Hands-On Learning Device // 2017

Designed by Tori Green, Alli Sevareid, & Josh Madrid

User Experience
Web Design

Hands-On Learning Device is a learning platform that helps children with educational pursuits. During the initial research phase, Josh, Alli, and I partook in explored different learning types and the education system in America as a whole. We discovered that of all the learning types, it was particularly difficult for visual, kinesthetic, and tactile learner to engage in institutional learning environments. Since these individuals were the ones who needed alternative learning practices established the most, we determined to create our website to cater to these three learning types.

User Experience Development
From here, we developed three user personas, one tactile, visual, and kinesthetic. Upon completing the personas, we concluded that our primary persona should be a kinesthetic learner, whom we called Gabe, because kinesthetic learners currently have the least amount of educational resources available to them and they embody characteristics also seen in visual and tactile learners. In conjunction, we honed further on an age group and decided to focus specifically on the fourth grade because our research showed that fourth grade is arguably the most pivotal developmental year for children. We proceeded to map out a day in the life of Gabe to get a clearer sense of the needs of our target audience.

Upon picking the learning types and age of our audience, we then found the fourth-grade curriculum documents for the state of Louisiana. Josh, Alli, and I came to the resolution to create a website platform that helped teach history, and we decided to focus on the American Revolution. Using curriculum as a base of information, we concept mapped the user journey of a first-time user on our learning platform. To complete a thorough user journey, the screens we were required to make included:

Account Activation

Learning Type Quiz

Learning Type Quiz Results

Map of Levels

Video Intro to Level

Instructions for Level Activity

Level Activity

Level Quiz

It is significant to note that the types of activities a user would undergo depends on their placement in the learning type quiz; an activity for a kinesthetic learner would be different than a visual learner. Since our primary persona was a kinesthetic learner, we created a user journey specifically for this type of learner. Furthermore, after taking the learning type quiz, the user would be directed to the homepage of the website, which we decided should be a map of the levels; in total, there are ten levels, and each level represents one major American Revolution event. In a level, a user would watch a fun video that explained the history of the event, receive instructions on the activity for the level (such as what materials to gather), and then do the activity with another accompanying video. This would all be followed by a quiz to see if the user understood the information presented.

We then focused on branding and titling the website, and concluded that the platform should be called Hands-On Learning Device, HOLD for short. The color palette of HOLD is fairly neutral in order to be applied to numerous applications within the website, and is comprised of green, gold, and blue tones. We chose the typeface dyslexie, which was designed to be readable for children, particularly children with dyslexia.

Section of Map

Video Intro to Level of Boston Tea Party

Instructions for Boston Tea Party Level Activity

Boston Tea Party Level Activity

The last phase of the project involved developing screens of HOLD that showcased one level of the website, and we determined that the level we would produce a user journey of would be the Boston Tea Party. When making this level, we kept in mind the difficulty of creating an activity that catered to a kinesthetic learner via the web, and had the goal of making this activity as interactive as possible. We also wanted to ensure that kids everywhere had access to the materials necessary for undergoing the activity, and made sure to use accessible materials such as paper, pens, and tea bags for the Boston Tea Party Level. After watching the intro video for the Boston Tea Party, the user would proceed to gather the materials for the activity and create a boat out of paper and figures of people. During the activity, the user would follow along with a video that reenacts the Boston Tea Party, which would then be followed by a quiz. Alli, Josh, and I had the opportunity to present this user experience project to designers at Barkley.

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