Service Design: NSW department of Education

Working in partnership with NSW Education and Academy XI, this project was intended to study how teachers, parents and students at public schools could overcome the disconnect in their experience of the education journey (While research conducted collectively, all displayed collateral produced by me).

 My high level view of the design journey. 

My high level view of the design journey. 

The brief: Understanding the problem

The background for the project was an initiative by NSW education to develop a standard platform for schools to represent themselves to the public and communicate with parents.

Existing research had already shown parents & teachers had a substantial rift in understanding in what was happening with students, while teachers rarely felt appreciated for the work they were doing.

Our research: Interviews, personas and themes

Following our review of existing research, we created a research plan to validate what we were hearing. Creating an interview plan that covered our core issues, we set up a number of one-on-one interviews with teachers, who were the main focus of our initial work. We were able to recruit 4 teachers who fit our desired profile in a mixture of online advertising and networking.

Conducting our interviews in person, we worked together to identify common themes from the statements our groups made. Our main findings were that teacher tended to face one of two sets of problems. Teachers just entering the workforce tended to be casual, and suffered inability to contact teachers or understand the wider context of their student’s experiences. Meanwhile, more experienced teachers tended to feel like it was difficult to get acknowledgement for their work. 

Key research themes

Insights - Journeys, opportunities and guidelines

Journey Map.png

With our themes in mind, we began developing a service blueprint that could capture the educational journey. This document acted as a focal point for us to identify pain points, and see where the process had the most to gain.

Overall, our research suggested a number of potential opportunities for improving the education experience.

  • How can we break down barriers between parents & teachers?
  • How can we help teachers be recognised and acknowledged for their efforts?
  • How can we generate methods to empower students?
 Guiding project principles

Guiding project principles

Based on the research, we began to develop guidelines for the project's future - whatever came out of our design process, we wanted it to build trust, communication and not further weigh down teachers.

Concept Development: Storyboards and validaton

 Concept poster storyboard

Concept poster storyboard

 Card sorting exercise

Card sorting exercise

Our next step was to work together and make as series of high level concept posters, helping communicate and debate our core service ideas.
 

Settling on a tool that would enhance visibility of teacher & student experiences to parents as well as open a low-effort line of communication between teacher’s and parents, we set about creating a set of features to drive the project.

First, we had an initial brainstorm against the biggest pain points in the education journey. Then we set up a card sorting session with teachers and parents to figure out what was most important to them, and validate our core concept.

Prototyping

After some role-play exercises to polish up the design, we created a more refined layout for the next round of testing before we begin production of something at a higher fidelity.

Sketch Objects.png

In turn, I've started to develop these "role play" test layouts into higher fidelity prototypes so that we can test them on the platform of our choice - tablet computers.  Our key remaining research questions are around how we can create a smooth flow that is easy for teachers and parents to feel comfortable with.

 Prototypes created by me in Sketch

Prototypes created by me in Sketch