissected the old system, creating workflow diagrams of its functionality and analyzing where it succeeded and where it failed. By the end of phase one, we knew The Career Center as well as they knew themselves and were able to combine their scheduling, drop-in services, staff calendars and events together into a modern browser-based web application.

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Succinct Data Management

When designing the new system, we knew that time-sensitivity was a must. The new system needed to show the right information to the right people at the right time in order to truly bring order to the hustle and bustle of The Career Center.

With improved workflows and additional features, the new system fills in the functionality gaps of the old. For instance, event management had historically been a major pain point for The Career Center team. Bringing the management of events into the same system used for scheduling counseling appointments and organizing staff calendars allows The Career Center team to quickly and holistically manage their days.

Multiple Interfaces

The new system includes two additional interfaces for student use: an in-office kiosk to allow students to self-check-in for appointments and an event kiosk also for self-check-in to track event participation. These new kiosks free up time for the staff, improving the efficiency of traffic flow in the office and collecting important data to help The Career Center team analyze their services.

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After

Design and Development

Aesthetically, the old system was also in need of a major facelift. Pixo’s design team created a modern and fresh look for the new system, and the development team was able to seamlessly execute the design’s vision by building a robust backend API using Symfony and the front end web app with AngularJS.

In addition to continuous Quality Assurance testing that was conducted throughout the course of the project, towards the end the development team conducted on-site testing workshops every week with a team of The Career Center staff members; during these workshops, The Career Center staff tested all possible use cases of the system while the development team observed. This helped streamline the testing process and ensured a high quality and accurate final product.

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