Finding the Right School

How can we help users find the perfect school for both them and their child? 

Parents and guardians who are looking at choosing a school for their child are often overwhelmed and stressed out by the inconsistent, unconsolidated and sometimes lack of information on options for schools. This a problem and could be solved by providing a quick and easy way to search, filter, save, and compare schools so they can find the one that best suits both the individual and the child’s needs. 

Improving the Experience

Initial Research and Prototyping

User interviews were handed off and I began by reading and analyzing these interviews to synthesize qualitative data by identifying patterns. From this, I found several pain points that we could target and address with our product. From here, I carried out prototyping and testing to gain more insight as to how well our product was addressing and solving the problem statement.

Our Target Audience

Frustrated Users Have Had Enough

We found that most of our targeted users are parents of children 4-10 years old who are searching for schools. Many are frustrated with public schools due to large class sizes, lack of communication and support, and the general lack of data or information provided by all schools.

What can we do to make the process faster, easier and less stressful? 

We used affinity diagrams, empathy maps and personas to better understand our target audience and to help prioritize the problems they face. The goal is to create connections between observations and finding patterns and themes in qualitative data. Through which, we found that users:

  • Struggled to find adequate information on schools

  • The schools’ reputation is important

  • Have specific needs that need to be met

Competitive Analysis and Pinpointing User Patterns

What’s our Focus?

To pinpoint where our focus should be, we conducted a competitive analysis to see what kinds of things our competitors were offering. From this analysis, some of the features that were offered by competitors were things like: advanced search and filters, search results tailored to the user’s needs, their own ranking system and recommendations. Something that was observed was that all competitors had an advanced filtering system, so we knew we would have to incorporate this feature as well.

Diving Deeper

What do users want? What are their pain points?

We also wanted to clearly identify what pain points users most often experience as well as their ultimate goals. We found that most users were looking for finding general information about schools, they cared about important things such as:

• Cost
• Location
• Size of classes
• Educational pathways
• Support systems for students

These are the issues we want to find solutions for.

What We Found

Success but With Room to Grow

User completed task scenarios with a 100% success rate, however some felt features such as the filtering options and information regarding the schools could be expanded upon further to appeal to a wider range of users’ needs. Additional features could also be added, such as an interactive map feature, the ability to schedule a visitation, and our own school ranking system based on data about the schools (such as graduation rate, testing score averages, tuition, teachers, etc.)

What was Gained?

An Appreciation for Feature Prioritization and Testing for Solutions

In future testing, we would like to make sure users give more feedback regarding the problem being addressed as well as usability. The user feedback we did receive was very positive though, which indicates that we are on the right track!

Using Format