Last year I did my graduation project for the company 123ZING at the digital design studio De Monsters. 123ZING has a music method in the form of a digital platform for groups 1 to 8 of primary education. They want to offer their online music learning line to help primary school teachers give music lessons in a fun and easy way. The music method is used on digital schoolboards in the classroom and on desktops. 123ZING wants an innovative and improved version for their digital learning environment.

My main goal was: “Optimizing the usability and user experience of the digital platform 123ZING for primary schoolteachers”. You should read more if you’re curious about my whole work process.

The assignment: Optimization user experience and usability of the digital platform 123ZING for primary schoolteachers

The digital platform 123ZING isn’t offering the primary schoolteachers the most pleasant experience and could also use some improvements on the usability as well. Often it is not immediately possible to navigate to the correct parts of the music method, because many pages and functions are looking too similar. One of the difficult parts is designing for a digital interactive schoolboard.

Research

Through user research I found out the needs of the user group. By actively getting to know and involving the user group during the process, I have discovered the needs and frustrations with the digital platform. One of the main findings I found was that the teachers want to know where they have remained for the last time within the course of the music learning line.  

The research consists two parts. For the first part of my research I conducted a heuristic evaluation with three other designers. This was useful to get more insights and different perspectives.

The other part is field research. I went to different primary schools. There I conducted a contextual inquiry. By using this method, I could see and listen to the primary school teachers to know what their needs are for giving great music lessons. After that I set up the user needs, empathy map, functionalities and system requirements.

Ideation

For this part of the process I collected all the findings from the research and started to draw some storyboards. You can see one of the storyboards I drew in the image above. I wanted to tackle the problem of creating new folders and saving music lessons in separate folders because that was one of the difficult things to do on the platform.


Design and Testing

From the paper prototypes and sketches I further developed them into digital wireframes with the Adobe xd tool. When the low fidelity prototype was finished I could start testing it with the users. Therefore, I made a test plan with test tasks, observation forms and questions to ask the participants. First, I tested the prototypes with my colleagues at the Monsters. Then I went to the office at 123ZING and presented the prototype to the client. And after that I went to the primary school to meet with the real users, the primary schoolteachers. The most exciting part of this project was testing the redesigns in a classroom on the digital schoolboard with teachers. To see and hear their reactions and how they feel about the changes. They were very enthusiastic about the improvements. In the picture below, you can see the setup for the test in a classroom.

Deliverables

At the end of my period at De Monsters, I gave a presentation with the final prototype and my recommendations. My graduation project has a really successful impact. De Monsters are going to use my findings to further improve the platform of 123ZING. The delivery contained a documentation of my research, multiple wireframes prototypes for the design improvements, mockups and film footage of the test sessions with the participants. You can contact me if you would like to know more about this project and my approach!