Art Direction & Design
Research, UX/UI Design
This project took special interest in the online school curriculum and the way in which student experiences and general success were affected. The project worked towards examining the intricacies of the experience, including key considerations such as: self-motivation, existing stressors in students' lives, and the social component [or lack thereof] present in the current distance learning model.
Three user personas were constructed to represent different subsets of the student population. The leftmost is representative of those newly embarking on the college experience whilst the latter are those that are pursuing post-graduate degrees or are returning to college. The research recognizes the distinct needs of each of these groups and worked towards creating a tailored solution that would mitigate their concerns to provide the most optimal virtual learning solution possible.
Below are the supplementary research methods used and the key takeaways.
Increased freedom and flexibility was overwhelmingly stated as being the greatest benefit of virtual learning as showcased by the consensus across both interviews and the body of literature.
A shift in focus would happen when transitioning from offline to online learning, meaning the role of facilitator traditionally held by the instructor was instead transferred to the student when online.
Effective UX & UI was found to have a determining effect on student stress levels, frustration, and even their residual success in a program. Easy navigable interfaces were linked with reduced stress and increased motivation.
Sociability was a recurring theme consistent across all the literature. Rich interpersonal exchanges were found to be crucial in fostering student success and motivation.
The app was conceptualized to integrate the dashboard system present across a number of "traditional" social media sites. Once you're logged in, the centralized hub provides a sense of immersion and immediacy as you are met with posts from peers and professors. Navigating across screens is intuitive with a click of a button using the appropriate navigation icon. Wherever possible, the number of clicks have been pared down by using animation to convey transition and motion without actually navigating away from the page.
A summative module at the top of the dashboard conveys a host of information at a glance. Keep track of the number of updates since you've been gone without the need to tediously scroll through. Identify professors on the dashboard through their coloured rings, appropriately colour-coded to their personalization settings.
Expand posts with a simple click with no need to refresh or navigate to a new page. Socialize and connect by engaging with peers and professors—throw them a heart or comment.
The centralized hub provides a quick-toggle feature to quickly move between lectures and assignments. The detailed view panel at the bottom is colour-coded to quickly distinguish between classes and are organized hierarchically dependant on the most immediate due date.
With online schooling it's hard to draw a clear distinction between home and work life. Integrated into the settings are push notifications and a "do not disturb" feature to help you detach from the app when necessary. No more intrusive pings and notifications to hamper your off-time.
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