TooLs For School
Peer to peer tools sharing
Tools for school is a web and mobile app which provides a peer to peer solution for tools sharing at school. The ideation of this app is based on our user research of 15 teachers at children's school and primary school, where tools and supplies are needed in large amount for in-class activities. I collaborated with UX researchers to identify users’ needs.
As a designer, I first sorted out data collected from the user research at CMU Children’s School and then created personas and customer journey map catering teachers and school director’s needs. I also designed the screens and prototyped low-fi to high-fi web and mobile mockups.
Sep 2017 - Nov 2017
Cheng-Hong Wang, Moe Mohammed, Pankaj Ajit
User research, Sketch, Balsamiq, InVision
Teachers at children’s school use a mix of consumable and reusable items, such as classroom supplies, books, tangrams, etc. and most items are shared to save on space and/or money.
WHAT is the problem?
"It's hard to track down tools and shared tools are always misplaced or missing." ——a teacher from children's school
There is no formal system to keep track of who has what shared items at any given time; instead, people talk to each other about when they will need certain tools and supplies and generally agree to stick with the plan. An estimate of half an hour per day per teacher is spent tracking down missing tools.
"Young children use up consumables quickly. And the budget is lowered each year." —— the school director of primary school
Consumables such as chalks, paper, pencils are quickly used up, broken or lost by young children, so the needs of tools and supplies are high in those kind of schools. What's worse, the budget is lowered but schools have to provide the same program each year. There are an estimate of 60% tools and supply requests are unfulfilled due to budget constraints.
HOW does our product help?
Tools for School helps teacher to easily track tools and supplies status. It saves time for teachers to locate the tools and makes sure that they can get the tools right before class begins. And the bulk buy function allows them to purchase at a lower price.
The app also helps school directors to get a clear overview of how much budget is left for each teacher. Compared with the traditional tools and supplies tracking, the app saves time, money and energy.
Customer Journey Map
We identified two types of stakeholders in the tools and supplies sharing process. One was the school teacher, and the other one was the school director. The main goal for the teacher was to borrow items from a supply closet as planned, and the main goal for the school director was to approve teachers' requests for tools and supplies.
For solutions, we chose to start with a broad scope and then trim it down so that we wouldn't be limited to one certain aspect. We adopted a “Design thinking” based approach to generate features that we thought would be useful to the users. We clustered together similar features, then ranked the features according to the needs. And they fell into three categories: request management, budgeting and tools & supplies sharing.
For each of our storyboards, we chose two features that could be linked together from different sets in order to cover as many ideas we have in the MVP, and we also made sure that these four storyboards involved both teachers and school directors.
We envisioned our product the following features based on the user needs generated form the research above.
A formal system that could help track the status of tools.
On the request input page of every teacher, a clear pie chart is displayed to show the detail of their budget, so they would be able to know whether the budget left is enough for them to input another request.
A bulk buy function is added for a lower price when many teachers request for the same tools.
We took the prototype through a round of user testing. Given the multiple roles and scenarios we have, we were able to test the 3 main ones, teacher's interface on mobile and laptop, and director's interface on mobile.
The user testing of the prototype was through a cognitive task analysis method--think aloud. Participants spoke their mind as they were testing the prototype which indicated areas of confusion or frustration.
After analyzing the user testing results, we updated the prototype and addressed the majority of confusion points.
Interfaces for directors to approve teachers' requests on the mobile.
Interfaces for teachers to pick up tools and RFID scanner on the mobile.
Laptop interfaces for teachers to input their requests, view budget details and check request status; and for directors to approve or decline teachers' requests.
For the first version, we extracted colors that could represent the brightness, calmness and accountability of our website. However, during the group discussion, we found out primary colors couldn't fully convey the feeling we got from the mood board. Hence, we did a second version. In the second version style sheet, we extracted more colorful and joyful colors, such as pink and orange.
We admire that as an in-class project, there are still some places in the user flows are not that clear. We’d like to do more rounds of user tests and perfect all of those functions, especially the bulk buy function. And we’d also like to visual design the desktop interface for school directors.