14 hours. In 2019, the average teacher spends 14 hours of personal time working. I designed Teacher Plan-It to empower teachers to take their time back.

My Role    

  • Created the Concept for the site

  • UX Research: Conducted observations,  interviews, survey, and user testing. Completed the affinity mapping process and design implications

  • UX Design: Prototyped experiences at low and high fidelity through concept sketches, wireframes, and interactive prototypes. Completed visual design.

Timeline    

Iteration 1: December 2018 - February 2019

Iteration 2: August 2019 - September 2019

Primary Prototyping Tools

Adobe XD, Principle

Team

Independent Project

Primary Prototyping Tool

Adobe XD

Results​

  • Aided teachers in writing lesson plans in less time

  • Reduced the time teachers spent finding resources on the web by 25 minutes per hour spent planning.

  • Decreased the anxiety and stress teachers felt during the lesson planning process.

Background

Most teachers work a 50-60 hour work week every week.

Teachers are tired and stressed due to the increasing responsibilities placed on them. Currently, there is no quick and easy way to write lesson plans. Teachers spend up to an hour finding resources, trying to differentiate lessons, grading papers, and updating their grade books.

 The Problem

Teachers spend hours lesson planning. They must visit multiple sources in order to find good resources for their lessons. Many teachers also have strict templates that they must follow when writing lesson plans in order to meet standards set by school administration. 

Time with family is often sacrificed so that this work can get done on time. This leaves teachers feeling very stressed and overwhelmed each week.

Process

Competitive Analysis

I studied three different digital teacher plan books in order to understand the ways teachers currently plan.

Studying these three websites also helped me to understand what features teachers would expect in a new plan book.

Planbook

Chalk

I created a chart to compare the features offered by each digital plan book website.

Common Curriculum

From this chart, I could clearly see that teachers were missing the feature they truly needed: an easier way to find resources and write plans.

From this competitive analysis, I know that Teacher Plan - It should have:

1.  Lesson plan templates that are easy to set up and change.

2. The ability to sharing plans easily.

3. Lesson resources available within the website.

I find myself so frustrated I could cry. Lesson planning is time consuming and it's stealing my time. I sometimes have to tell my boys no when they want to play after school, because I have to write plans.

Teacher

 Observations, Interviews, & Surveys

To better understand the lesson planning process, I observed teachers planning as a group and individually.

I also interviewed 10 teachers about their experiences lesson planning throughout their career. Finally, I sent out a survey in order to understand the perspective of teachers all over the country. I received 73 responses and one word continued to come up: dread.

Results

Below are the key findings from my observations, interviews, and survey.

Affinity Map

Next, I chose to complete Affinity Maps in order to organize the information I learned from each teacher. 

They were having serious challenges with the lesson planning process, and I didn't want to miss any of their pains. 

Understanding The Users

Based on the data obtained, I created Empathy Maps and User Personas to help me to better empathize with teachers and their story.

The two main user groups are represented by Terry and Ana.

Next, I mapped out the User Journey to identify points of frustration in the lesson planning process.

I used the Journey Map to identify touch points and potential opportunities.

 User Pain Points

From the research conducted, I identified many challenges within the lesson planning process.

Below I identified a few of the major pain points experienced by the users that were prioritized for the first iterations. Priority was chosen based on feedback from users.

Lesson planning takes too much time due to the need to recreate templates.

01

 Problems to Solve

Pain point identification let me to the following problems to solve:

How might I leverage templates to make the lesson planning process more efficient?

How might I help teachers find resources quickly?

How might I help teachers be able to view and share all their lessons easily? 

Sketches

Next, based on user feedback I created detailed sketches of potential screens. 

I got feedback on all of my ideas from  users. 

I referred back to all of my user research, user pain points, and "How Might We" questions in order to make sure I stayed focused on user needs.

The users liked having the ability to embed to do lists into their calendars. They also liked being able to have a page where they could go to collaborate on lessons. However, users wanted to be able to write and share plans from their own homepages. Users also favored the cleaner week view and were very excited about the grouped lesson resources that would be available to them. However, users wanted to see more resources at a glance from the main page.

Wireframes

Wireframes were created and tested with users in order to get feedback to inform design iterations.

Users loved the simple and efficient on-boarding process that allowed them to set up their planbooks. 

Iterations 

The first iteration was completed in January 2019 when I was first working on this project. I did not know much about design, but I worked to solve the problems that users were having.

Inconsistent style. Seems to only be a product for women.

Design relies on color and is hard to read for many users. Users were not sure if they were still in the Teacher Plan-It website due to colors and images used.

Not clear that there are many other resources to choose from. Design is inconsistent with the rest of the site.

The second iteration was completed in September 2019 after receiving feedback from the users on Iteration 1. Below you will see some of the changes made. The entire website was redesigned.

Consistent style. Product is now to be more welcoming to all users.

Design is not reliant on color and is easier to read. Distracting images have been removed, colors are editable, and a consistent brand has been established.

Sections are clearly labeled, and resources are easy to identify. Design is consistent.

Final Design

The final design created from all of the research generated and user feedback sessions is presented below.

Specific features were added to address the "How Might We" questions identified and to meet users' needs.

Home Page / Log In

Onboarding

Planbook

 Features

Updated Planbook

The planbook design was simplified 

and now provides a consistent design that users can recognize as being a part of the Teacher Plan-It website. Plans are also easily viewable at a quick glance. Teachers can share part of or all of their lesson plans and collaborate with other teachers.

Lesson Resources

Lesson resources have been updated to include clear images of plans, books, videos, and websites that teachers can now integrate straight into their lesson plans.

Efficient Onboarding

Teachers are now able to navigate through a simple and quick onboarding process that allows teachers to set up their lesson plans. During the onboarding process, teachers can add customized planning templates and adjust their class schedule.

User Flow

 User Testing

The final design was placed in front of users for testing to inform future iterations of the design.

Users were given tasks to complete and were asked to think aloud while completing these tasks. Users were also asked questions about individual screens, and the lesson planning process while using Teacher Plan-It.

After completing user testing, I received the following feedback:

01

Teachers loved that they could share parts of or all of their lesson plans with colleagues. However, teachers wanted another physical planbook that they could use in order to see the team plans in a separate location.

02

Teachers stated that the Resources page was very helpful to decrease time they spent planning. They also stated that they usually share resources with colleagues, and would like to see a feature added that enabled them to share resources they found on the Resources page with colleagues. 

03

Many teachers appreciated the Unit view of the planbook. However, they noted that they typically follow a district wide predetermined pacing guide, and they would prefer to see their district pacing guides instead of a Unit view. 

Next Steps

Design, Feedback, Iterate

I plan to utilize feedback from the user testing session to complete iteration three. The users suggested great features that would work better for them in their planning process. Then, I would test iteration three with teachers and get feedback. I will try to repeat this as many times as I can  to get as much feedback from the users as possible. This helps us to make sure I am truly meeting my user's needs.

Consider other users

Many teachers noted that they also have to share their lesson plans with administration and coaches. Next, I would like to interview secondary users such as administrators and coaches in order to better understand the needs they have in regards to teacher lesson plans and teacher planbooks. Then, I would begin to consider how I could add features that can help address their needs as well.

Lessons Learned

You are not the user

Due to the fact that I am also a teacher, it was tempting at times to want to design for what I would want or need. The teachers suggested many features that they needed or would love to see in future iterations of the planbook. I made sure to stay in contact with teachers, and get their feedback often in order to meet their needs and not my own.

 

Due to the fact that I taught elementary school, it would be easy to design a planbook solely for elementary school teachers. I wanted to make sure that this planbook would be implementable to teachers at all levels. This showed me the importance of seeking out a diverse group of users that taught at the middle school or high school levels. 

This idea has been copyrighted. 2018