About: Odeum Learning is an educational gaming company based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, whose mission is to develop a platform for students to engage in their academics through role-play style games. Teachers are able to utilize Odeum's software in their classrooms with pre-made and/or customized games for their desired subjects.
Scope: Odeum Learning has 2 main target audiences - teachers and students. In regards to the students, the role-play style interface is something that is familiar and exciting; something that can keep the students engaged and motivated in their work. However, teachers who may have varying experiences with online gaming and technology may be uncomfortable with the interface or find it confusing, both of which could ultimately impact the success of this product in a classroom setting. Odeum Learning wanted an informative redesign for the teacher-facing interface of the software in order to ensure that this product would be successful and useful in an classroom setting.
Role: UX Designer working in a team of 5: Peter Gray, Amelia Bennett, Yue Chen, and Leah Wilkonson
Responsibilities: Conducted heuristic evaluations, background research, interviews, card sorting, contextual inquiries, created personas, programmed in R to create a dendogram, created lo-fi prototypes in Sketch for the games library, games search page, on-boarding hints, and help center, created hi-fi screen prototypes in Sketch for the help center, created an interactive prototype featuring the log-in process, help page, and class pages Adobe Xd.
Timeframe: September 2016 - December 2016
Heuristics were conducted of the teacher-facing interfaces where we not only familiarized myself with how the product works and what it consists of, but also discovered key usability issues and bugs. We found that the system failed in terms of the visibility of the system status as one could not readily tell where they were in the system, and user control and freedom as users could not perform tasks in a flexible order, but rather in the order that the system required.
We conducted a literature review regarding the demographics of teachers in the United States to understand their technology views. This research encouraged us to consider varying needs and uses of Odeum in a classroom, as well as informed us of what the typical user may look like.
Research & Demographic Findings:
Sample User Persona:
We wrote and conducted interviews with 9 teachers from varying school districts and levels of experiences to understand context, motivations, and habits in regards to their classroom setting and technology. This was done to give insight as to direction for features and content for the Odeum platform.
"I don't typically use games or software in class - just whatever comes with the book."
"The use of computer labs are slowly decreasing. We are starting to use Chromebooks instead."
"Schools are leaning towards using Google as an all-around platform - gmail, Docs, and single-sign on services."
3 in-person and several online participants participated in a card sorting exercise in order to help us formally evaluate how teachers organize the current information in Odeum Learning's system, as well as help us identify wording that may be misleading or information that may be missing from the system's current architecture. Using R, we evaluated our findings to create a dendogram to influence our Information Architecture.
Proposed Information Architecture (Dendogram Results):
Lo- and hi-fidelity prototypes were created to discuss and iterate design features with the design team and our client. These ranged from single feature mockups on pen and paper to hi-fidelity wireframes for a portion of the system.
Sample Sketches of 'Games' Filters:
Usability testing was conducted during various portions of the design process from testing the original product and observing the user's painpoints to testing the newly designed features to understand if we were successfully addressing those painpoints.
Sample Usability Test Questions:
Prototype of the Platform:
View the Invision prototype here!
Thank you to Odeum Learning and my UXDC team for making this an awesome learning experience!