Weekly Product Design Exercise #1
At the beginning of each new semester or school year, teachers are faced with the challenge of remembering names for a large number of new students. Design an experience to help an educator match faces to names, with the goal of shortening the time needed to reach complete un-aided accuracy.
I approach this challenge as a White Board Design Interview Challenge. This type of challenge happens at the time of the interview and the applicant has about 20 minutes to 1 hour to solve the problem by proposing a design solution.
The first thing I did was to start asking questions about the context. These are the questions I asked and the answers I came up with:
1- Who would be the main target audience for this product? Teachers who work in larger educational institutions, more likely the high school or university teachers in a large city who would have multiple classes to attend during the week.
2- What device are they likely to use? I assume teachers are more likely to use a tablet or desktop for their professional use rather than a mobile phone.
3- What are the problems they may be facing?
- Remembering a large number of new names and faces at the start of each year or even every semester
- Some faces are less distinct to some cultures or people (From my own experience, as a non-white person, I can remember when I started studying at London, It was hard for me to distinguish many caucasian faces from each other)
- In a multicultural society, some names can be harder to learn or pronounce; this can also add to the problem
To make the context more tangible I created a persona to the process more focused.
Susan Lane is a high school teacher, she is 42 years old. She teaches math at a high school in Westminister, London. She would need a quick and easy way to learn students each name correctly because as a high school teacher it is important for her to create a meaningful relationship with her pupils.
Instead of having teachers to face a long list of names with photo IDs, we can create a fun interactive experience between the teacher and students. During a short interaction, each student is asked to let their portrait taken by the inbuilt camera of the app, pronounce their own name correctly and record it on the app, and say something unique about themselves. I assume this sociable group interaction and a more personalised profile of each student can help each individual to become more distinct.
After the ideation process, I started writing the potential steps that the user needs to take to achieve the task. It is like a simple user flow.
- Signing up to the app
- Add their classes on the app home page
- Open the class page that they are having, start the activity with every student, create a profile for each student with their help
- Use this app instead of the traditional register and it will help the user to learn students name quicker and easier
As I approached this design challenge similar to a Whiteboard Design Challenge, I had to use assumptions instead of validating my design solution with research data and user testing feedback. However, the next step should be user testing to assess the success rate of this proposed solution.