EF Class Web Application
UX and Design Lead - Aug 2014 - Mar 2016
Facilitated stakeholder and team workshops, Led Discovery
Planned and executed lean, targeted usability studies
Built all wireframes and interaction specifications and oversaw visual design
monitored and prioritised backlog and managed development sprints
EF (Education First) is a Swedish company that builds digital products and services for education. The Education First English First brand is known worldwide for their english teaching programs and schools. They built an internal startup group to tackle the challenge of developing product for connected classroom environments, and challenged them to sell and dive into the public sector for teaching english and eventually, other subjects.
On our startup team, our sales lead came to us and relayed a message that starting in September we had schools on board to pay us for a new application. The only obstacle was that they were chromebook-only schools, and all we had built so far was an iPad app—oops!
Essentially, the product team had four months to design and develop a web version of the existing EF Class iPad app for teachers. This app would allows teachers to deliver content to their students’ devices and run and teach an entire using the application. We were replicating main features, not all functionality. Part of the process was just accessing feasibility as we ported features over ASAP from iOS to web.
I always Start BY listing out team assumptions, hypotheses and experience design considerations
Our team had a lot to learn about working together, listening to one another, and solving problems collaboratively rather than in a waterfall. I shaped a process that could be lean and still work to help the team go from open-ended problem solving to serious scoping exercises, staying on the same page the whole time. Asking developers to hold back from trying to scope early on is sometimes hard, especially when time is tight; however, openly considering requirements together is crucial for allowing the team to come to solutions together.
I keep designs as sketches as long as possible to avoid over-thinking it.
We delivered a beautiful web app in less than five months, and the design system we developed was one we ended up porting back into the iPad app because we liked it better. Developing for web was easier, even though there were limitations to the experience when compared to mobile. I had a lot of fun with the team even though the pressure was intense, I believe that if teammates are kind and respectful, teams will have fun even when there is a lot of stress.