MATHiaFlex Product Design
Summer Internship 2019
MATHiaFlex is a learning management system for that goes hand in hand with Carnegie Learning’s MATHia software, which is a math tutor software for grade 6-12 students.
Growing number of Carnegie Learning users has been asking for an improved version of MATHia that allows them to easily configure and support the instruction they are delivering in the classroom. In response, Carnegie Learning decided to launch a learning management system that would give greater flexibility of course customization for math instructors in the grade 6-12 market.
My goal as a product designer was to deliver an interactive prototype of MATHia Flex with basic functionality for a limited beta test, which would then be used to help define and inform the rest of the product’s development.
Designing flow and user personas
I started my research process based on the four user personas based on preliminary interviews conducted by the product team.
Based on our teacher personas, we identified four core features that all of them were looking for in a learning management system. On top of this, we conducted competitive market analysis of the existing products such as Blackboard and Canvas.
Grayscale and Lo-fi Prototyping
After identifying the key features, we shifted gears from white-boarding to digital prototyping using Adobe XD, and Sketch. The lo-fi prototypes were used to pitch our design to product manager and developers. After multiple meetings, the product manager and the design team came to a consensus on what features to push for and the features to take out. This was a process that involved a lot of conversation involving the matter of feasibility, time of implementation, and user needs.
Creating an Interactive Prototype
Once all the teams were all aligned on the flow and the features of the product, the design team started working on refining the lo-fi prototypes into interactive prototypes using Principle.
Teacher Home is the first screen users see when they launch the product. Teacher home features a list of classes and an activity/notification feed that compiles all the activities happening in the teacher’s class.
The list view allows teachers to view the details of the course in a simple visual while the block view features the cover image of the textbook to help teachers make easier connection with the course material.
Either by clicking on the class icon on the side navigation bar or by clicking on one of the classes on the homepage takes the user to a specific class where they can view sections. Within sections, the sub navigator bar on the top to allow users to navigate between content, reports, roster, and LiveLab (a Carnegie Learning product which enables teachers to view live student progress during in-class activities).
Here, teachers can browse and add Carnegie Learning’s prebuilt courses to their existing classes.
For browsing, teachers can one-click on contents for more details. For adding contents to class, users first need to click on ‘add contents to class’ button on the bottom-right corner. This button is implemented to distinguish the one-click actions for browsing from that of adding contents.
Middle school teachers teach an average of more than five courses a week. This is where a scheduler may come in handy for our busy teachers: adding and deleting assignments, marking off to-dos, viewing school-wide schedule – altogether on a same page.
Inbox works like an email within MATHia Flex, allowing teachers and students to send direct messages.
So What Happens After?
Using the interactive prototype as a research tool, our team was able to discover insights that will be used for the refinement of MATHia Flex for final developer hand-off and shipping. Unfortunately, due to the duration of my internship I wasn’t able to be part of this next step. On the other hand, you can view detailed insight here.
The main challenge of this project came from having to address instructors with different needs. We identified four types of instructor personas. The design team brainstormed an on-boarding experience that allow instructors to customize and align the features according to the four presets. Unfortunately, our initial on-boarding idea was replaced by a different version of the prototype eventually due to complications that came up during user testing. However, this was a valuable experience because I learned that sometimes you got to try things to figure out that it won’t work.