Schoolwide – Zing!
Zing is a web-based eBook platform that includes a library of over 1,000 quality titles, a built-in eReader with a wide variety of challenging student assessments, and student/classroom management tools. This product was designed for teachers, students, district admins, and other educational professionals to use on interactive whiteboards, computers, and tablets, alike.
- Length of Project: Thirteen Months
- Size of team: Myself, a tech director, two developers, an educational team, multiple stakeholders and thirty-five volunteer testers.
- Software used: Omnigraffle Pro, Axure RP 7.0, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator.
• Research, Low-fidelity prototyping, IA, Wireframing, Design, High-fidelity prototyping, User testing, Revisions, User testing, Development, Q&A testing, Launch, Monitor .
• Due diligence involved intense needs finding, which was gathered by our educational team after traveling onsite to many schools in districts all over the country. This information was then used to lay the foundation for research and identified what kind of educational eBook products schools are already using.
• After identifying user needs, I begin researching the pain-points and joy-points of pre-existing educational ebook products and other subscription/license based web services. By taking this information into account, I start sketching thumbnails which will become low-fidelity prototypes.
When an idea of what features are key to meeting the user’s needs is formulated, I create workflows that illustrate how the user can interact with these features. This lays the groundwork for a more solid visualization of the idea in the wireframing phase.
The biggest challenge behind this project was that designing for the educational market is vastly different than designing the consumer market. Educators think about educational materials on so many different levels, that to successfully create a system by which they would be able to utilize thousands of titles for specific purposes, meant that browsing by category and filtering search results would be our biggest allies. The addition of a categorized search bar optimizes users queries if they already have a good idea of where they want to start looking.
Before moving onto the design, next step of development is a heuristic evaluation of the wireframes. After revisions are made, designs and UI begin to be created. These artifacts are then translated into a high-fidelity prototype to begin user testing. Aside from due diligence, is the most crucial point of the project. Here is where all of our theories and principles are challenged and tested. The information gathered during these tests is what will shape the future of this product. This process is repeated many times over the course of development.
When the product’s design has been tested and updated time and time again, and positive feedback becomes consistent, the GUI documents and project assets are handed over to the development team to be built and for QA testing.
After grueling bug-hunting and Ender’s Game-esque QA testing, the product is soft launched and then hard launched. During this time, we will be collecting more feedback, monitoring performance, and preparing for the updates that will make Zing even better for our customers.