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Role

Service Designer

I am the lead designer on the IELTS Intelligence, and I started on this project in November 2019.

I am responsible for developing new approaches for the product, the research, strategy and user experience, as well as the interactions of the application. I am part of a scrum team tasked to design and build an MVP within the existing ecosystem on Cambridge One.

The project

IELTSi is a brand-new product from Cambridge and is delivered through Cambridge One - the online learning platform of Cambridge University Press in collaboration with Cambridge Assessment.

The idea is to bring users an online tool which will help them maximise their study to achieve their target band score. The users will be able to answer a series of IELTS-style questions then get a feedback report showing their strengths, weaknesses and how to improve.

Approach

I follow the UCD process to make sure that my design decisions are supported with user research and feedback.

I relied on sketches to ideate solutions, affinity maps, user journeys and flows to visualise data and my thoughts. This helped with promoting ideas, gain alignment and drive decisions making.

Understanding the environment

With an open mind, I started looking into the research done and the data collected in the discovery phase before me joining the company.

Planning & Scope Definition

I defined the work of the product with the stakeholders. I interpreted the predefined users’ needs and balanced them with the business goals and needs and was able to prioritise and negotiated features for the launch of the MVP and beyond.

Wireframes and user journeys

I sketched lo-fi wireframes following the established UI design pattern on Cambridge One and at the same time bringing new ideas to the platform. The latter made it easier to move things around and change certain parts of the interface fast without the need to do much of re-designing.

Before designing a screen, I map out how the user will move through the product to achieve a specific goal, always from the user's point of view. The user journeys always contain the screens the user will visit (internal and external) and the connection lines between steps.

Example: When designing a new screen, I would determine two or three most important goals the user wants to achieve with the product. I would think of an ideal flow to get the user to the goal and also, think of all the pain points they will encounter and solutionize them with appropriate screens/messages.

Affinity Diagram of testing

Prototyping and Validation

Created hi-fi prototypes in Sketch of my proposed solutions and used InVision to make them interactive. I tested the prototype with the participants. Insights from the validation test led me to reiterate on specific screens.

Affinity Diagram of testing
Affinity Diagram of testing
Affinity Diagram of testing

Usability Testing

Non-native English speakers were chosen for 40 minutes of usability testing. Additional usability testing’s followed, i.e. two unmoderated session on Usability hub and Maze (due to COVID-19 and NDA restriction).

I was able to note the responses from the participants through observation and additional questions. These notes where then used for affinity mapping to find similarities and then group them.

All Affinity mappings were created on Miro and were available to the design and scrum team.

Analysis and Implementation

I prioritised my findings according to their importance and defined 3 top issues I had to solve.

The whole report was generated for a broader audience and main stakeholders. Based on the aforementioned prioritised findings I created a new iterative flow of the screen which was then presented to stakeholders.

Affinity Diagram of testing

Screen Flow

A screen flow allowed the stakeholders to understand the steps the users will take. The flow catered two flows – primary flow and secondary flow.

Mapping the main flow of the web application made me examine each step the user will take throughout and open possibilities for additional screens for contingency plans.

Final visual Design

After the testing and iteration, I continued work on the visual part of the web application in Sketch. I put in mind all my findings to create the pixel-perfect UI prepared for handoff to development.

mobile screens

Overview and next Steps..

Creating an end – to – end web application was quite a challenge and a tricky project to tackle as a new employee of the Press.

I am working on additional resources and content which will be added to the product and will be prepared for a hand-off to developers for a new launch.

Visit IELTS Intelligence to see the live site.

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