How might we engage students to improve the facility-maintenance system for universities ?


Fixar is a mobile-based system for facility maintenance and repair in universities that encourages the engagement of students.

Fixar simplifies the reporting process and provides information transparency for students. On the staff side, it offers automatic task distribution and one-click notification to community to reduce the workload.


Solo Project

5-day design exercise
Feb, 2020

my role

Preliminary Research
User Research
Contextual Interview
User Flow
Interaction Design
Visual Design




Well-functioning facilities benefits both the students and staffs in universities. Yet maintenance and repair work for facilities are overwhelming for staffs. So how to engage students in this process to improve the upkeep of campus is a challenging design question.


I designed a mobile-based app to improve the experiences for both students and staffs in facility maintenance and repair.

On students’ side, I found that students are more motivated in a transparent report system that they could track the report progress and evaluate them. Also, easy reporting experience is a powerful nudge for their engagement.

On staffs’ side, providing automatic work distribution and one-click notification would free them from heavy and tedious work.


I started with learning the status quo by inspection and existing researches. To better empathize with both students and staffs, I interviewed them and thus pictured a clear journey map, which led to clear design principle.

Based on the solid research, I delivered mid-fidelity and hi-fidelity prototypes.

Jump to the deliverable if you want to see the high-fidelity prototypes.

view mockups


What does the current facility maintenance and repair system look like?  To answer this question, I inspected the facilities in the campus and did secondary research.

# inspection finding

Unique IDs can only be found in large facilities.

What does the current facility maintenance and repair system look like?  To answer this question, I inspected the facilities in the campus and did secondary research.


#1 Priority matters.
#2 Structure of the system matters.
#3 Simplicity and Unity of reporting matters.
#4 Feedback Matters.

  • Complaints are responded to based on their urgency. So priority matters. See Table 4.
  • The structure and working procedure of Client Services Center might differ in different schools. See Figure 2 and "How system works" on the right.
  • The report system should unified and simple. Fragmentation will encourage delays increase maintenance costs and worsen users' frustration and disappointment.
  • Feedback mechanism improves users' satisfaction
Caution: The year of the paper is old and the location of this case is in Malaysia, so the inference should be cautious.
Reference: Lateef, O. A., Khamidi, M. F., & Idrus, A. (2010). Building maintenance management in a Malaysian university campus: a case study. Construction Economics and Building, 10(1-2), 76-89.


To understand how students and staffs in charge both act in this system, I need to interview two groups of people separately. I found 4 students and 1 technical operations manager who was in charge of the stuff in my school. For students, my goal was to picture their journey from discovering to reporting issues. For staff, I’d like to figure out their working procedure and system structure.

# interview finding 1

Students: Information clarity and transparency and easy reporting process would reduce reporting barrier and improve engagement.

Students reported being troubled by (1) not knowing who to turn to; (2) sometimes  reporting via email was not convenient; (3) feedbacks/updates of the reported cases were rare and easily missing.

# interview finding 2

Staffs: Collecting and distributing issues are tedious and overwhelming. Notifying community via email was also a big time-consuming work.

The staffs collected complaints from several places like email, administrators, in-person contact, etc. and then prioritized and distributed. If this belonged to the property of the school, the staff would his colleagues who was in charge of certain areas to tackle with the complaint. If this belonged to the university level, the staff would inform the university department for help. Important maintenance and repair required timely email notification to the community, which also took lots of time.


After the interview, I gained a lot more sense about the students and staffs behaviors. I concluded as two separate personas and drew the system map which showed design opportunities to improve the experience for both parties..

# inspection finding

Unique IDs can only be found in large facilities.

What does the current facility maintenance and repair system look like?  To answer this question, I inspected the facilities in the campus and did secondary research.

student persona
staff persona
system map
happy pathes for both side

Key Design Decisions


For students, getting info of facility status timely helps them better manage their living and study plans in the campus. For staff, synchronizing info between them and students also boosts their efficiency and service satisfaction.


The complexity of reporting is the barrier preventing students to report. A simplified reporting process, thus, will increase the conversion rate from discovery to reporting.


For staff, a considerable time was spent on the distribution and notification process. Thus, finding ways reduce this amount of time helps improve their efficiency so that they can focus more on problem solving.

Visual design.

design for both partys.

Similar interfaces, different functions in the home page.

Students' user flow

Convenient report with clicking

Preset problems not only make students reporting more easily and accurately, but also help automatically distribute reported issues to whom is in charge.

Monitor the updates of issues with all in hand

The full transparency of the system allows all students check the progress of all reported issues, which serves as a positive feedback for students' reporting behavior.

Students can also be notified important issues via Alert Tab if they just want to know the issues that have impact on themselves. This filtering saves students' time.

staff's user flow

Workload reduced by automatic processing

Issues will be automatically distributed via intelligent system to who is in charge of the issue.

Once the staff receives the reported issue that he/she need to tackle with (the red dot issue) , he/she could finish most of the work within clicking, no matter alerting community or contacting preset contractors for this particular appliances. Simple and easy way to boost the efficiency of staffs' work.


Sign-up for both parties

student - report

staff - process