Math Done Write App

September 12, 2018

Role: User Experience Consultant / Visual Designer

My client had built an experience to help children study grade school math via timed challenges. I was engaged to establish a visual language for an educational app that had been developed in rough wireframes. After my initial discovery, I questioned whether or not the user experience needed depth. As a father of four, I had a built-in potential user base whom I walked through the prototype, asking about each step and watching as they interacted with the app. I noticed they wanted a) validation for having successfully completed a test; b) reward or achievement for said completion and c) encouragement or enticement to continue engaging with the app. Playing other mobile games in this age demographic, as well as watching my children interact with learning tools such as Lexia Core5, Spelling City and more, supported my hypothesis—each provided a deeper level of progression and accomplishment through levels and/or lessons—tools that Math Done Write lacked.

I proposed several revisions to the flows in order to create depth for those wishing to progress through complex levels as their education progressed in real life. Combining it with visual patterns geared towards younger audiences (bright colors, desirable avatars, rounded fonts) created a more compelling experience. Finally, I suggested and mapped a journey for multiple users sharing the app on a single device—for instance, charting separate progressions for my 7 and 5 year olds, both whom wanted to use MDW on my iPhone.

The client released a version of the app into the App Store in May 2017, since which I have further iterated the visual style (adding a brighter palette, more eye-catching and engaging for younger audiences). The developer has used different avatars than the ones I've proposed and is ironing out the second user feature and avatar progression). My latest prototype can be viewed here.

Original wireframe sketches from developer. The concept was fairly shallow and needed some depth to increase engagement.
Do The Math — Home Screens
Initial hi-fidelity designs for Home screen, Account set up and awards journey. The original user experience did not include any sort of progression or achievement journey. As a father of four, I understood my kids would want to know they'd accomplished something in order to keep coming back. Surveyed their friends and walked them through the initial wireframes, questioning them about the various check points. Led to understand from this — as well as additional research from playing games aimed at an 8-13 year old demographic (Subway Surfer, Disney Emoji Blitz) and other online learning tools used by my children for school (Lexia Core5, Spelling City)— that a sense of progression was sorely needed to increase engagement.
Do The Math - Learn Screens
Initial hi-fidelity designs for Learn/Quiz feature, wherein user tests themselves on addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The user firsts tests their skills in a progressive, untimed set of 10 questions (using the chalkboard to swipe in the answer) and then quizzes themselves on five consecutive timed rounds of 10 questions in order to complete a level and achieve an award. The more awards achieved, the higher the level and the more unique/compelling avatars can be unlocked