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Dreambase is an all-in-one platform that guides high school students in the college application process. 

Dreambase aims to offer inexpensive, detailed guidance similar to a seasoned consultant, crafting unique strategy to every high school student's individual profile.


Integrative Studio

My Role

UX Designer
Interaction Design


Winter 2022
(16 weeks)


Andre, Gina 

Tools Used

Figma, Adobe Illustrator, Miro

The Problem

Applying to college can be challenging and expensive, how might we demystify the college application process for low-income students and first generation students?

College admissions are becoming more competitive each year, high school students have little choice but to hire private admissions consultants. College consultants charge on average $200/hour. How might we help students who are on a budget succeed during the college application process?

In a nutshell...



How might we guide students on a budget through the college application process?



While some may afford it, many students can not afford private academic college consultants.



A free all-in-one platform that guides high school students in the college application process.

Design Process

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User Research

Empathizing with our users to better understand them.

We conducted research through Google surveys and collected a total of 52 responses from recent high school graduates from all over California. We carefully crafted questions on topics students cared about and what they found confusing about the college application process.

User Surveys  


struggled with navigating planning and deadline application management.


wished for more general guidance, timeline of application requirements and essay review.


of participants were not willing to pay over $200 for college consultant help.

User Interviews

"It was hard to navigate the process and figure out what the different steps were. Also obtaining proper documents, forms, there was just a lack of a checklist."

"Getting all the information required for different universities, I also wanted to know my exact chances on specific colleges and how I could potentially improve my grades."

"It was difficult to find inspiration when writing creative essays in response to the personal statements. I wanted to see what accepted essay topics were about."


Building out our super user.

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User Journey


Pain Points

  • Brandon does not know where to start or how to approach this application process and he feels that it takes an abundance of effort to google search and find resources on numerous website.

  • While working on the application process, he has a million things to get done and doesn't know where to start.

  • Brandon also does not feel confident about his essay and would like suggestions without having to wait weeks in advance to receive feedback.


Problem Space Exploration

While the college application becomes more competitive, students want to be a strong applicant when applying but expensive pricing is common when it comes to seeking admission consultants.

Students generally have a busy schedule while taking six or more classes and participating in extracurriculars, they feel too overwhelmed to spend hours searching for different website on how to apply to college. The best way to maximize efficiency is to build a platform that allows for all tools in one place.

Utilizing an all-in-one web platform that offers all the necessary resources for students will make the college application experience easier and faster.



User Flow

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Formative Assessment through User Testing

Through user testing we can ensure that our designs meet the requirements in terms of applications in the user's environment. Establishing objective evidence that this product conforms with user needs and intended uses is the goal. 

Participants: 5 high school students
Methodology: Goal-Oriented Task Assessment
Environment: Remote (Zoom)

4 Goal-Oriented Tasks

Goal 1: Sign up and navigate through the onboarding questions.

Goal 2: Explore and discover different universities.

Goal 3: View specific college admission chances based on academic portfolio,

Goal 4: Search database for student accepted essays to gain inspiration.

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Key Insights for Iterative Design

Students found it difficult to navigate the essay database and wanted a more categorized and popular topic selection within the essay database.

Students thought the dashboard did not offer enough assistance and wanted a guide on how to start the college application process instead of only offering tools. 

Students thought the dashboard did not offer enough assistance and wanted a guide on how to start the college application process instead of only offering tools. 

2nd Iteration Revisions based on Feedback

  • More detailed information (step-by-step) process for students to follow

  • Immediate action items for students to know exactly which items still need completion

  • College comparison list with acceptance calculator

  • More general detail on admission statistics per university

  • Popular topic examples for essays


Landing Page

Intuitive call to action on the landing page.

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The Sign Up Process

Users fill out a series of onboarding questions to personalize academic portfolio.

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The Dashboard

One view with all necessary tools along with AI assistance for reminders and advice. 

Compare your colleges

Easy comparison of colleges with different admission, college, and graduate statistics.

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Understand your chances

Want to know your chances getting into a college? Specialized chances based on your academic portfolio.

Essay Tools

Utilize editing tools that provides in-line feedback or discover accepted essays through our database.

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I learned how crucial it is to go into the research phase with no biases and no solution in mind. The interviews and user testing will likely provide insights that were not apparent before, and that is what the solution should be based on. It is easy to think of a solution beforehand, and only takeaway information from the research that confirms your initial beliefs, however, this will not solve the users true pain points.


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