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Smart Advice is a gourmet social network solving an issue of a good dinning recommendations. It’s a unique algorithm developed in University of Trento it gives user a precise recommendations based on his taste, trusted people and knowledge of unique local aspects.

PlayMath is an application for schools, that helps kids to learn Math in a playful way. In the same time it helps teachers to plan a course program, make assignments, monitor how kids are doing with it on individual level and to have a overview of all class.

My role: UX/IU Designer
Client: Numedeon Inc.

Scope of work

  • Design an app for Math teachers

  • Design app for students

  • Brand identity

  • Design promo-website

Design Process

Project overview

Problem definition

User needs assumption

User Research
Competitor analysis
User Personas

App structure
Use Cases
Wireframes

Brand Style
UI Design
Hi-fi Prototype

Usability testing
Analysis

It was not a green field project: client has already successfully launched their Math puzzles in schools. Now it was a time to build a wider system around it with focus on Math teachers.

Problem definition

  • Math teacher are overloaded with work: teaching, administrative work, communication with parents.

  • Teachers need a convenient tool to prepare lessons and make assignments.

  • Monitoring execution of assignments

  • Statistics gathering

User Needs (assumptions)

  • Necessity to prepare divers lessons faster;

  • Quick class groups configuration;

  • Flexible way to make assignments;

  • Transparent report of class performance.

Interviews and Surveys

Research among teachers was prepared by me and conducted by our colleague on site. There were 20 questions which was covering educational process end-2-end. We were able to reach 5 Math teachers of elementary school.
3 small interviews were conducted by my colleague on site with young students, to figure out their thoughts about existing math puzzles and also to understand their usual flow with math studies.

3. UX Design

Use Cases for Teacher

  1. Log in to the system;

  2. Create Teacher’s Profile;

  3. Create Class and add students and their data;

  4. Manage student groups;

  5. Explore available materials;

  6. Design and develop assignments' program based on puzzles;

  7. Manage assignments: assign it to the groups;

  8. Real-time assignments monitoring: who is blocked/idle/ready etc.;

  9. Monitor students' progress over time, share it with parents.

Use Case : create assignment

Use case: manage assignment

Application Map

Sketches and wireframes phase

We had quite a lot different entities and dependencies so it took a while to organise all and prepare a clear structure.

The most challenging part for design was reports and assignments management: a lot of data and parameters that were needed to be properly organised to make a clear view and increase learnability.

4. UI Design

Brand Identity

We worked carefully on logo, tried dozens of ideas and finalise with the following option, that reflects playfulness, math but remains clear for understanding.

Backstage: it took 3 rounds: initial brainstorm, 2 candidates and color options, finishing touches. It was needed to make a prominent logo and find a proper colours to reflect the mathematic aspect and also game, fun factors.

High-fidelity app prototype

After validating our sketches we made iterations to our design, and moved into hi-fi phase. I created hi-fi mockups for the Teachers Dashboard, Class and Group management, Assignments management, Reports, Students module.

UI Design for Promo-page

Promo page needed to be responsive. Included all key feature descriptions, promo video, preview of puzzles and a list of covered topics.

Research Conclusion

  • Results for Students:

Technical savvy. mostly digital native. Feel much more comfortable with digital tools than pan and paper. Appreciate real-time feedback as soon gives better feeling on the made progress.

 

  • Results for Teachers:

Participants highly prioritised the role of technology in planning, showed willing to rely on it for practicing math facts and support all meaningful and creative tasks in math.
Time was identified as first priority issue. Teachers highlighted many aspects on how better tooling on assignments design, progress tracking and collaboration with students and their parents can help them in day-to-day work.
Another extremely important finding was that teachers would highly appreciate if it will be possible to tailor assignments on individual basis, so students will be able to get best suited training.

Validation

We've conducted final usability testing with 4 teachers and their classes. Here are key highlights:

  • teachers reported up to 2 hours per day saved in comparison to previous work method. Main wins were assignments checkups and reports preparation for meetings with parents.

  • failure of puzzles was not informative enough. So we got requests to add an explanation on how to crack that type of puzzles and why.

  • request to add a third option "not define" besides "male/female" for student properties;

  • request to add an "dark theme" mode for evening work;

  • request to add filter in "Real-time" report by assignment type, time and status.

After Thoughts

With this project we managed to achieve our main goal to simplify the teaches routine and make the process of lesson management easier.

Students and parents found a new app very useful: they are more willing to star the home work and practise with more enthusiasm. Parents said they would recommend this system to other families and schools.

For future improvement I have a couple of suggestions: 

  • redesign the puzzle design to make it more user-friendly and not so bright and more consistent from design point of view;

  • add possibility for teachers to edit puzzles;

  • make the body of completion report table a bit more informative and customisable.