In January, 2015, DDI approached our program with the need to create a novel, engaging learning activity to update their product suite and meet their clients’ evolving needs. With a data-driven perspective and learner-centered approach to research, we set out to design an educational experience that directly addresses the learners’ needs and most effectively facilitated their learning process.
- KEYWORDS | Education, Persuasive Design, Contextual Inquiry, Cognitive Task Analysis, Social Media Research, Wireframing, Prototyping, Usability Testing, Agile Development
- MY ROLE | Design Lead, collaborating with 1 PM, 1 User Researcher and 1 Developer
*Due to a non-disclosure agreement with the client, our findings and design cannot be disclosed. Some selected highlights of the process are presented below, but please feel free to email me if you’d like to learn more about this project.
DDI's current courses are typically structured as 3.5 hour workshops. However, in response to client demands, DDI is transitioning to shorter sessions and an a la carte training menu. As a result, DDI wants to ensure that learners are still receiving sufficient practice opportunities. More abstractly, they want to provide an effective, engaging learning experience informed by the latest developments in learning science in order to stay at the forefront of their industry.
This combination of needs led us to develop a two-part hunt statement: Investigate the needs of front-line leaders as they acquire and hone interaction skills and create and engaging, purposeful learning experience that facilitates a data-driven product development strategy.
Our process is divided into three phases: exploratory research, generative research, and evaluative research. Respectively, these are focused on identifying the problems and opportunities, producing potential design solutions, and iteratively developing the final product based on user feedback.
1. Exploratory Research
Our process of exploratory research began with orienting ourselves to the space through literature review, competitive analysis, and initial brainstorming of design solutions. We then progressed through defining our research questions, executing the research plan and collecting raw data, analyzing the results, and producing our findings.
2. Generative Research
With these findings in mind, we started our second research cycle. The goal of this cycle was to produce a set of potential product concepts informed both by our findings as well as initial rounds of user testing. While exploratory research had identified general breakdowns and opportunities, we needed to put actual product concepts in front of users to gain a better understanding of whether the need was genuine, and whether the solution was sufficient. We started by brainstorming solutions that would address the needs identified in our findings. Next, we researched their features to identify areas of high potential. Finally, we developed product concepts that contained the highest-potential features and evaluated them with quick-cycle user research.
Over the past four months, our research has been focused on identifying the problems and opportunities facing front-line leaders as they learn interaction skills. We have developed seven design ideas that aim to address these problems and leverage these opportunities, and have begun to solicit feedback from the target users.
Moving forward, we are excited to continue working with DDI to select a specific product concept for further investigation and iterative development over the summer. While this may be one of the designs ideas presented in this book, it may also be some new combination of our features and concept ideas that we have yet to discover.
Once we have identified a product concept, we will elaborate the design features and rapidly move towards putting prototypes in front of target users. Along with the research conducted thus far, their feedback will inform the development and design of our final product.