Wired for engagement – the Schoolwires blog

Product design & innovation: Focusing on positive UX

Posted by Jennifer Aldrich on 9/9/14 9:00 AM


Guest Blogger: Jennifer Aldrich, Schoolwires Content Strategist

One of the primary focuses of the Schoolwires Design & Innovation team is to make our products easy and intuitive to use. We have an entire team dedicated to optimizing User Experience (UX) to ensure that the products and features we design follow this model.

We are given examples of problems that our clients are facing in their schools and districts, and our team designs solutions to address those problems to make our clients lives just a little bit easier.

User Experience at Schoolwires

Having a team specialize on User Experience means that we all focus on designing our products in a way that promotes positive experiences for our clients at every touch point.

I drew the doodle above to help explain the difference between User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) which are often confused in the design industry.

How do we make sure that our designs really ARE usable, useful and that they foster positive user experiences?

Schoolwires User Research Community

We have an amazing team of over 250 Schoolwires clients who have opted to join our Schoolwires User Research Community. As we work on new design concepts, we conduct various types of usability testing with real, live clients.

Usability Testing Methods

Sometimes we conduct “moderated usability testing,” which basically means that we go to a client site and observe them working through some tasks in a simple prototype of our design. We typically record the sessions so that we can review their interactions, where they are clicking, where they may have reached any UX challenges, and their verbal feedback when they complete each task.

We also conduct remote usability testing. This is a method that entails us sending segments of our User Research Community links to clickable simple prototypes via email. After our clients click through the prototypes remotely, we can review recordings of where they click on the screen and where they pause. Then they have the opportunity to give us written feedback when they’ve finished their assigned tasks.

After the various forms of usability testing are complete, we review the recordings and client comments with the rest of our team. We apply the feedback we obtain and tweak our designs before we hand them off to our fabulous developers who create the real, live versions of the products and features we’ve designed and tested.

Pareto Principle Based User Research

Another method we use to ensure that we’re meeting our clients’ needs is each year we send out a Pareto Principle-based User Research study to our User Research Community. We ask our clients to rank their top needs and wants to ensure that as our clients’ needs change, we are developing products and features that meet their new needs.

All of these research methods in combination with our fantastic User Research Community of clients ensure that we’re designing and developing the products our clients need most in ways that create positive user experiences.

Join our Schoolwires User Research Community!

If you’re a Schoolwires client and interested in joining our User Research Community, please feel free to reach out to me at jaldrich@schoolwires.com!

To learn more about Schoolwires products and services, Visit Our Website

Topics: Innovation, Product Design, User Experience

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