Faster lesson planning for afterschool instructors short on time

Summary:  Collaboration with other designers to prototype a lesson-planning app for after school instructors short on time.  

Goal: Design a lesson planning Android app that helps teachers plan their lessons and reduce planning time. 

Role:  Lead research and usability testing

Tools:  Sketchapp, Invision


Shifting users and uncovering pain points with research

 

Contextual inquiry uncovered teachers as the real primary users

Teachers are not the intended users (children and parents) of the app. The current app doesn't adequately meet the teacher needs of providing materials for lesson activities that they must create themselves and a new app is needed to address this major pain point.

Copy of IMG_4659.JPG

Extensive lesson planning time affects teachers' performance and creates additional challenges. This makes it even more difficult for teachers during class that can have a negative impact on the students' experience.


Reducing planning time with a stream-lined user flow

Saving planning time while providing freedom with structure and pre-made activities.

One decision per step of the lesson planning process because research revealed that teachers often felt overwhelmed by the number of choices and decisions they had to make during each step of making a lesson plan.

One decision per step of the lesson planning process because research revealed that teachers often felt overwhelmed by the number of choices and decisions they had to make during each step of making a lesson plan.

    A user flow that helps teachers budget time quickly and efficiently. 

    a process that minimizes the number of decisions made per page

    Also:

    • Consistent screen format to minimize confusion as users choose activities for a lesson.  
    • Detailed lesson overview on the final page so users can review and make changes as needed.  

    Validating hypotheses with user testing

    Multiple rounds with low fidelity prototypes:

    Testers described their experiences as "easy", "useful", and "innovative".  

    just clipboards.png

    Common areas of confusion

    - Uncertain progress in task flow.

    - Wanted to "See Lesson" first, not "Build Lesson".

    - Displayed recipe an unexpected first screen.

    High fidelity screens

    smartmockups0.png

    Next Steps

    Adaptation: This tool has potential use outside of afterschool programs and in regular classrooms.

    Takeaways

    Communication: Client Communication is important to make them feel included in the design process.

    Balancing needs: Business and user needs are challenging to navigate. Research helps determine design direction to deliver a better product.

    Testing context: Tasks requiring lots of context confuses testers. Testing should be screened to capture those who might be representative of actual users.  Task scenarios and background should be kept short.