From idea to prototype

From the idiate process we created our idea an appstore for teachers with a forum where they can discuss and recommend apps among themselves. In addition to this we wanted to include the pupils in the process by giving them access to the app store with the ability to suggest apps and leave reviews.

We started by brainstorming functionality that we wanted for our app store. We used a black board to conceptualize the feel of our app, with the different pages that were necessary. For each page we discussed how we could implement the functionality we wanted. Having a visual wireframe representation of the app helped us create a more solid plan and make it easier to not forget something and to not create something with flawed user experience.

We used Adobe XD to create the actual prototype, because it’s easier and faster to implement the functionality we wanted on Adobe XD then on paper. We also tried Sketch but Adobe XD felt more intuitive since we have experience from other Adobe programs. In Adobe XD you can easily link pages together, this made it easy to show what happens when someone clicks a button in the app, which is important because we want the prototype to be high fidelity and testable. Adobe XD also makes the prototype look more like a real app store than when you use a pen and paper.

As a starting point we knew the user had to log into our app, we planned to let the user login using something similar to “feide login”. For the prototype we have created two different login buttons to open the app in teacher or student mode. This would usually happen depending on the account login.

When the teacher logs in the frontpage for apps is the startpage. This page contains a list of featured apps where the teacher can click to view the page for one app. We wanted to combine the app store with a community were teachers could discuss apps and teaching methods. To make the community accessible at all times the frontpage also includes a discussion part where relevant discussions appear. The relevancy of the discussion and featured apps is based on the account and earlier searches and downloaded apps.

From the front page the teacher can view one of the featured discussions or view other discussions by clicking one of the courses/categories on the bottom of the page. The teacher can also enter the front page of the forum by clicking the “Community” button at the very bottom. To view an app the teacher can either search/browse or click on of the featured apps. On the single app page the teacher can view ratings, mentions in the community and have the opportunity to add a review.

The teacher can also add the app to a folder for later use, download it or push it to a user group. A group is usually a classroom or some other predefined group. When the teacher pushes the app to a group the app will be downloaded on the users device the next time it connects to the school network or possibly any network. If a teacher works at a school who does not support the “push to all”-functionality he or she can send a reference link to the schools IT manager wich again can install the app on the iPads on behalf of the teacher.

We wanted to have a “pupil version” of the apps too, where pupils can send in app suggestions to the teacher. These app suggestions could be apps that already are in the app store, and apps that are not in the app store.

We also want the pupils to be able to write reviews of the apps, therefore they also need to be able to browse all the apps in the app store. The part that the pupils doesn’t need is the community part of the app store. There is also some other functionality we didn’t want to have in the “pupil version” like the Download and Push button. Pupils can also suggest app that they think should be available in the app store for both teachers and pupils.

Video prototype:

In the video version of our prototype we wanted to show functionality in a real life situation. Since the ability for pupils to suggest apps for their teacher is one of the most important functions in the pupil version we wanted to show that. We asked Tores daughter to play the pupils, Tore the teacher. We think that this video, in an effective way, explains some of the most important aspects of our solution. The pupil suggest an app, the teaches receives the suggestion and can read other teachers experiences. When he decides to allow this app he easily can push it to the pupils iPad.

Script:

  1. Pupils comes home from school and starts on her homework. Her teacher has asked the class to make a cartoon about what they did this weekend. He has asked them to do it using pen and paper.
  2. The pupil has used  cartoon app on her dads iPad earlier and feels frustrated about having to do this homework the old way.
  3. She decides to suggest an app for here teacher, hoping he will let her use that to complete the homework.
  4. She logs on to the app store and post the suggestion.
  5. Teacher receives the suggestion and decides to take a closer look at the app in question.
  6. He reads reviews and other teachers experience with the app.
  7. He decides that its was a good and relevant suggestion.
  8. The teacher pushes the app to the whole class with a notion that they can use this app to complete the homework, if they want.
  9. The pupil completes here homework using the iPad she got from school.

Here is a video showing more functionality:

Here you can test our prototype online:

School app & forum

Screenshots from our prototype: