— One-Week Google Design Challenge —
interaction design · design thinking · visual design
Aime was presented at Google and received approval from the hiring committee!
Aime is a visual directory at first glance, but it's also so much more!
Students and professors both have ownership over their input into the directory, and have the freedom to take notes that are helpful to their memorization process.
For professors, it also provides a possibility for active reflection on which names/faces are the most challenging, and includes a feature for practice.
Original Prompt: “Names and Faces”
At the beginning of each new semester or school year, teachers are faced with the challenge of remembering names for a large number of new students. Design an experience to help an educator match faces to names, with the goal of shortening the time needed to reach complete un-aided accuracy.
CONTEXT + SCOPE
Before diving into the prompt immediately, I decided to build some constraints for myself in order to narrow down the scope of my research and target audience. Here's how I brainstormed the process:
- College students (who are in large lecture classes)
- College student professors (who have 30+ students)
- Teaching assistants (sometimes TA's are the professor-in-lieu, as they are often the ones answering students' questions and grading/distributing papers and exams)
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"What can help facilitate educators to remember their students quickly?"
In a society where higher education is increasingly sought after, many universities make accommodations by enlarging their class size. Unfortunately, the trade-off is often the relationship between students and professors. As a result, students are more likely to become disengaged in class, seeing themselves solely as consumers of lecture material with little opportunity to interact with professors and other students. Prolonged disengagement may cause a compromised learning experience for students because attention level has a direct impact on their learning memory.
PROBLEM SPACE + RESEARCH
In order to understand my problem space better, I interviewed 2 professors, 2 teacher's assistants, and 4 students who have been in large classes (50+ people). Because the most important insights are revealed in the current situation for professors, I outlined the highlights from the 2 professors separately, and collapsed the responses for TA's and students. Here are some of the highlights from my interviews:
Possible features distilled from research:
- connect service to school ID (all): ensure security and privacy
- multiple photo uploads (student): profs can see students in different contexts/expressions
- voice recording of pronunciation (student): has ownership over correct pronunciation of own name
- ability to take notes (professor): documents observations that help reinforce impression of student
- ability to self-identify/highlight difficult student names (professor): through interactions with students, professor knows which names + faces he/she struggles with most, and can mark those names/faces to practice
- ability to practice names + faces (professor): professor wants to improve in name accuracy, but also want to practice in an engaging way — gamification?
Possible practical applications for educators include:
- calling on a student in class (visual input to oral output)
- recalling a student's faces while giving written feedback (visual textual input to cognitive visual output)
- recognizing a student's name in a conversation (auditory input to cognitive visual output)
- distributing papers to the right student (visual textual input to visual output)
- writing a student's name when giving feedback (cognitive input to written verbal output)
- saying a student's name while in conversation (visual input to auditory output)
USER FLOW : PROFESSOR
WIREFRAMES + USER TESTING
I created the wireframes based on the user journey I developed, keeping in mind the conventions of iOS UI and principles of material design. I worked closely with professors and TA's during this phase to get feedback (including short think-aloud sessions) in order to refine the information architecture and visuals. I also included brainstorming of the visual style / logo development process.
Think-aloud sessions were helpful for me to realize bumps in the flow. Often times, the user flow makes a lot of sense logically, but not when someone is using them; therefore, it is a great way to understand where modifications need to be made.
Aime is a digital product that helps educators build stronger associations between names and faces of students in order to facilitate recall.
Try adding/removing Ben Huang from the Name Game name list.
Working on this project has made me realize how valuable it is for students to form a connection with professors. I believe that if such a product were truly to be implemented, it would also break down the social barrier from the stranger effect; the professor will no longer see the student as a mere grade/project, nor would the student merely see the professor as a droning lecture-spewing figure. The human connection is truly invaluable to any experience.
I believe there's a lot of potential to explore in how the Name Game could work; scaffolding and the right type of feedback is critical to an effective interactive game. It would also be interesting if the gestures weren't just the traditional multiple choice and spelling, but also involve gestures mimicking Tinder swipes for professors to indicate whether or not they remember certain students.
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“A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
— Dale Carnegie