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Case Study

Achievement Network

Achievement Network (ANet) is an education nonprofit that works alongside school leadership teams to strengthen school-wide practice and culture of using learning standards and achievement data to get breakthrough results for students in underserved communities. Lacking internal UX expertise, ANet sought a UX and design partner to work with its software development team on urgently needed updates to its online platform.

Our Challenge

To create a new user interface that fits the existing application

DOOR3’s UX team was asked to find a balance between creating a modern, easy-to-use interface for teachers and administrators while also creating a consistent look that tied into the rest of the application. A crucial component of the ANet product is the “Performance Tab”, a place where teachers and school leaders can view student work and assessment materials to build their understanding of student learning and classroom trends. We focused two high use reports within the Performance Tab as the area where our intervention would have the maximum impact.

As ANet’s software development team would be handling the build, we had to work within their technical stack and hand off designs and feature requirements that would be clear and ready to implement, all in a five-week period.

Our Process

Rapidly assessing user needs to expedite designs

With only one week of discovery and two 2-week-long design sprints, we had to fit a lot of work into a short timeline. To make the most of the time, we carefully crafted our sessions to keep everyone engaged and focused on the platform’s functionality. Based on those discussions, we created user flows, wireframes, a design system, and fully fleshed out screens for the new “Performance” data reports. For each piece we designed, we included technical specifications to make handoff to development seamless.

Our Process Our Process

Our Solution

A new design concept that looks toward the future

We designed a simplified, user-friendly interface…

ANet’s educator-facing platform is feature-rich, but users were overwhelmed, and often unaware of all of the capabilities of the platform. Our new, clean designs bring attention to the pertinent information, while providing visual differentiation with color, scale, and typography. By consolidating and streamlining the interface, we made it simple for teachers and administrators to find the most important functions to them and derive insights from the data displayed.

Then created a design system bridging the old and the new…

As we considered how to redesign these “Performance” data reports, a key section for teachers and school leaders, we envisioned a new look and feel for the application to guide future development and designs. Using PrimeNG, an Angular UI component library, we expanded ANet’s design standards fivefold with building blocks the development team could put together for updated versions of the platform. While a full design system wasn’t part of the original mission of the project—creating one within five weeks seemed ambitious—we were able to expand our original UI kit to create a rich library of digital assets.

Leading to a road map for future improvements.

Our user experience design consultants had to work within ANet’s existing app, but it also laid out a vision for what the app could be. We presented the ANet development team with a full backlog of features and improvements to implement, driven by our designs. ANet intends to redesign the platform more fully in the future. With the building blocks we created, there is plenty of room to expand within the existing framework and tech stack.

“DOOR3 didn’t just give us pretty wireframes based on an imaginary backend. They considered our real limitations. We’re pleased with the engagement and are likely to hire them again for other parts of the product we need to revisit.”

Gillian Kradin
Director of Product
Achievement Network

Conclusion

Laying out a new vision for an application on a truncated timeline

In five weeks from start to finish, we presented ANet with new designs for its flagship online platform, a full design system, and an extensive backlog for future development. Our UX team’s deep technical expertise and extensive experience working with developers allowed our designers to generate implementation-ready designs and give ANet a strong head start on rolling out its new “Performance” data reports.

We achieved the objective, on time and on a limited budget. By creating a streamlined and modern look, surfacing the most impactful features, and mapping out future improvements, we gave ANet, an actionable blueprint for future success. Contact us today!