UX Designer + Researcher

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LearnLead

How can we get people to study when they have so many other options?

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THE PROJECT

An online learning platform for urban young adults to learn leadership.

CHALLENGE

How can we get people to study when they have so many competing priorities in their lives?
This project began with a user research project for my former employer Braven, and ended with a conceptual app design.

SOLUTION

The solution designed is a mobile app that seeks to have its users continued to feel connected and engaged through the act of co-creation.  They are not just passive consumers of content but actively involved (and supported) in its creation.

ROLE

I was the User Researcher and Product Designer for this project.  I led research from end-to-end, including presenting the findings to internal stakeholders.  I also concepted and developed the product, and created an interactive prototype.

OVERVIEW

This online learning platform project took 3 months.  The presentation of the user research took place after a month, and stakeholders were really pleased because it allowed for internal alignment on who the users were and what their needs were.   


 

THE INSIGHTS + DESIGN CONCEPT

User co-creation of the learning experience.   

 

USER RESEARCH


The methods used for the research include observation, interviewing, log analysis, and industry best practices research.  The resulting deliverables (personas, journey map) are seen below, and were presented to key internal stakeholders.

 

INSIGHTS

Losing sight of purpose. 

One of the findings from user research was that students start with a sense of purpose, but lose sight of it throughout.
 

Wanting deeper connections.

Users talked about wanting a greater sense of community and getting to know people on a deeper level.

One distraction is all it takes.

Research has shown that an external interruption takes our attention away for 23 minutes.

 

THE CONCEPT

This solution empowers users to co-create their experience and supports them in doing so.  It empowers them through the option to put in their own center photo so they are reminded each time they enter of their motivation.  It also pairs them with a weekly buddy so that they can co-create the knowledge with another learner.  The support will come from features like "Tap to Add to Notes", which will allow users to stay within in the app and not have to go elsewhere.  Also, more than half of the users we talked to used Android phones, so it made sense to design for Android first.


 

THE DESIGN PROCESS

Moving quickly from explorational research to sketching to protoyping and iterating.
 

BASELINE RESEARCH

1) USER FLOWS
Taking a look at the user's flow through an online learning platform helped us identify major pain points to design for.

2) COMPETITOR AND COMPARATOR ANALYSIS
I looked at the features and interactions in other online learning platforms, as well as effective motivators (Fitbit) and longreads (Medium).

EXPLORING INTERFACE SOLUTIONS

3) MAPPING STRUCTURE AND HIERARCHY OF SCREENS
Based on the user needs that we determined, I started to sketch out what some of the screens might look like.  

4) USER'S PATH THROUGH THE APP
I took a few of the most complex use cases and mapped out what the user's full path through the app would be to make sure it was all covered.

ITERATING AND VISUAL DESIGN

5) WIREFRAMES AND FEEDBACK
I created some low-fidelity wireframes and prototypes so that we could start to get feedback on what was and wasn't working.

6) MATERIAL DESIGN
I designed the final prototype according to the guidelines of Google's Material Design.

 

 

THE CONCLUSION

A new online learning platform that empowers users to co-create meaning and purpose with others.

 

DELIVERABLES

The final deliverables were the design of an online learning platform.  As mentioned above, more than half of the users used Android so it made sense to focus on Google's Material Design UI first.  Some of the key design elements are:

The user has selected the photo in the middle, co-creating their purpose and motivation.

The UI focuses on inviting imagery, clear text for readability, and lots of white space, all in line with Material Design conventions.

Users can "Tap to Add a Quote to Chat", starting a dialogue, and setting them up for success in in-person discussions.

This learning platform is set apart by the way that personalization and customization are co-created, and worked into the UI of the product.  During onboarding, the user will be asked to select a motivational image (like a picture of the user's daughter), as well as an icon that reminds them of the image (like a lightning bolt because his daughter likes Harry Potter).   The motivational image will then appear during the launch screen and be transformed into a Floating Action Button containing the chosen icon that will appear on all Parent-level screens to remind the user of their motivation.

 

 

LOGO DESIGN

 
 

As I looked over the user research, the word "codeswitching" kept popping in my head.  The user base, urban young adults, will constantly be navigating between their own urban roots and a "professional culture" that may be different from how they grew up.  I wanted to design a logo that brought together where these students were coming from and where they were going. 

I came upon the work of Kevin Christopher, and first found his "Bluprint" typeface (which you see in the word "LEARN" in the final logo), and then "Urban Jungle", which you see in the word "LEAD".  The two typefaces together suggest that users will first “learn” to write the blueprint to their future, and will gain the skills to then become future “leaders” of cities like their own.