project showcase

Coastal Community

4-day design sprint, in collaboration with EY.
Coastal Community is a digital experience that would allow students to
join the Coastal university community based on their personal interests
and enjoy virtual community events.

A screenshot of web page

Project Overview

time of completion
4 Days
lead product Designer
adobe photoshop,


Coastal University is a comprehensive post-secondary institution, offering undergraduate degrees in a broad range of disciplines. Consequently, they maintain a diverse and vibrant student body.


COVID-19-related campus closure has impacted nearly every aspect of  the student experience. Being fully online means that the usual student onboarding ceremonies, events, communities, and clubs will need to adapt to an online model or be suspended indefinitely.

Impacted the most are first-year students, who are at risk of not feeling immersed in the campus experience or a part of a larger student community, resulting in loneliness, depression, and other mental health issues.


Leverage any digital technologies available to completely reimagine a first-year student’s education experience.

Day 1

Define the challenge


After we receive a project from our client, we begin to do research about the problem space.


Mature students mentioned the term "isolation" specially and felt it was a problem with online learning


Canadian university students reported feeling
"very lonely" in the past year

Many of the mature students express the feeling of isolation and loneliness due to online learning experience. With the given research insight, our team begin to start conducting an interview.

Conducting interview

The targeted audience for this project was mature student who are aged 25 years of age and older with some work experience. Based on this information, our team formed a proto-persona and created an interview participant criteria.

✔️ 25 years old and older

✔️ Have some work experience

✔️  1st year of school

✔️ Remote learning environment

Key insights

We interviewed 5 mature students and here is the key insights.


" I feel lonely because of strictly online experience and COVID-19 situation. "

" I have many friends from my past college, but it's hard to make a similarconnection in online"


" I have a fear of interrupting during a video call."

" I miss casual coffee chat during the breaks."


" One social event, and it was forced and didn’t feel relaxed or genuine."

" Social situation is quite overwhelming in this pandemic."

"How might we help mature students build connections organically to help reduce social isolation while learning remotely?"


After conducting a user interview and gather all the insights, we made our persona Sam. 

Sam is a full-time student who is looking for a career change during the pandemic. Sam has enrolled in an online learning course at Coastal University. She feels she is missing out on making connections organically, which she would have otherwise at an in-person learning environment.

Day 2

Inspiration + Sketch

Competitor analysis

After we defined our targeted user, we researched competitor products. Competitor analysis helps us to focus our efforts toward our targeted market and understand where our product stands in the market.

House party app

👍 Group video chat
👍 Easy communication
👍 Instant collaboration (chat, video call)
👍 Create group
👍 Game

Tinder app

👍 Connection suggestions
👍 Chat function
👍 Profile with user's interest

Facebook live app

👍 Live video streaming
👍 Chat function
👍 Easy setup

Main features to build


Show a list of students who are available for chat. Also, show mutual friends to start building a connection.


Engage mature students to join the campus community by suggestions based on the user's interest. Also, show the virtual community event to join.


Instant virtual chat/video chat for casual conversation with other students who are available to chat.
Provide an ice breaker to help students to start a meaningful conversation.

Concept sketching

After examining products and coming up with our product's main feature, we began sketching out our rough ideas. Then we dot-voted to choose the favourite elements from each sketch.

👍 Create a profile with user's interest
👍 Add people who are sharing same interest

👍 Chat function
👍 Video chat design

👍 Show students who are available for chat
👍 Search function to find students

👍 Search community
👍 Add virtual event to calendar
👍 Show students who is joining the event

User flow diagram

Before we transform our chosen ideas to the wireframe, we mapped out the required page of our product and created a general user flow to see the product's overall picture. Also, it helped us to find an opportunity to create a more seamless user experience.


We created a storyboard to visually predicts and explores a user's experience with a product. The storyboard also helped us understand the flow of the user's interaction with a product over time and remind us of what's essential for users.

Day 3

Design + Prototype

Brand guideline

For this project, we must design the product by using the Coastal Community brand guideline. The design solution reflect the primary brand colours [#23BE36, #36285D, #3A3A3A, #FFFFFF] and using Avenir as a primary font. We also followed  WCAG and AA complaint to design our product.

medium fidelity wireframe

As a lead designer of the team, I tried to design a product by applying the inspirations and elements to display the required page that follows the user flow. We used this mid-fi wireframe to run user testing.


Feedback + Changes

✅ Apply brand logo to display brand identity

✅ Change community that are fully available for virtual event

✅ Incoming call is more understandable

✅ Add more visual hierarchy

✅ Show how group video call works

Day 4

Pitch presentation


After we finish our hi-fi prototype, we made slide deck to explain our design thinking process. Our presentation to the EY | BrainStation went well. We also received valuable feedback and complement towards our design from Executive Strategy Director  and Business Director of EY.

High fidelity prototype

Test the final prototype👆

key learning


Design sprint runs as a team and gathers all individual's ideas and skills. Respecting each other's idea and trust my teammate was very important to run this project successful.


As a UX designer, we run each design process based on the HMW question and our user's needs. It's essential to wear a user's hats to design a product that delivers a delightful experience.


One of the feedback we got from EY was to explore different products to get a unique idea. Inspiring from other design patterns will create product differentiation from other competitors.

If you would like any additional details at all or insights into a
specific process, feel free to reach out!