This week I held my user testing session with a parent and two middle school students. While the parent falls outside my user range, I decided to still get feedback from her to round out my data. I thought it would be interesting to get a perspective from someone who is familiar with learning platforms from the parent perspective, knowing the challenges that her child has had. The students both come from different learning models. One student is 100% online, the other was hybrid (50% online/%50 in person) for half the year and has since switched to 100% in person. All students use online learning platforms in our district, whether they are in person or virtual.
When introducing each user to the platform I explained how to read the User Flow and what each color meant within the page hierarchy. I walked the students through logging in and landing on the student dashboard. I then gave them scenarios and asked them to navigate to certain pages (ie. missing work, teacher board, email, class video session, etc.) I received the following feedback:
• Workspace to Email: How do you get there during class?
• Add Agenda link from Class
• Add Email link from Class
• Options to toggle back and forth between pages
• Naming: Notebook & Agenda could be
confused as one another
• Rename Chat (Messenger?)
• Add Missing Work to To-Do
• Everything is easy to find and well organized. "Seems easy to use."
From the feedback I updated some parts of the user flow and will be brainstorming how to solve some of the navigational issues.
This week I also worked out several more logo comps and came up with a design that I am very excited about. I also narrowed down my color palette to an ocean theme and created a rough of my Visual System One-Sheet. I finially feel like I am heading in the right direction!
This week I started out by making a computer comp of the User Flow. I had already included top level pages as well and secondary and tertiary. I added new user pages as well as forgot password and reset password pages. Forgotten passwords are common among middle school students. After completing the user flow I decided to update my mood boards and spend some time exploring color. From my new and existing pulls, I explored some color pallet options. I created a color swatch for 3 combinations that I found interesting. I used these to apply color to my logo comps.
Using the advice from last weeks critique, I explored computer comps for some of the more geometric and abstracted octopus designs. From there I played with fonts, size, layering, and letterforms. I came up with several versions of each and applied color. I really do not like the 3rd iteration at all, however I continued with explorations just to see if it had and possible successful iterations. I do not feel it did.
I also decided to sketch out an idea for "Ed" the octopus as a possible program mascot. I will draw a few more iterations early this coming week and try some computer comps as well.
This week I created the user flow for my middle school virtual learning platform. I started off looking at the functionality of various learning platforms and websites to get an idea how they are set up and what works and doesn't work for each screen. I then pulled out the User Journey Map that I created last week for my persona "Makayla". Makayla is the primary user of the platform because she is a middle school student learning virtually. I looked at what actions she was taking to access her classes and in what order. I felt it was important for the student dashboard to be the main hub where everything could be accessed. The other pages that would have to contain a lot are the virtual classrooms and the notebooks. I think that the most interesting thing that I learned through this process is that there is a lot more functionality than you think in each page. Even a page that seems "simple" can contain pathways and links to other pages. Also, I came to realize that there will be several iterations before I get this just right.
This week I also spend a lot of time thinking about what name to chose. I also drew more sketches and tight sketches before going into illustrator to create computer comps. I found that there are a lot of colors to chose from in my mood boards that I could potentially use in my visual system. I plan on spending more time narrowing these colors down this week.
MFA Graphic Design Student at Academy of Art University of San Francisco (on-line)