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Pixapple is designed to overhaul the tired formula of virtual learning by upending its fundamental flaw: the lack of human connection and sociability.

  • Art Direction and Design
  • Research, UX/UI Design

My Role

  • Research Report
  • High-Fidelity Prototypes
  • Solo Project

Project Specs

Art Direction & Design

Research, UX/UI Design

My Role

Research Report

High-Fidelity Prototypes

Solo Project

Project Specs

mockup of app screens

1 - Introduction

Online schooling is more prevalent than ever. Despite advances in technology however, the online curriculum has remained stagnant.

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.

2 - Research

user personas and their respective details

Schooling is a highly personal experience. This project aimed to take into account individual differences and learning styles.

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.

Free-flowing interview structure that adapts to the conversation and allows for appropriate follow-up. Some pre-prepared questions to act as a guideline.

Unstructured Interviews

Official publications and research were gathered and reviewed. Assumptions validated by the research were included whilst those disproven were reoriented.

Literature Review

  • "Deadlines and keeping track of everything"
  • "Can procrastinate or become complacent"
  • - Cited as some key concerns for online learning
  • "Meeting new people"
  • "Seeing friends and joining different clubs"
  • - Cited as favourite part of traditional schooling

3 - Ideation

Student success hinged on a myriad of factors that were directly or otherwise indirectly linked to the instructional medium.

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.

4 - Wireframes

wireframes for proposed app

5 - Prototypes

mockup image of app screens

Education meets social media. The re-envisioned learning model dependent on a robust social system that encourages engagement.

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.

Improved user experience and UI lending to a streamlined learning experience.

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.

mockup of app profile customization

A master calendar feature to organize all your classes and assignments in one organized space.

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.

Customizable settings to tailor your experience.

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.

Try the Interactive Prototype >

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