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Case Study

TeacherTrek

Helping College Students on Their Journey to Becoming a Teacher

How can we better inform and aid anyone who is interested in becoming a teacher?

COMPANY

Confidential

SKILLS

MVP Design

Design System

Project Scoping/ Mapping

Usability Testing

Wire-framing

Prototyping

DURATION

Mar 2023 - Present

ROLE

Founding UX Designer

Background

Currently, there is a national teacher shortage across the United States. There are people who are interested in becoming teachers but are unsure how to do so from their unique set of circumstances such as being a junior in college studying something completely different or someone who has only worked within industry for 15 years. How can we help people in each unique circumstance know what they need to do to become a teacher as easily as possible?

Solution

In response to the critical issue of teacher shortages in the United States, our project is dedicated to crafting a one stop shop for anyone who wishes to become a teacher, making the process as simple and straightforward as possible. Students can use a comprehensive checklist for joining a teacher prep program, receiving a teaching license, finding grants, and an "Is teaching right for me?" quiz.

MVP Designs

By working directly with users early and often, we were able to quickly iterate as well as address usability issues before development. Here are some snapshots of our MVP prototype.

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Teacher Prep Programs w Filters - Click one.png

Snapshot of MVP designs

UX Research

A round of user research interviews were conducted with 8 people that fell into one of the three categories below. The key pain points of the platform was determined, focusing on teacher prep programs and teacher licensing with emphasis on our college student audience.

Users

Our users include:

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High School Students
they're exploring careers and want to know more about if teaching is the career for them

College Students
they may already be in a different program and want to know what they can do to transition into teaching

Working Professionals
they may want to transition careers into teaching and know what additional steps they need to take

Teacher Prep Programs
 

The Teacher Prep Program page serves as a vital component of the platform, guiding students in their search for the ideal program based on specific filters such as location, cost, duration, program type, and available financial aid.

Teacher Prep Program GIF 9.11.gif

Teacher Prep Animation

The program listing section presents each program with essential details such as program name, location, duration, program type, and cost. Students can quickly compare and refine their search options based on their specific criteria.

I also implemented a feature that highlights the best programs based on different categories including the overall best program, the best program for specific locations, and the best program for cost-effectiveness.

Each program is accompanied by a dedicated program page that provides comprehensive information.

Teacher Prep Program 1 9.11.png
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Teacher Prep Programs w Filters - Click one.png
Teacher Prep Programs w Filters - Click one.png

Teacher prep page with checklist and individual program page

Teacher Licensing
 

The Teacher Licensure page lets users explore each licensure, such as the type of licensure, applicable grade levels, and type of school (e.g., public, private). This allows students to evaluate licensure requirements and determine which ones align with their teaching goals. Through iterative testing, we included additional filters to help create an even more specific filtering system.

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Teacher Licensing Animation

Each program is accompanied by a dedicated program page that provides a detailed explanation of the license and how to prepare.

Teacher Licensing 2 9.11.png
Teacher Licensing Information Direct Program 9.11.png
Teacher Licensing Information Direct Program.png

Teacher licensing page with filters and detailed license page

Iterative Feedback

After the above designs were finished in marking with our scope at the time, we presented this iteration of our work for user testing to collect and incorporate feedback. We tested 8 people who fell into our three user personas.

Some key findings:

  • Financing and financial aid were the number one factor in whether someone chose a program or not

  • Some users would like to explore more about teaching and the type of teaching that would best suit them

With these findings in mind, we iterated and changed the scope of our project for the next iteration. We added a quiz exploring teaching personalities and a scholarship / grant page.

Which Teaching is Right for Me Quiz
 

After receiving feedback from both stakeholders and engaging with five college students, we decided to refine the product's scope. This led us to pivot towards also targeting individuals who are actively contemplating a career in teaching.

Following two rounds of usability testing, we evolved from a simple quiz aimed at determining one's suitability for teaching to a comprehensive tool. This tool helps users identify their strengths and aptitudes within the realm of teaching and, more importantly, reveals the specific areas within teaching where these strengths can be optimally applied.

Teaching Quiz 9.11.gif

Quiz Animation

One of the key points of feedback we received emphasized the significance of gaining insights into the thoughts of present-day teachers regarding these questions. Each question underwent a meticulous review process, resulting adding either a video or audio clip featuring a teacher's perspective on the specific question or an anecdote closely related to it.

After completing the quiz, users are presented with a breakdown of their strengths and insights into how these strengths can be effectively applied within the field of education.

Is Teaching Right For You Quiz Completion Home 9.11.png
Is Teaching Right For You Quiz Completion 9.11.png

Quiz and quiz breakdown of strengths

Grants & Scholarships
 

Following our recent review with our stakeholders, we made the decision to incorporate an additional feature that enables users to search for potential grants and scholarships. Given that financial aid and funding were consistently ranked as the most crucial factors influencing one's decision to pursue a particular program, degree, licensure, etc., it became imperative to provide a platform where users can explore potential funding opportunities.

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Grants & Scholarships Animation

Grants and funding opportunities can be filtered by location, funding type, ethnicity, subject, specialty, grade level of teaching, as well as their due date and funding amount.

Financial Aid & Grants Filtered 9.11.png
Financial Aid Summary Page9.11.png

Funding page and individual funding page

Branding & Styling

In the process of defining TeacherTrek's visual language, I carefully selected a harmonious color palette with my team that is now used in our style guide. This guide serves as a reference for typography, color usage, logo application, and overall design principles. By adhering to these guidelines, TeacherTrek maintains a cohesive and polished appearance, reinforcing its brand integrity.

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Color palette and style guide

Takeaways

Challenges: Since there wasn't a UI kit or available, I made one from scratch. It was my first time creating components robustly and in-depth. It took some trial and error to use them effectively.

Future Designs: During initial designing, we specifically catered our designs for a college student audience due to time constraints. However the product itself is meant to eventually expand to high school students and working professionals. If there was more time available, a more encapsulating experience would be created with our other target audiences in mind.

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