What is it that we need to redefine? When we huddled for stakeholder workshop, the voice of the team was very clear: We needed to gather enough insights before we jump into solitioning; and this would come through primary research involving product’s primary and secondary users. Thus, a comprehensive research strategy leading to fact finding and insight discovery followed. During research, we discovered that the need of each user group was very different from that of others: Teachers, Students, School board and Parents each had varied requirements all of which needed attention. Our journey started with this chaos as a starting point.
Order comes out of Chaos… more than the anecdotal reference, we lived this reality! We conducted primary research across seven cities and towns in India, shadowing, interviewing and surveying multiple number of teachers, students, parents, coordinators and members school administration. Following research, we gathered massive amounts of data which then was carefully analysed and synthesised to arrive at key takeaways.
At the core of getting to insights was creating affinity models to form a maximum of 3-4 initiatives which would then diverge into numerous solutions to the problems. Problem identification was itself a massive task followed by solution proposals. Given the timelines we were chasing, we then prioritised solutions through our proprietary prioritization matrix.
Concepts that resulted from solutions were prototyped and tested with users before detailing them further. This gave us clear insights into improving those concepts before we spent months building solutions that we thought were good. Users’ insights proved to be extremely valuable in this context.
Post refinement of concepts, it was execution phase. What followed was several months of storyboarding, detailing and execution. We ran another round of user testing before coding the product. Minor improvements post UT flowed into the functional product rolled out later.
One of the key areas of improvement was the selection screen. By incorporating data from previous browsing behavior, the selection screen now becomes intuitive to the user and the users would most probably not have to select anything in a particular time period.
Library now has a character and meaning to it. Iconography, Color palette, Grouping and Visual representation in the form of trays… all these contributed to easier access to teachers thus increasing their time to teach. Upfront quick actions were found to be absolutely intuitive.
Transformed player features a whole array of controls for the teacher, grouping similar elements that can be pulled up anytime during content delivery. Sketch, language selection, contrast and homework controls at the disposal for the teacher helped massively during lesson delivery.
Choosing the right research method was the most critical task. Using our proprietary golden grid, we identified the following methods:
- Document research and Usage analysis of the existing product
- In-depth interviews, Shadowing, Contextual inquiry in classrooms to understand challenges, pain points and perspectives of the actual primary users as well as secondary users.
- Post design, User Testing with prototypes.
- A day in the life & Audit during synthesis and Prototyping post design.
- Workshop, Brainstorming and Task Analysis for specific tasks.
Choosing the right research method before, during and post design insured that we were aways in the context of users and looked at the product from the perspective of users instead of stakeholders and academicians. This went a long way in identifying the right elements that led to transformation that was meaningful to its users.
One of the key insights was that the digital on-screen solution wasn’t designed considering the physical dimensions of the whiteboard and anthropometrics of its users. It almost seemed a no-brainer at the time of research that the product, though was web based required a shift in placement of important elements like menu. While menu on top works for a web application that is used on a PC, for a whiteboard application it needed to be in the bottom in order that the teacher can access it easily and using it doesn’t obstruct the view of content above it. There were umpteen such insights that wouldn’t have come to light had we not engaged in primary research activities.
Primary & Secondary Research, Consulting, Stakeholder workshop, Product definition, UI UX Design, Prototyping, Development coordination.
New version of Tata Classedge solution was launched in its market before the academic year 2017. The verdict was already clear because of positive responses we received during our prototype tests. The new design revived the position of Tata Classedge and re-established it as a leader in the domain it was quickly losing to competition.