IXL

RESEARCH GOAL

IXL.com is the world's most popular subscription-based learning site for K-12 with over 5 million users. IXL would like to get a better understanding of their admin account feature's ease of use.


Key research questions and areas:




METHODOLOGY

5-week field study to assess the effectiveness of IXL's admin account offerings as participants used them in their natural environment. Study participants were located across the United States.


    Phase 1: Conduct user surveys for target demographic.

    Phase 2: 30-minute contextual interviews with 50 users.

    Phase 3: 3 weeks of task based remote testing.


INDUSTRY ANALYSIS

Exploration and deep dive was conducted for companies in the same industry sector or market niche who compete with this company’s products and services.

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RECRUITING

Demographic: Users who access the account 2+/week. Also access account on mobile

Gender: 50/50

Ethnicity: mix

Devices: Mobile (iPad and Android devices) and Web browser

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QUALITATIVE SURVEY

Gauge user emotions and feedback toward current management program using survey creator Typeform

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FEEDBACK


"Every program we use allows us to modify our enrollment at any time, why can't yours?"
"The lower price point for this product is not worth the hassle it brings to our district and schools."
"We should be able to manage this on our end entirely and have ownership of our data."

HEAT MAPPING

Heatmapping tool CrazyEgg, was used to moderate participants who were instructed to perform the task to add, edit, remove, and reactivate student accounts. Results indicate that a large number of users did not recognize the call-to-action links and buttons in the existing design.

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HEURISTIC EVALUATION

Heuristic evaluation was performed to compare and better understand the usability gaps in the existing admin portal. The team agreed the UI should assist users in recognizing preexisting patterns rather than recalling information.

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GUIDING PRINCIPLES

PROVISIONAL PERSONAS

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TEACHER / PARA


  • Manages product occasionally in substitution of the school manager.
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    SCHOOL ADMIN


  • Regularly use product for class assessments and performance.
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    TECH MANAGER


  • Manages data and student information on behalf of district management.
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    DISTRICT ADMIN


  • Decision makers and budget managers for all district purchases.

  • USER VALIDATIONS

    • Enrollment management process should be as easy and quick, preferrably automated.
    • District management features should include full range of capabilities to adjust or edit enrollment.
    • User flow should be streamlined so users do not need to contact customer support for small matters.

    TASK FLOW

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    AFFINITY MAP

    Recording all observations, an affinity map was created to visualize user concerns and needs.

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    USER JOURNEY

    A user journey map was crafted to tell the story of the customer’s experience: from initial contact, through the process of engagement, and into a long-term partnership.

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    OVERALL THEMES AND OPPORTUNITIES


    #1 GRANT ADMIN POWER USER FEATURES

    • Enable features that are available to our customer service team to the users end. This will give users the ability to make changes without contacting the company.

    #2 USE THIRD PARTY ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT

    • Partner with a third party vendor that manages enrollment and secure SFTP. This will alleviate the management tasks for our administrators and customer service team.
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    #3 BUILD AUTO ROSTERING FEATURE IN-HOUSE

    • Create a similar process in house (similar to #2) to meet the demands of users. This will prevent the company from having to rely on a third party data manager.

    NEXT STEP: A/B TESTING

    The business decided to build the product in-house. 10% of users or three large districts composed of 50 admins with 100,000 affected users were selected as a sample group to test feature during the next enrollment cycle. Special instructions and regulations were given to these districts to track longitudinal success rates of automated secure FTP.

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