Advocating In Schools

Project Length: 6 weeks | Project Date: 2016 


Meet Advocate, a communication app designed to help resolve I.E.P. conflicts. An Independent Education Plan (I.E.P.) is a special document given to kids with learning disabilities that outlines their classroom accommodations. The app is designed to look like a social network in order to get kids excited about using the product. Advocate is an iPad app plus email system with 4 key features that help resolve I.E.P. problems. The key features are 1. Check ins, 2. Advocating, 3. Follow ups and 4. Progress. 


User Research

During this phase, I asked questions, formulated hypotheses, created personas, and synthesized them into insights. These insights provided a solid foundation on which to design the solution. 


As the project came into focus, I had to leave some ideas behind. Two of my favorites were an advocate button similar to the Staples easy button, and a super hero training course that teaches kids to advocate for themselves in class.

User Flows & Wireframing

I explored trends such as email clients, group messaging, and platforms for groups. Two features that did not make the cut were collaborative document writing and goal tracking. 

Prototyping & Visual Design 

I showed these flows to fellow designers in order to get feedback. Key insights included: 

1. The status update system is confusing and doesn't give users enough context.

2. The Advocate button should be larger because it is the most important feature. 

3. The editing center for solutions is confusing.

This prototype was used for design as well as user testing. The animations are designed to be simple, in order to push the user forward in the experience and help them remained focused on the task at hand.

User Testing

I did four users tests (two shown here) and found that, overall, my app functioned well but had a few confusing areas. 

1.  With regards to the follow up feature, users had difficulty knowing how to find the solutions.

2. The status update system was confusing to adults but not to kids.

3. Some users were unsure of the purpose of the overall chat interface.  

Moving Forward and Looking Back

For my next steps, I want to update my UI, expand upon the problem statement, and create a formal marketing page that executes all of the communication. Next, I would start developing the product and consequently get it shipped.