The What and the Why?
For the past four years, I’ve worked as a teacher at an after-school program and my exposure to some of the problems teachers face inspired this concept app.
TeacherTracker is a digital product designed to help improve communication between teachers and administrators while also serving as a database to minimize the amount of information teachers are required to track.
Pain Points for Teachers:
Required to track a lot of data
Hard to get help quickly
Preparation for school shootings is poor
My Proposed Solutions:
Easily searchable database of students and teachers
Basic communication tool
“Call for help” button
Emergency button that would alert local authorities and silently alert all other adults in a school
Once I identified the main pain points, I went on to conduct interviews and summarize my insights.
(Additionally, I was able to perform contextual inquiry and use immersion research due to my job as a teacher. Through this I was able to observe a number of teachers deal with pain points, and then ask them about the problem, and potential solutions.)
Hard to communicate misbehavior to administration
Difficult to change spaces
Often the only adult in the room. Studies have shown that 100% of teachers have to go to the bathroom sometime!!
Not adequately prepared for school shootings
I took these insights and constructed some provisional personas as well as fleshing out the persona of “Elena Johnson.”
I built the provisional personas to account for the varied demographics of teachers. I also wanted to highlight important insights in separate provisional personas to emphasize their importance.
Full User Persona
The interview process, and the creation of the user persona helped me work through potential user flows and Information Architectures.
Research pointed towards a shallow and wide information architecture. Teachers need to complete tasks quickly.
Also, early user testing highlighted a confusion about the different of “help” and “emergency.” This was addressed by changing the button style of “emergency” and adding a number of fail-safes in the emergency user-flow.
With the information architecture drawn out, I began working on some sketches to ideate possible screens.
My sketches include some responsive ideas. Although the core of the original idea is mobile, initial interviews revealed that some teachers didn’t always carry their phone, but were near a computer a majority of the time.
After deciding on the screens that would suit this project the best, I moved on to making wireframes.
Early wireframes included a navigation bar across the top to keep important items easier to reach. User research found that people preferred a bottom navigation for iOs for the sake of familiarity more than they noticed any improved comfort. This change led to changing the contents of the nav bar to reflect the buttons on the home screen.
Once my wireframes were fixed to reflect the results of their user tests, I moved on to final designs.
I’m really pleased with this iteration of designs. They make completing tasks very simple. It was hard to have restraint when it came to the designs, but my research all pointed towards simplicity being more important than visuals.
After completing the designs, I went ahead and designed a notification sound.
Notification sounds are a great touch to customize an app, while also allowing users to quickly know which app is notifying them.
I included questions about this in my interview segment and the answers helped inform my approach.
Now with all the pieces existing, I put together a prototype using InVision.
An important takeaway from the first round of prototype testing was the idea that access to the Welcome Screen is unnecessary after the user is in the app.
Additionally, 4 out of 6 of the testers didn’t return to the homepage - opting to use the tab bar to navigate. However, the 2 other testers - both self-described as “technologically-adverse" - relied on the ability to go back to that home screen.
I put together an Affinity Diagram in order to easily see the results of the prototype testing.
A number of the potential users who tested the prototype of this app have expressed extreme interest in it becoming a reality. The process - from inception to now - has been inspiring. TeacherTracker will remain a passion project. The next steps I will take are:
Test next iteration of designs (with interactions) on potential users
Update style guide/UI kit to maintain consistency
Discussing plausibility of design - especially of database
Designing data entry forms