Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Getting Your Questions Answered. Noted.

In addition to setting type in motion, one of the other projects that I've got on my plate is designing an app. After interviewing my roommate (see interview here: http://kwhiteman06.blogspot.com/2013/03/designing-app-initial-research.html) I began narrowing down just what kind of problem I wanted to focus this app around.

Going to school at a large university (Rock Chalk, Jayhawk) provides you with so many opportunities for a great education. But one of the problems in attending such a populated school are the class sizes. Lecture halls, especially in Budig and Wescoe can reach into the 500 to 1,000 range for class numbers. With this large of class size, it becomes challenging to have a clear and conducive relationship with your professor.

A lot of times, professors have a set list of information they need to teach the class but this set list is so long that they spend the entire time talking at you and no time answering your questions. So what do you do if you have a question in a class of 1,000? Majority of people would write it down, try to answer it themselves, and maybe go into office hours or email their TA about it the next day. My goal with this app is to make it easy to ask questions and get the answers that you need in the quickest way possible.

How are we going to improve the productivity and learning potential of students in overcrowded classes with an app? Here are some of my solutions:

1. Create a forum that students can ask questions and the TA's can answer them during class, when the student first has the question

2. It'll be like a Twitter feed (kind of) that is then projected on one of the 3 screens in the lecture hall

3. When students log into this app, all other apps are turned off (the less distracted you are by everything else going on in the world, the better) you can also set this app to automatically open at certain times, when your class meets

4. These Q&A "feeds" can then be saved and archived. Professors can look back at them and evaluate how their lecture went (whether the class understood the material, what were common questions, etc)

5. They can also comment on individual questions and provide supplementary information

6. There is also a social side to these large lecture halls. There are so many students, but what if you don't know anyone? What if you want to double check a homework assignment or create a study group? This app will also be a place for that, not Facebook necessarily (you're not going to stay "friends" with most of these people once class is over) but a way to get connected with people in your class

7. This app will also make it easier to create (safe, non-creepy) study groups. You like studying in coffee shops? Find other people in your class that also enjoy that environment. This app will also get you connected with the AAAC tutoring service in case you need extra help

8. When you ask questions in class, you can hashtag (#) certain general topics, key words, or glossary terms. You can then have "trending" topics, this can allow the professor to reference quickly and efficiently what the class might be struggling with. These "trending hashtags" will also be archived (along with the "feeds) that you can search later if your struggling with a certain topic later on in the week.

Looking at all these elements that I want to successfully achieve in my app, I started to think of potential names. This app is going to be called "notEd", essentially the focus here is education (hence the "Ed") narrowed to quick, to-the-point notes with real-time answers as well as a way to form study groups and get connected (in a non-creepy way) with your fellow classmates.

To begin to create a brand around the ideas and concepts of this app, we developed three different directions or "moods":

Looking at these, I decided I needed a direction that was clean, simple, and concise. I went with the last mood board (scantron-esc if you can believe that) but maintained the color palette and vectorized feel from the first moodboard. And from there, we began a logo exploration.

Logo Exploration:

At the same time (in addition to creating a visual identity) we were to begin conceptualizing the wayfinding pathways of the user progression of the app (if you open the app, what happens? If you click this button, where do you go? Etc). To do this, we created "wireframes" (simple, quick sketches of screen compositions). With these wireframes, we began to conceptualize them through a progressive diagram that better articulated the sequence of the app's events. 

No comments:

Post a Comment