UX Designer, Interaction Designer
Oleksandra Gomon, Carla Orellana, Michelle Gabriel & YC Wang
EdCuration helps educators find the products and resources that help them support their students' needs and curriculum. It aims at making searching, discovering, evaluating, comparing and connecting to programs & providers easier than ever before. My team set out to design and effective and intuitive way for principals, directors of curriculum and other educators with a budget to navigate the marketplace, find, research, select and order instructional resources.
Having an extensive background in K-12 education, Timeri - the CEO of EdCuration and our client - knew first hand how painful and complex it is to find the right curriculum that meets the students' needs, complies with state regulations and fits the budget. So, Carla, Michelle, YC and myself set out to see what it is that EdCuration is missing in order to make the right resources easily accessible to any educator in the US.
EdCuration is a lead-generating marketplace. The goal of our research from the business perspective was to discover what triggers users to click on the CTA's and whether the existing ones work (in terms of labelling, visual hierarchy and placement on the website) or if that area needed improvement.
✓ Heuristic Evaluation
✓ Competitive Analysis
✓ Usability Testing
✓ Affinity Mapping
✓ User Persona
✓ Empathy Map
✓ User Journey
✓ User Flow
✓ Focus Areas
✓ Feature Lists
✓ Mid-fidelity Prototyping
✓ Usability Testing
✓ Style Guide
✓ Hi-fidelity Prototype
✓ Validation & Improvement
In order to define the design direction, we needed to get to know the users, the business & how the users interact with the business.
While EdCuration does not have any direct competitors, we studied other services providing instructional materials (BetterLesson, Teachers Pay Teachers, Khan Academy etc.), as well as sorting & filtering rock star platforms like Airbnb & Udemy. We scrutinized best practices of navigation.
We studied common filter patterns and gained insights on how to categorize & prioritize them.
We looked into ways to reduce the number of steps getting the user from the entry point to CTA.
Although some of the platforms we studied have a completely different business model, we identified useful CTA patterns.
Inconsistent results, product descriptions, labelling
Extra steps to navigate between pages
Interviewing 5 teachers, 2 principals and 1 director of curriculum across the US, and conducting usability testing with them, had the most fruitful takeaways for our team.
"Wait, I thought I was picking science"
"By the info on the product page it's hard to tell what it really is"
80% of the interviewees got lost at least once on the portal and needed guidance.
We identified that most commonly used filters were by subject, grade & resource type.
100% of the educators were looking for grade, curriculum type, overview & pricing.
This exercise helped the team discover educator pain points and opportunities worth exploring.
We categorized search methods and filters by frequency of use and established top-priority features.
Educators were overwhelmed with irrelevant results and the amount of information to go through when browsing.
When purchasing a resource, most teachers would need to present it to a colleague or principal first.
All of the product information seemed relevant but needed to be organized in a better way for easy skimming.
Science Teacher, Public HS, NJ
Please meet Sarah from New Jersey, who's a dedicated and experienced science teacher. She manages a small team of teachers and has a budget for curriculum resources. Being very meticulous, she has to trust the resource she's looking into and has to know everything about it before she even considers sharing it with a colleague.
HOW MIGHT WE help educators find instructional materials quickly & efficiently while being able to involve their colleagues and/or principals in the process?
This was a crucial step in understanding how to guide educators throughEdCuration portal. I developed the happy path with multiple variables to outline this journey. At that point, it became clear that there were too many CTA buttons of equal importance on the product page and I needed to work on their visual hierarchy.
✓ Visual "declutter"
✓ Uniform Look
✓ Comparing Resources
✓ Global Navigation
✓ Filter Hierarchy
✓ Visual emphasis on the filtering menu
✓ Carousel sections in place of never-used filters
✓ Tags (for easy skimming)
✓ Bulleted keywords in description
✓ Saving to favorites
✓ Visual appeal
✓ Saving/sharing/printing options for easy pitching
✓ Hierarchy of CTA's
✓ Similar resources at the bottom
We studied and reworked EdCuration's existing brand assets and put together a new and improved style guide.
..during our second round of usability testing. Key metrics that showed improvement:
With that said, most of our solutions did work but needed minor adjustments.
Introduces separate tags for each grade as opposed to the grade range on You Selected, so that the user can edit on the go.
Moved the Reviews section from tabs to the bottom of page to follow a more common pattern.
Added more bulleted keywords to product description.
Sharing icon was hard to recognize, so it needed replacement.
Replaced "Let's Talk" icon for a more appropriate one (the paper plane is has way more symbolic connection to the school environment).
Using the style guide and the usability testing insights, we ended up putting together 24 screens capturing all of the app interactions around filtering resources, browsing suggestions, exploring product information, saving and comparing materials.
This interaction allowed to integrate the newly introduced messaging system designed by another team.
Our prototype, the style guide and the UI element states were annotated within the Figma file and handed off for development.