Product Design | User Research

Revamped International Internship System at IIT Delhi: Enhanced Efficiency and Tracking

IP PORTAL connects IIT Delhi students with international internships and research projects, helping both students and international professors streamline the hiring process.

Context

IIT Delhi consists of students opting for international internships with IIT D's international partners and collaborators.

However, IIT Delhi's student applications for international internships increased drastically and partner organizations grew 2.5x.


8x

2.5x

Number of organizations

Number of applications

.

Stakeholders in the Current System

Professors

Students

IIT Delhi

International universities

IP Stuff

T.A

IP Team

Dean IP

Support team

INFORMED

STAKEHOLDERS

INVOLDED

STAKEHOLDERS

CORE

STAKEHOLDERS

Current Processes

#1 Individual's Process

“There is no involvement from the International Team side, as student apply for their internship and the approximate conversion rate is 10 to 20%”

Student do cold e-mails

Get response from a few prof

Shortlisting processes

Selected for internship

Challenges:

  • Difficulty in getting a response

  • Lack of trust

#2 IIT Ds Process

IP Team connects to universities abroad.

Opportunities are shared on IP website

Student apply through google form

List shared with the professors

Selection process is done by professor

Final result to be declared by professor

Challenges:

  • Difficulty in tracking

  • Issues with the verification of information

  • No follow-ups for the opportunities

  • A great load of applications

Proposal

We hoped to address this question

How might we make it faster for students and professors to complete recruitment and patterns and overcome the choke and breakpoints?

Solution Overview

An optimized internship application system.

We worked on redefining the existing system that makes the entire process efficient, centralized, and, transparent. After narrowing down the scope of the problem we worked on guiding by focusing on three subareas:


  1. Integrate System: The current system is scattered and disjointed; the new system is collaborative

  2. Improved Information Architecture: Enhanced grouping and search functionalities to centralize the workflow and provide more agency to professors and the IP team

  3. Views: Clear views for floated applications and applicant tracking for transparent functioning.

How did we do this?

Initial explorations & research

Objective: For 3 weeks, our goal was to understand various needs and challenges and research and explore various ways to effectively create a centralized system and fast-track the process.

Methodology: To gain a comprehensive understanding, we conducted interviews with 15 individuals - the IP Team, students, and teaching aids of international professors. Our primary aim was to discover their methods for tracking student progress and growth.

Individualistic Approach

  • Applications were handled individually without institutional support, relying only on a few leads.

  • Also, some students put false information to pass through the screening process.

Dated system interaction

  • The current system follows the processes of old ways of functioning and interaction - which makes it difficult to manage across different stakeholders

Trust Factor

  • The opportunities that are provided as well as the changed through which they are approached need to be trusted

  • Applicants' information needs to be authentic as well.

Disjointed Experiences

  • The system was fragmented, lacking cohesion to provide meaningful insights into application status.

  • It is difficult to keep track of the volume of applications

Task flow analysis: Mapping out the workflows was also challenging as the application process involves many different touch‑points and flows with different users.

PROCESS MAPPING

Present Process

IP team approaching different universities

IP Team

Student

List down possible universities

Contact those universities

Ask for list of intern openings


High

Low

Easy approach.

Different way of sharing or float internship

Easy way for applying internship

A way to reduce this step by direct sending the list

Easy communication solution

Constant monitor not only at end

List the approved opportunities

Get approved from Dean

Ask the admin to upload on website


IP team floats google forms

Collect the list student want to apply

Verification of CGPA

Google form list sent to the abroad professor

Along with the list detail also send

Details of the selection process sent to the IP team

IP team conveys the message to student

Student get into the interview process

Selected list sent to IP team for final check

IP Team updating the list of people selected and inform the dean

IP Team

Dean

Admin

Student

IP Team

IP Team

Professor

Professor

IP Team

Student

Professor

IP Team

Dean

STEP 1

Sharing the internship opportunities on our website

STEP 2

Student applying them through google form floated by IP Team

STEP 3

List is being sent to university professor

STEP 4

PROCESS

INVOLVED

STAKEHOLDERS

TASK LIST

Emotion and

Situation State

Opportunities.

Pain Point

Approach university

Keeping Track

Sharing opportunity.

Aware student

Uploading on website

Floating Google forms

Sending List

Update of status

Conduct Selection Process

Dean monitor

Conveying updates

Keep track

Shortlisting student

Time Taking

Collect student details

Multiple Forms

CGPA verification

Selection Process by the professor

STEP 5

Final selected list to the IP team and Dean for approval

Final

Deeper Insights

After studying the entire ecosystem and looking into different user journeys of involved stakeholders, the identified problem is ambiguity in the entire process and long isolated functioning of different stakeholders for the application process which lacks trust and agency on the institute part.


In terms of the tools

  • They want the flexibility to be able to filter data by student, CGPA, stream, and skills.

Defining opportunity areas

COLLABORATION

OPTIMIZATION

TRANSPARENCY

Ideations

  • Access to the portal through IP website


    #can this be done some other way without logging in?


    #how will we share credentials?

    Access to the portal through IP website

    Access to the portal through IP website

  • Access to the portal through IP website


    #can this be done some other way without logging in?


    #how will we share credentials?

    Access to the portal through IP website

    Access to the portal through IP website

Card Sorting

Avaz AAC(Augmentative and Alternative Communication) is a picture-based Communication & Learning App for people with special needs such as Autism, Cerebral Palset etc. Avaz empowers people to communicate their thoughts, emotions, ideas, needs and wants and also assists them in language understanding and learning.

Information Architecture

Separate information architectures are created for each of the four dashboards, beginning with the website Information Architecture.

  • Professor Portal

  • Student Portal

  • IP Team Portal

  • Admin Portal

First round of explorations and feedback

We tested the designs and received feedback on the onboarding process for students, grouping of data in the forms + editing feature, and the need of application status in the application.

Creating the Design System

We took up the strategy of creating atoms, molecules and templates for our design elements. We went through multiple iterations for them and created a component system for the UI design.

Our Solution
#1 Centralized system - A new centralized system creates user flow which optimizes the entire flow of the process.
We created a portal for stakeholders — students, professors and, IP team members.

The existing system was scattered and lacked support from the institute. It lacks supervision and transparency.

#2 Bringing international professors on board

Initially, logging into the portal required creating an account and then setting up an internship, which was too complex and could lead to professors dropping out. The second phase aimed to fix this by simplifying the initial step.

IP Team connects to international universities for opportunities.

#Concept 1

They were asked to create an account on the portal

Create an internship for IIT D student

Verification of the internship by IP team

Initiate process of recruitment or reject and close the account

#Concept 2

Fill form with the details of internship

Verification of information by IP team

Creating account for the professor and sharing the credential with them

Initiate the process of recruitment

New method - hassle-free experience of floating the internship by filling just a form on the website.

#3 Managing and verifying data shared with other institutes to ensure best practices and honesty.

The students conveyed the lack of transparency and use of wrong information by some students. We decided to address this by being the central body of the system which manages and authenticates the data shared with other institutes.

.

We are also using initial Kerberos to extract information of the students from the university system.

#4 Students can apply to the floated application and track their applications.

.

#5 Opportunity management for the professors and students - to reduce the time spent on the hiring process.

Internship progress tracking.

Communicating with the students and managing with the multiple modes of communication.

Schedule Management

Shortlisting candidates and tracking the progress on every stage

Retrospective

Catering to user motivation

  • Methods for users to interact existed, but they weren't frictionless. Seeing the problems from the lenses of users led to the birth of the interaction and scheduling tabs and systems.

  • Indulging in a structured iterative process helps refine the design with constant feedback.

  • We are embracing flexibility and thinking holistically about the impact of our design on the institute's vision.

Wearing multiple hats

  • I tried various things in this project. It was my first independent project. From research planning + doing to ideating and creating a design system for the project.


  • The project helped me in dealing with ambiguity and create a structure for the design process.

Curated and designed with love, caffeine and berries.

Monika, 2024 🌼