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Barrett, The Honors College provides its students with many resources to succeed, and most information about these resources are located on the Barrett website. But due to issues with user experience and user interface design on the website, many students are not able to locate these resources, therefore, preventing students from taking full advantage of what Barrett has to offer. This potentially leads current students to perceive that being in the Barrett program does not benefit them, eventually leading to burn out and even withdrawal from Barrett. By improving the experience for Barrett students in the “Academics” section of the site, which is the section of the site Barrett students tend to have the most experience with, the Barrett site’s image (and therefore, Barrett’s image as a whole) will improve among students.
This project involved looking at the websites of fifteen other honors colleges and programs to compare their implementations of academic requirements information, advising information, and thesis/creative project information with Barrett's. These findings as well as general observations made about the Barrett site are discussed, and suggestions on how to resolve major issues are given. Through looking at the Barrett site from a student’s perspective, the goal of this project to provide a glimpse into what students find problematic about the site, and what students would do to fix these problems.
The Barrett Honors College website contains a lot of information that isn’t easily accessible by Honors Students. Many honors students have trouble finding the correct information they need. Important information is scattered all over the website making it difficult for honors students to find and understand the information they need. One example of this is the requirements for Lower and Upper Division credit. This website displays the upper and lower division credit needed for a student to graduate from the honors college via a noninteractive flowchart. Many high school seniors find it difficult to understand the mundane flowchart outlining the required honors credit that is required for graduating from Barrett at Arizona State University. Also, it is confusing for many transfer students with unique circumstances to determine the necessary requirements for them to graduate as a Barrett student.
These difficult flowcharts and confusing websites have a huge impact on a student’s ability to adequately receive the information they need and, in the end, can have a negative impact on their ultimate decision when deciding if Barrett is right for them. A better user experience can be a more effective way of displaying information to students. A better design that allows to user more interaction would allow for the user to better understand the information they are presented. Instead of a monotone flowchart displaying the requirements necessary to graduate with honors status, A web application where a user can input their information and get an output of the necessary requirements tailored to the unique circumstance would be more informative, useful, and easier to use. The web app would take information such as a student’s year, whether it be an incoming freshman or transfer student, and their current and previous course credit to determine the specific number of honors credits, The Human Event courses, and Thesis project required for this user to complete the requirements for Barrett Honors College. This application would give the user a better understanding of what is required of them and in turn lead to a better user experience.
The Phoenix area, is known for suburban sprawl which did not happen in isolation but was the result of many external factors. It was not just large environmental and cultural factors that changed over time, but the actual physical characteristics of sprawl that have changed from community to community over the decades. Characteristics like physical size of houses and lot size, along with changes in the residential and commercial design and building style have changed from around the 1950s to present day, with homes being larger and covering more of each parcel. These characteristics were analyzed in 21 communities in the Phoenix area that were built from 1950 to 2019 to find how these characteristics have changed over time. While the issue of sprawl will never fully go away, by learning what the characteristics are that make up the definition of sprawl, stakeholders like cities, planners, and developers will have better knowledge for planning for tomorrow.