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Bridged

Bridging the gap between

schools & after-school programs

OVERVIEW

BridgED is a responsive website that allows after-school programs, that work with homeless or previously homeless children, to better connect with their student's teachers and thus improve their academic standings. BridgED helps volunteers gain access to study material, track student progress, and communicate with teachers.

This is a self-initiated passion project with my team of brilliant women (Aakanksha Parameshwar, Amy Chen, Jennifer Ware and Hsin-Ju Yen). A team member who volunteered at a local after-school program for homeless children noticed this problem and brought us on-board to solve it as a team.

MY ROLE

UX Designer, Interviewer

SKILLS DEVELOPED

Interviewing, User Needs Analysis, User Journey Mapping, Digital Prototyping

TOOLS USED

Sketch, InVision

PROBLEM

Homeless or previously homeless children receive access to transportation, meals and paper work assistance, but are lacking support at Academic Assistance. Many homeless children's parents are unable to assist them with homework as they may be illiterate themselves or may prioritize finding housing, food, and work over the education of their child. After-school programs try to bridge this gap, but have a hard time accessing study material from a student's school. Students are given general work sheets or other activities that do not target what the students are working on in school or should be accomplishing. So, despite best efforts many of these students fall behind in school because of not completing their academic work and not learning relevant skills.

SOLUTION

A responsive website that serves as a communication tool between schools and after-school programs. 


THE PROCESS

USER RESEARCH

To gain insights into the exact needs of local non-profits we as a team conducted four interviews with members of three different organizations, all of whom work with homeless youth and their families.

One individual spoke to the difficulty she faces in communicating and building relationships with each teachers at multiple schools. Currently, she communicates with them via email and every once and a while receives a list of assigned homework. This is of great help as many students will pretend they do not have homework when asked or will state that they have left their assignments at school. While receiving homework lists is helpful, it is inconsistent and does not include the actual worksheets. Furthermore the head of the after school program changes yearly meaning this process of connecting with teachers and building a rapport must take place annually.

USER NEEDS

From the User Interviews, we learnt that these organizations are in need of a way to connect and communicate with the teachers of the students they service, access student's assignments and worksheets, and track their progress in completing their work.

KEY FINDINGS

 

The key findings suggested that the solution must support multiple user profiles (parent, teacher and organization/volunteer), be a responsive design because of limited access to computers and allow volunteers to access it on the go. The volunteers need an easy way to track work and print out documents, while the teachers need an easy and intuitive way to upload documents.

BRAINSTORMING

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In this phase we took into consideration our findings from user research and began to narrow down the most important unmet needs. As with all design processes, we began with a broad question and at each step narrowed our focus to a specific problem and user group. We focused our brainstorming on feature sets that we felt were necessary in solving the problem. 

WIREFRAMING

We then worked in a joint session of wire framing to combine our ideas for features and functionality. This resulted in a rough sketch of the various screen and the differing workflows each user type (parent, organization, volunteer, and teacher) would go through.

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HI-FI PROTOTYPING

We then created a High Fidelity Prototype using Sketch and built interactivity using inVision.

Click on the below prototype to see interactions.