Case Study

University of Toronto

Graduate Student Progress Module


With over 17,000 graduate students across all campuses, the University of Toronto needed an updated graduate progress tracking solution that allowed students to submit requests online and faculty to monitor and track their students.


University of Toronto
Graduate Student Progress Module
(Responsive Web Application)

What we did

  • User Experience Design
  • User Interface Design
  • System Architecture
  • Database Design
  • Responsive Web App Development


With the wave of new graduates in the fall, we were engaged by the University of Toronto with a three month deadline to rebuild their graduate student management system. Due to this time constraint, the University of Toronto initially proposed to build additional features on an existing platform that exposed text fields with complicated JSON structures for users to interact with.

We knew this would continue to discourage student adoption despite the additional features.

Try convincing every graduate student and graduate faculty member to edit the example below. Good luck!

Try convincing every graduate student and graduate faculty member to edit the example on the right. Good luck!

We proposed an overhaul of their back-end and front-end systems, allowing faculties to confidently promote this new system, while adhering to brand guidelines.

Original Interface

Interface Overhaul

First Iteration
Third Iteration


Within the initial proposed timelines, Quantum Mob restructured the user flow into a smaller set of intuitive, user-friendly screens that gave control to students and allowed them to check up on the status of progress applications. We rebuilt the platform from the ground-up.

The target audience being majority students, we knew that mobile support was also a key component in pushing user-adoption.

Logins were tied into the University of Toronto’s central IT to allow students to user their existing logins with the system.


The existing graduate student management portal was built with legacy technologies. Realizing the security risks, we built the system with the latest version of Java and Tomcat. We hardened the application with up-to-date web security standards, and optimized database requests to reduce calls and cache where possible.

User Experience & User Interface Design

Our creative team worked with staff and students to restructure the application based on user stories and actual use-cases. The application was reduced to a handful of pages, optimizing critical paths while keeping focus on context.

API Development

Using Java 8 and Spring, we built a secure web API with ORM support and caching. We minimized slow external requests and integrated with their single sign-on system.

Web Application Development

We used Angular.js on the front-end to keep a consistent enterprise stack. With 50% of traffic originating from mobile devices, we built every screen and interaction to feel natural on a phone.

Results & Takeaway

At the end of the day, the results are the only thing that matter. The project was implemented and presented to students and key stakeholders.

  • 2 weeks designing
  • 4 months building
  • 17,000 users

The ecstatic reception granted the Graduate Studies department an opportunity to demo the project across campus for every faculty. As it stands, the current demand for faculty adoption far exceeded all expectations.

Ready to launch?

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