Ideal Student is an app made by Insightful Decisions Inc. a startup focused on helping students plan their pathway through high school, be engaged in extracurricular activities, and prepare for college.
Insightful Decisions Inc.
Create an MVP of Ideal Student, a service that will help students to effectively and meaningfully plan their pathway through high school and prepare for college through succeeding academically and engaging in extracurricular activities and college preparation work.
User experience and interaction designer
Created a research plan and conducted user research
Participated in research synthesis and the development of personas
Participated in the collaboration of ideation and feature development
Sketched wireframes, created an interactive prototype, and conducted usability testing
Mid-project research progress report
User personas and user flows
Final presentation to stakeholders
My partner and I started out by interviewing teenagers who were anywhere from starting 8th grade to having recently graduated high school to gain insights into their current practices in plannin for college. Additionally we also asked about their organizational habits and techniques as well as their social media usage.
In addition to learning about potential user of the product we also looked at a range of existing products to see what is currently available for helping students with high school to college planning.
After a week of learning from teenagers about what it is like to be a student, plan for college, be involved in extracurricular activities, and keep a social life we started to synthesize everything we had learned. We began by reading over our interview notes and writing down important items on post-it notes. We then took all of our post-it notes and organized them using affinity mapping.
We learned that teenagers often use pictures to document things they want to remember outside of school yet when it comes to keeping track of assignments and other important school related items many are still using the paper planners their school provides them with at the beginning of the year to keep track of what assignments and activities they need to remember.
Less surprising but also very important was learning that teenagers are more focused on what is happening today than what will happen in the future. We determined that in order for this product to be of any interest and benefit to teenagers a smartphone app would be a more logical and useful starting point rather than a website.
We created two personas to represent students who might use the app. Each persona focused on a different kind of student so that we could remain mindful of a variety of user types.
One of the first things we did after forming an initial idea off what the app could be was created user scenarios to imagine how the app would fit into the daily life of a student and how it would help them in succeeding both the short-term and long-term.
My partner and I proceed by first sketching our ideas out individually. I prefer to use device templates with a dot grid so that I have an idea of the context and how things might fit together.
After individually sketching out our ideas we came together to share our ideas and then collaborate on generating more ideas.
After sketching out our ideas we then took what we considered to be the best ideas and created wireframes in Sketch.
Prototype & Test
With little time left before our deadline I realized me and my partner wouldn't be able to do as much prototyping and testing as we'd like. This being the case I chose to make a relatively simple yet interactive prototype to test both the flow and the interactions of the app.
With the prototype created I then tested it with a handful of students to determine if the new task creation flow made sense and if it worked the way students would expect it to.