Kindergarten sets the stage for the rest of a child’s school experience. Some schools have used badges as a means of motivating students and acknowledging and tracking academic achievements. However, our clients struggle shortcomings with their badging system which need to be improve somehow. Let me take you through the journey of my experience building an engaging educational iPad application that is going to change the way our clients’ school badging system from 2019 fall.
|How might we engage students’ achievement using the new poetics offered by digital experiences?| Currently, Elizabeth forward district school has an existing badging system in which their kindergarten students do not receive grades but rather badges tailored to specific skills. Every Friday they have a badging ceremony in which the students receive physical paper badges, but there exists few issues with this system.
1. Students want to further interact with their achievement, but the current badging system did not allow them to do so.
2. The parents know students received the badges, but it does not provide enough information on their skills.
3. the date the students received the badges or the skills the students will need badges.
My team and I worked together with the District schools to provide a design solution in fun, engaging and informative way.
Our project, Universal Insignia provides an educational iPad application in conjunction with a current badging system to enhance the Elizabeth Forward School District Kindergarten students experience. Our goal is to bring motivation into and learning out of the classroom. This experience will allow students to celebrate and interact with their achievements as well as give parents the unique opportunity to engage directly with their child’s education.
After brainstorming and research sessions, we finally decided on a suitable solution for the challenge and what features or functionality will it possess.
We defined the univers and identity of our application : we agreed upon a vivid and dynamic color palette because we wanted to create a playful and thrilling environment. It also impacted our typographic choice, with classic fonts with small rounded details that gives them a warm feeling.
Since Universal Insignia's identity comes from it motivating kindergarten kids that aims to build the badge library system store the badges, we chose light blue for its primary color that seems to go well with its mission. we tried to make the interface clean and friendly so that users could have enjoyable experience from our app.
Based on the main features and task flow of our platform, we created initial sketch and wireframes of our prototype with the following user flows: Main page, Scan Your Badge, badge Library, Sticker Book pages. We used Adobe XD for low-fidelity prototyping the app.
Based on the main features and task flow of our platform, we created initial sketch and wireframes of our prototype with the following user flows: main page, badge library, sticker book pages. We used Adobe XD for low-fidelity prototyping the app.
We started designing high fidelity prototypes and designed the major screen of the app. Also, we re-designed all physical badges that tailored to specific skills.
The main page is divided into three different part: scan your badge, badge library, and sticker book page.
Universal Insignia allows the students to scan their badges into their “badge library” So once they earn, they can scan their new badges and it will appear in their library.
Students can check the date the badge was earned as well as the skill associated with the badge. The library also shows badges they have yet to earn and the skills associated with those badges. So the students and parents know what needs to be worked on. The school district divided badges up into (3) Categories: Reading, Math and Practical Skills. We chose to theme these categories around nature because it is something the students learn about as well relates to both boys and girls. Reading became Ocean, Math is Space and Practical Skills is Forest. We decided a linear structure would be best, as the badges are earned linearly and also the students loved swiping on the iPads. The swiping movement will also allow us to use some parallax effect to create fun animations.
For additional student interaction we thought it would be fun to add a sticker book function so that the students can have some creative play with their badges. The images on the badge translates to a sticker that they can use on these pages. As the student earns more badges, they have more stickers to play with. The pages are also divided into Ocean, Space and Forest.
Playtesting was very important to our team. We wanted to be sure our controls worked as well as the style. We wanted the app to look like it was designed with our audience in mind.
Devloping prototypes and rapidly iterating are all based on testing results. We learned even small things, like this age range tends to find it easier to click buttons on the bottom of the ipad. We had all of our directional controls at the top, and they were not getting used!
As interdiscplinary team interested in creating educational experience, this project provided a delighful opportunity to examine kindergarten school domain and learn how to work with restrincting factors. By working with the teachers-children-parents, we learned to prioritize our design proces and communication behaviors to maximize work efficiency. Interactions with age from 4 to 6 helped us get a better sense of the child education landscape and in school shortcomings with their badging system. The preschool education institution field, with fostering motivation for children, was challenging to work within but was worth battling to explore to design interactive iPad application to bring motivation out of classroom in engaging way.