Learn My Way 4 - Sprint 2

24 Feb 2016 |Written by Ben Fraser

Good Things Foundation's team is currently working hard on the next version of our popular online learning website - Learn My Way 4. Ben Fraser, Product Manager, keeps us up-to-date on how the process is working.

We really felt like we hit the ground running in sprint 2 “Moussaka” (maintaining our foodie theme), having found our feet and completed the majority of the planning by the end of the previous sprint.

From a data-perspective, our newly appointed research and data manager Tom took on the task of delving into Learn My Way analytics and extracting some pertinent high-level metrics for us to consider as key measures of success.

In terms of the learning track, the R&I team, who used focus insight we already had available to identify job seekers as our target audience for what will become a kind of ‘learning deep-dive’ in future sprints.

The UI track took us into explorations of a new home page and primary navigation. An unsupported learner with low digital skills was the key persona driving the requirements. The aim was to therefore strip back the existing page to present fewer options. In terms of the navigation, the main focus was replacing and consolidating the existing learning taxonomy under one clearer, more descriptive term.

The resulting wireframes were then tested in a variety of ways:

Design crits: I drew from my architecture degree here. The idea is to review and critique any designs with the core team - why take something to user testing that has glaring inconsistencies, when these can be ironed out within a few minutes internally?

Board presentation: James and I presented our progress to date to the Good Things Foundation board. The board is comprised of eminent members of the digital community, with representatives from Facebook, NHS, BBC . The debate that resulted from the wireframes was enlightening with the main take-away being to draw more from our pilot international Philippines version of Learn My Way - which has been so stripped-back as to provide a minimal, but distraction-free, journey for the user.

User testing: Zest for Work, a Sheffield UK online centre, kindly let us test our prototype with six learners with low levels digital skills who attend the centre’s basic IT classes. We used the centre’s devices so it was familiar to the users.

We spent roughly 30 minutes with each learner, first having a laid-back informal chat about why they attended the centre and their current use of the internet. We then gave them a series of simple tasks to follow and encouraged them to talk through their interactions.

The process really is invaluable - as much to remind ourselves as designers of our target audience as to gain the specific feedback.

Overall, the conclusions we were able to draw were to, again, keep it really simple and distraction-free: we thought we were already doing that, but clearly not enough! As some of the learners we tested with speak English as a foreign-language, some aspects of the copy turned-out to be ambiguous - in particular, when asking where they would access help, several navigated to the ‘Help others’ tab.

Keep up-to-date with the Learn My Way design process by checking out #LMW4 on Twitter.