Project Details

MEEt the team

Vicki Chen (me)

PROJECT MANAGER; LEAD DESIGNER; researcher

Jenny Lee

researcher; designer

Golnoosh Sheikhi

SEO; researcher; designer

MY ROLE (highlights)

Acted as UX consultant to discover client needs and prioritize the organization's business goals

Led and oversaw design strategy, visual design, and brand development

Served as primary liaison to foster collaboration between stakeholders and involve client in design process

A General Assembly project done w. a real client

TIMELINE

Jan 13 - Feb 3 (3 weeks)

TOOLS

Figma, Otter.ai, Miro, Google Forms & Sheets, Zoom, Wix Analytics

METHODS

Competitive Analysis, Affinity Map, Surveys, User Interview, Usability Test, Persona, Experience Map, Information Architecture, Sitemap, Parallel Design, Interaction Design

Overview

Literacy Expanded is a dyslexia tutoring and advocacy startup founded by Bree, our client.
Bree is too busy tutoring her students to focus on growing and managing her organization.
The parents of her dyslexic students have also asked Bree for additional support.

THE CHALLENGE

Propose a cost-efficient solution that supports business expansion and addresses parents' needs.

OUR SOLUTION

Redesign current website to:

Provide a space for LE to engage with & share resources to parents

Develop a unique brand identity to increase credibility and attract potential clients & recruits

Capitalize on existing resources (cost-efficient)

Research

As our project kicked off, my team and I did some preliminary work:

1.

I sent a brand questionnaire to Bree to understand what services LE provides and to see how LE can distinguish itself from competitors.

2.

My team immersed ourselves into the unfamiliar world of dyslexia so we could better communicate with our client and understand the users we would be designing for.

Learn about dyslexia

Dyslexia is a group of neurobiological and genetic conditions that impact the ability to identify and manipulate phonemes: individual component sounds (e.g. “b-”[buh]).

It is considered a learning disability because the inability to read fluently affects the ease at which students pick up new words and information, especially within the traditional phonics-based reading curriculums most schools use.

Dyslexia’s impact extends beyond the educational domain; it also causes complications in a person's social life and self-esteem.

Contrary to popular belief, dyslexia does not affect normal intelligence and vision. However, different approaches must be taken to accommodate students’ literacy skills. LE tutors utilize the most well-known and accredited method, which is the Orton-Gillingham Approach.

DISCOVER USER NEEDS

Surveys allow parents to retain their privacy.

To understand what our parents needed support in, I oversaw the creation of an exploratory survey to:

Enable privacy

Offer anonymity when discussing sensitive topics

Expand sample size

Cast a wide net over potential respondents

Maximize time usage

Reduce friction from setting up numerous interviews

We also had a survey for LE tutors but did not receive enough responses for it to be useful

I was surprised to see many parents enthusiastic about sharing their experiences.
We were able to conduct 7 interviews and received late responses voicing similar themes.

Define USER NEEDS

We mapped out our parent's journey in navigating dyslexia to pinpoint pitfalls in their experience and discover opportunities for LE to provide assistance.

Parents need holistic support...

Informational

Parents cannot adequately provide for their child due to limited resources (e.g. time, energy) and lack of knowledge about dyslexia.

Emotional

Parents are mentally drained due to neglect from public education domains and stigma surrounding this impairment.

... and LE can provide them the help they need.

Through the brand questionnaire I sent to Bree, I found that the services she offers/would like to offer aligned perfectly with the needs of our target audience.

Our research validated the desirability of LE's services; our next step is to brainstorm ways to share these services.

Design

DETERMINE PLATFORM

Redesign existing website to:

Share resources

Provide space to engage & share informational resources with parents

Promote brand

Establish empathetic brand to support parents and recruit members

Adhere to budget

Meet our startup's $0 budget by capitalizing on existing resource

Bree initially approached us with an app idea, but our research showed that an app did not align with user behaviors & needs and thus did not justify the high cost of development.

DESIGN INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE

Expand sitemap to open space for resources and achieve higher-level business goals.

My team conducted a competitive and comparative analysis on established, credible organizations to inform us of shared standard practices. We focused on elements that:

The structure of these website guided the creation of new pages in our proposed sitemap.

UI / VISUAL DESIGN

Challenge: designing for dyslexic users.

Dyslexia is a genetic condition, so our parents may also have dyslexia.
Our design needs to be:

READABLE

sans-serif over serif fonts

larger font size & spacing

avoid all caps, italics, and underlines

UNOBTRUSIVE

incorporate more whitespace

be concise; avoid large blocks of text

avoid all caps, italics, and underlines

Some palettes & thumbnails I liked that didn't make the cut

We generated over 30 color palettes and collected 17 dyslexia-friendly typefaces from Google Fonts. After reducing the options with my team, I collaborated extensively with Bree to finalize the colors, typefaces, and logo.

Final Product

Literacy Expanded is

warm

unafraid

neutral

natural

reliable

COLOR PALETTE

GEOMETRIC TYPEFACE

SCROLLABLE SCREENS

HOME (reassure parents right from the start)

→ introduced key terms and added more information to 'Home'

→ shifted 'Testimonials' from its own separate page to a section on 'Home'

TUTORING (provide more information about program)

→ offer non-committal trial to encourage parents to interact with LE

→ simplify existing information to make space for new materials

MISC. (pages to build LE's brand and community)

Prototype

Conclusion

RESULTS

206% increase in site traffic; 32% increase in session duration.

I touched base with Bree a month after project completion to see how things were going.

She had implemented our ideas and saw a huge spike in new visitors and session length, indicating that her site is gaining exposure and engaging users.

Our proposed design was not an MVP because we considered LE's future endeavors. Thus, Bree only included the necessary pages (not ‘Resources’ and ‘Donate’), but she plans on incorporating other pages when the time comes.

NEXT STEPS

KPIs & METRICS

As the site continues to reach more users, some metrics I would track are:

leads; conversion rate to see site efficiency at achieving business goals

bounce rate; pages per session to assess user engagement and content quality

FUTURE ITERATIONS

Since our project is not a final design, some future iterations to consider are:

making the site more dyslexia-friendly (e.g. voice assistance, UX writing)

explore visual redesigns for more professional brand and test sitemap and content layout
(e.g. A/B testing and card-sorting)

Lessons & takeaways

LEADERSHIP

This was my first time leading a team and I found a lot of confidence in taking initiative, organizing files & deadlines, and communicating/collaborating with my team & our client.

I also found areas I could improved on, such as managing friction within the team or with the client.

COMMUNICATION

I utilized empathy when interviewing a stigmatized population about vulnerable moments.

I practiced fostering collaboration and presenting with clarity during team and client activities.

This experience has prepared my communication skills for more complex projects, such as Clarity4Action.

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