Doors to Explore: A Case Study

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Doors to Explore (DTE) is an educational startup that aims to help young students explore potential STEM career pathways with the vision of nurturing a generation of a growing STEM workforce. My team at General Assembly was tasked with creating a design solution for DTE that would provide a multi-sided platform for students to explore and potential employers to engage.


Ania Gall, Kelly Neuner, Lalita DeSouza


Design an iOS platform used by young high school and college students in the US.


UX Designer, Visual Design Lead, Presentation Lead

date & Project Length

March 2018 (3 weeks)



An exploratory tool that both educates students about potential STEM careers, and fosters engagement with featured employers. The prototype:

1. Simplifies the wealth of content provided by the client

2. Improves the overall Usability and Findability of information

3. Delights the user to retain engagement.  

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Helping young students to explore STEM careers

By 2022, America will need more than 1 million college graduates with STEM training. 10 of the top 14 fastest-growing industries require STEM training. Additionally, traditional middle-skills jobs, such as manufacturing, that once required only a high school diploma now require a greater STEM background.


Students' barriers to stem

My perception changed once I discovered what tech actually was and what roles existed.”
Having a technical job without a technical background, I’m always playing catch-up.”
As a Math major, I was told I could work in finance or be an actuary, neither of which appealed to me.”

Initial problem statement

Students may have a general idea of what field or interests they want to pursue, but aren’t aware or knowledgeable of all of the career opportunities available to them in STEM fields.

How might we help students discover and connect with valuable STEM education and career options that fulfill their needs?


Our Challenge

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Our biggest challenge was to ensure a clear, guided, and delightful experience that would retain engagement given the wealth of content. There was also a limitation to what kind of content was available, as it was organically sourced from the DTE team. Key features were prioritized based on the organization's current capabilities.

Research considerations

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More than 50% of users said...

...people were the most influential factor in career and college consideration.

  • Friends & Family: 11/ 17 Users

  • School Staff: 11 / 17 Users

  • Ancillary People: 7 / 17 Users


15 out of 17 Users...

...said natural talent and personal interest were the most influential factors in making decisions.

3 out of 17 Users...

...said the most valuable resource was hands-on experience.

Solution Considerations

Students need to:

  • Discover unfamiliar areas of STEM
  • Use the platform over time
  • Find information about the breadth of responsibilities one job one encompass
  • Interact with visually-engaging data

Employers need to:

  • Build brand awareness
  • Connect with students earlier for greater influence

Solution overview

What does our Design solution do?

Organize, simplify, and condense Doors to Explore's wealth of content.

Improve the overall Usability and Findability (two heuristic principles that ask, Is it able to be located across channels? Is it capable of producing the user’s desired or intended result?)

Guide users into creating a visual career pathway through exploration.

Delight the user to retain engagement.