SALLY RIDE SCIENCE LAUNCHPAD
designing a central product hub for customers
The need for a unifying product home emerged as Sally Ride Science added four new products to packaged product offerings. Deemed the Launchpad, its goal was to provide a unified product experience for educators seeking access to their teaching materials and resources. The project required a massive overhaul of existing site architecture and provided the opportunity to redesign product areas central to the user experience, including an online professional development course, eBook library, and administrative interfaces. It was developed under an agile framework with multiple cycles of brainstorming, design, research, development and Q/A.
I contributed as the primary digital designer spanning work in research, interaction, visual design and front-end development. I worked closely with a junior UX designer throughout the process, with work overseen by an art director and project management. The design process pulled from Google Venture’s product design sprint framework, to harness its collaborative methods and quickly build products.
Our work began by speaking with internal teams to understand new product offerings and revised selling strategies. With a couple new products concurrently in development, the site architecture needed to be flexible enough for growth and pending uncertainty. I created an early site map to help communicate design direction and reach consensus across teams.
During a sponsored Sally Ride Science educator conference, our two-member UX team was able to gather participants for user interviews and lightening usability studies. We interviewed 12 users from our primary audience (4th-8th grade teachers and administrators) and ran quick usability studies of our existing professional development product. The information was synthesized through an affinity diagram with key findings and product opportunities presented to the greater product team.
As Sally Ride Science’s first big step into user research, we learned a lot about the diverse makeup of our audience in regards to classroom resources, district size, technology access, job functions and state standards adherence. To help conceptualize user groups, we created 5 personas segmented by their access to resources, key job functions and attitude towards technology.
Armed with our new research findings, we were excited to enhance existing products and brainstorm new potential. The design team kicked off each brainstorm session with quick sketches. I like to start sketches by spilling out my ideas for both small and big picture ideas on layout, UI, content questions and full wireframes.
Sally Ride Science online professional development trained teachers how to use the best science teaching methodologies to inspire students in their classrooms. We knew educator time was precious and scattered from our research findings, and professional development could easily become another item at the bottom of their to do lists. With this in mind, online professional development was designed to be concise, convenient and engaging. As one example, we provided a scannable summary of their progress on each page and allowed users to resume where they left off. Course content was kept short, with appropriate call outs to print materials where necessary.
Google analytics and previous research showed us educators were primarily interested in accessing eBook content above all other products. After various iterations of wireframes and mockups, a library style design was selected to allow users to quickly peruse topics, content and access to accompanying teaching resources.
The dashboard greeted teachers with up to date progress and quick content access points. The page was designed in modular blocks to allow for flexible layouts and easy content updates. We saw engagement numbers across products triple with the new launchpad and continued access to professional development and the eBook library.