Amplify was a large team on a mission to shape the future of tablet-based education. Their goal was to release an entirely new version of their iPad application for Grades K-8 in under a year. The deadline was tight and the scope of the project was ambitious.
Through a combination of steady user feedback and rapid prototyping, I helped design the framework for the product’s main interface and refine the instructional design of their math curriculum.
In addition, I introduced the concept of rapid prototyping into dozens of designer’s workflows. This enabled other teams to gain actionable feedback from their customers and ultimately improve their designs.
Amplify has since been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Fast Company and several other publications.
The response to the application has been favorable and it’s impact on students education has been transformative.
To get a better sense of our users, my team conducted in-class observations and one-on-one interviews with teachers and students. Three learnings emerged from this research:
1. Strive for Simplicity
2. Develop Powerful Educational Tools
3. Make the Interface Distraction-free
We also learned that students crave personalization and independence as much as they crave group work and community. We wanted to create a system that was flexible enough to account for both of these scenarios.
We spent months determining the right amount of functionality inside of the core area where students would be creating their classwork. We determined that this area should allow students to:
• Create work using interactive tools or freeform
• Show and Hide lesson instructions
• Submit and share their work with students and/or teachers
• Navigate across lessons
• Receive feedback on their work
I created a set of user journeys to map the tasks and touch points of both students and teachers. This allowed the team to identify specific moments we wanted to target and allowed the team to remain focused on solving observed and documented pain points.
In order to gain actionable feedback, I designed and developed wireframes and prototypes. With these deliverables, the team ran usability tests and iterated on our observations.
I worked closely with our lead visual designer to define the look and feel of the interface. In order for the students to enjoy, yet respect, the curriculum we had to carefully strike a visual balance between playful and academic.
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