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 solutioning; 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 teachers, students, parents, coordinators and members of school administration. Following research, we gathered 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 major 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 weeks 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.
Choosing the right research method was the most critical task. Using our proprietary golden grid, we identified the following methods:
Audit 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.
Character Profile & A day in the life during synthesis. Prototyping followed by User Testing/ Evaluation.
Workshop, Brainstorming and Task Analysis for specific tasks.
Choosing the right research method before, during and post design insured that we were always stayed 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 like 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 in the areas that are physically accessible to the user. 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 came to light during observations in the context of usage.
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.