Worldwide Educational Content
Senior UX Design Consultant
App Icon for 'Android Device Enrollment' App
Student Device Pull App
Request Center Dashboard
Content Template Creation Flow
Student Content Management Flow
Content Subscription Trial Request Flow
I spent the latter half of 2014 through early 2015 working as a Senior UX Designer with the Google Play for Education team. During my time there, I filled in as the team's lead designer while he was on paternity leave. As such, I brainstormed, researched, and iterated on projects such as app icons, mobile UX, web content & flows, and a content management dashboard.
App Icon - Android Device Enrollment
I created about 20 different icons for the "Android Device Enrollment" app- the icons below are some of my favorite finalists, each showcasing the paper-based shading that defines Material Design. With #1, you can see the clean shadow of the "paper" on the clipboard, while #2 has subtle drop shadows to help emphasize the layered folds of the the symbol. #3 involves clear shading on the pencil–the side that would have light shine upon it is brighter, and the other side has a slightly darker shade. To produce the correct shade, I overlaid a semi-opaque dark gray shape over half of the pencil, and then tweaked the actual vector shapes making up the pencil. Finally, #4 has the upward-pointing arrow and the three lines layered above the rest of the icon, and each component casts a separate shadow.
Through this project, I also learned a lot in the way of presentation. At Google, meetings didn't drag. The stakeholders in charge were in and out of meetings like lightning, because everyone was prepared with what they wanted to show and say, and feedback was succinct and direct. In order to explain the design process behind my icons, I found it extremely valuable to make summary pages of the icon itself, the symbolism and design decisions, along with visuals and type emphasis to help make everything easy to consume. You can check out my slides below:
MOBILE & TABLET DESIGN
After the app icon, the bulk of my work involved more UX than visual design. There was less to experiment with when designing for Android tablets, as we stuck closely to Material guidelines (color, type, spacing). Therefore, the focus was on the layout of information and the flow from screen to screen. Below is an example of the flow for setting up a new Student Tablet registered with GPFE. This flow was especially tricky because it involved incorporating a few GPFE-specific screens into the standard Android onboarding flow. This meant I had to check in with the Provisioning, MinuteMaid, and SetupWizard teams to see what language and visuals could be altered to fit our Edu-focused branding, and what couldn't.
Within the Edu-focused screens, my feature goal was to propose an overall style for these screens that would highlight GPFE's branding, but not differ too much from the Provisioning/MinuteMaid screens, so that they fit well together. Below is the flow for switching users, a feature that was very important as most schools had shared tablets which lived in particular classrooms.
Another example of an interesting tablet/mobile project is the Student Device Pull app, which was key to GPFE's business model. With GPFE's subscription/content program, schools would buy subscriptions for educational apps in bulk and assign apps to specific teachers, classes, or students. With a GPFE tablet, a student would open the Student Device Pull app and quickly see which educational apps had been pre-downloaded, and which apps for available for them to download. Finally, a student could also request to download certain apps, and be granted or denied permission from the school's GPFE Tech Integrator.
subscription & content web flows
While the students in GPFE programs mainly interfaced with mobile devices, there was a significant web presence as well. The Tech Integrators at each school are the ones driving the GPFE program by selecting curriculum relevant content from within GPFE's curated lists of apps, books, and videos. I worked alongside a product manager and several UX researchers to remotely interview Tech Integrators and teachers, focusing on how we could improve the installation, inventory management, and transfer of apps for the people who did this most often.
The key points that I worked on improving were time-saving solutions. For example, Tech Integrators were previously collecting tablets from students at the beginning of each summer to reset and reload these apps for the next school year. This was an arduous task, as the Tech Integrator had to delete each app one by one, and then download new apps one by one — for every tablet!
One of the solutions we built involved allowing the Tech Integrators to use GPFE to select all of a certain teacher's desired apps and bulk download them to all of the student devices. This was a hugely effective change, cutting down the time spent from 30 minutes per student to 30 minutes per class.
To test these solutions thoroughly, we had to prototype and send over dozens of content management flows to Tech Integrators all over the world and watch how they approached and clicked through each one. Below is an example of the different flows we tried, using low-fidelity mockups so that we could iterate quickly.
pERSONAL pROJECT: cONTENT MANAGEMENT DESKTOP DASHBOARD
Finally, since I was working out of Google Cambridge, there was occasional downtime as drafts were relayed to Mountain View for discussion. During these times, I worked on a passion project: a Content Management Dashboard that would pair with the Student Device Pull app shown above. This dashboard would be targeted at Tech Integrators, and allow them a comprehensive view of all devices and apps in the school's program, including which devices and apps corresponded with each student, teacher, and class. I also included a section for the Tech Integrator to manage their allotted budget. Through UX interviews, we had learned that many school districts pooled funds and expected Tech Integrators to manage the schools' combined budgets. I figured that having a time-based breakdown of app type and usage would be helpful for the Tech Integrators to plan ahead.