FieldTrip

Inspired by past experiences as an educator overseas, this app was designed as a digital solution for teachers to simplify the process of planning and booking educational field trips. It was initiated as an introductory UX/UI project at Brainstation's UX/UI design course (2016).

  • Role: UX/UI Designer
  • Tools Used: Balsamic, Sketch, Invision
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Four example screens from the FieldTrip final prototypes

The Problem

Teachers in Ontario often use field trips to enrich the Ontario curriculum for students, but are limited by resources, selection and time, resulting in recycled field trips that lack effectiveness and learning value. Lengthy steps create delays while an overload of responsibilities give teachers little time to find the best trips fitting their classroom criteria without stress.

The Solution

Design a mobile application for teachers to explore field trip ideas relevant to their classroom needs and book them with ease.

User Research

After reaching out to several different teachers across public schools in Ontario for online and face-to-face interviews, these were the key findings:

Two dialogue bubbles with a group of people inside the left one, white icon

Group bulk planning

Teachers meet early in the year with prior research to agree on yearly budgets, plan field trips and proposals. Main steps are performed by the lead teacher.

Students inside a chalkboard, white icon

Complex classes

Budget, student affordability, disabilities, curriculum relevance, class size, season and special needs must be accommodated.

Recycling symbol, white icon

Recycled trips

New options avoided due to stress overload, lack of affordability, resources, selection, time and trust.

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Word of mouth

Over 90% of year's trips are recommended by word of mouth from other teachers rather than sought online.

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Approval requests

Trips are first proposed, principal & authorities must approve before bookings (usually emailed PDFs or Google Drive forms).

User in front of a timer, white icon

People-chasing

Pain points: lack of availabilities and info for venues, waiting on approvals & permission forms, cancellations and confirmation calls or emails.

Sample Personas

Kyndra's headshot, greyscale

Kyndra

  • 28 years old
  • Kindergarten Teacher

"I want to explore different places I can take my kids before the school year begins and bookmark them for future reference."

Ivan's headshot, greyscale

Ivan

  • 33 years old
  • Gr. 8 Science Teacher

"I want to find a quality but fun, affordable place for my teenagers--fast. I wish I could easily see and compare what others have tried."

Ana's headshot, greyscale

Ana

  • 40 years old
  • Gr. 5 Homeroom Teacher

“I have to find a trustworthy replacement for a place that no longer accommodates our school needs right away."

Experience Map

The goal of the experience map was to understand how teachers currently handle finding and booking a field trip without a digital solution. It exposes where teachers lose time and efficiency, as well as what they are doing, thinking, and feeling at that specific time.

Producing this map also drew attention to how users will need to issue proposals (aka approval requests) somehow through the app, and this will involve closing the app to wait for approvals from the appropriate parties. The user will then return to the app to proceed, an important aspect to the user flow.

Download Map

Ideation Sketches

Quick rounds of sketches were conducted to get rough ideas of possible layouts and user flows. The ideas were discussed with my stand-up peers, and the best ones were flushed out.

Due to the time constraints (5 remaining weeks), a feasibility vs. value chart to prevent feature creep, as teachers' needs were quite vast for field trip planning.

Prototypes: 2016

After stand-up discussions and light user testing on the previous set of wireframes, two iterations of prototypes were created. The second iteration originated after a series of user tests were done on the first of prototypes.

Prototypes: Final

Eventually, I revisited the design after learning about web accessibility and changed the first set of prototypes to adhere better to the WCAG 2.0. Additionally, the UI was cleaned up following the most recent set of user tests.

Takeaways

A few of the things I'd like to change and continue implementing include:

  • A feature to enable ratings and reviews of each program
  • UI adjustments that use the native elements of iOS for iOS instead of Android
  • Further rounds of user testing

Some of the highlighted lessons I learned from this project were:

  • The importance of a team for a project of this scale
  • The value of thorough user research
  • Using Feasibility vs. Value tests to reduce feature creep and determine the feasibility of what can be realistically achieved under the time constraints and resources
  • Serve your user's main needs since the more features we have, the more difficult it is to maintain user-friendliness
  • Everything should be less than three clicks away