This week I added to and refined my task flows and wireframe for the middle school virtual learning platform. I decided that because there are so many possible tasks for this platform, I should expand on the tasks that I already addressed and make some additional ones. Last week I made wireframes for entering the virtual classroom (which included logging into the platform) and connecting with peers to create a virtual study group. I refined these by adding arrows to guide the user through the wireframes and tweaking some details. I then created 2 more task flows and wireframes: the first to find and complete a missing assignment (which I may change to past due assignment or late work), and the second to access yesterdays announcements (which also includes viewing today's announcement). I realized that I can show multiple things with one wireframe by going past the initial screens and showing how to navigate beyond. As I was working on the wireframes I did a lot of trouble shooting. There were many times when I had to completely rethink an organizational concept when I realized it didn't flow well. Another thing I realized was that I want to have the 8 main navigational options always available on screen, so I developed 3 options for that.
Beyond the wireframes I continued to refine my wordmark and logo. I think I am finally getting close to a final solution. I am happy with where it is headed. I continued iterating my visual system and thinking about how to apply it to my deliverables. I will start working out plans for the student materials kit this coming week so that I can apply the visual system to it.
This week I also continued to design my thesis website and decided to leave the 1st one I started and create one with Wix instead. I am much happier with this layout and website. I started to apply my visual system to my DS Chart and Materials Matrix and added them to the new website. https://antscheschlogoctoed.wixsite.com/my-site-1antscheschlogoctoed.wixsite.com/my-site-1
This week I spent a lot of time getting caught up from last and week trying to really experiment with a lot of visual styles for my thesis project based on my mood boards. One thing that I am really struggling with is my brand identity, mainly the word mark and logo. I am having a difficult time finding a way to find a balance between the two. I experimented some more but ultimately decided to reach out for help during the online office hours tomorrow and see if I can get back on track with my design after that. I included some older designs again to revisit the icon that I was most drawn to. I would like to find a compromise between the various designs.
User Flows to Wire-frames:
This week I created my first 2 sets of wire-frames for the middle school learning platform. I tried to continue visualizing the platform through the eyes of a middle school student. What would they look for in a learning platform? What would engage them? What would they find fun? I developed the wire frames 1st, for the virtual classroom. I wanted to design a space that was all inclusive, and organized. I wanted the student to feel like they were part of a classroom space with everything they need at their fingertips. Secondly I developed the wore-frames for the text chat to video chat feature. I wanted this environment to have the same feeling as a phone app. The students can use this space to socialize, join clubs or even create a study group. They can then join a video chat with or without a workspace. I am still hashing out the layouts for these screen but I have a good idea how I want them to look after creating the 1st set of wire-frames.
When making the User Flow, I started by evaluating the needs of my user by looking at the User Journey Map. I tried to put myself in the shoes of a middle school student and see the learning platform from their perspective. I then developed a hierarchy of levels, starting with the log in screen. I then thought about the student needing a home base within the platform, so I developed a Student Dashboard. From here the student can access all areas of the learning platform, but to keep it streamlined, there are 8 categories (Octo). I broke each main section down into actions that the student can take from that page. The second main page for a student will be the Classroom. From here the student will be "locked in" during class, but will also have access to all they need within the platform for class, again in 8 categories. After my User Testing session I discovered a few navigational concerns as well as naming concerns. I addressed these issues and edited my User flow. This week I looked at it again and added 2 additional categories to the classroom (to total 8).
I realized that the User Flow is all about organization and ease of access. The user needs to intuitively understand how to navigate and there should be as little possibility fr confusion or user error as possible. In the case of middle school users, they already have enough to worry about dealing with learning curriculum, their learning platform should be streamlined and easy to use.
This week I also continued to refine my logo and word marks. I am still trying to figure out how to incorporate the logo into the word mark and have the octopus interact with the letter forms. I will continue to work on it in the coming week.
MFA Graphic Design Student at Academy of Art University of San Francisco (on-line)