Quest! is a web-based app for students and teachers using Quest Forward Learning. It provides active, project-based learning, deeply embedded with a framework of skills and essential life habits that students practice daily, ensuring they not only have the academic knowledge for success in school, but they're prepared to thrive after graduation too.
One of my first roles with Opportunity Education was serving as the first app designer, developing user experience, branding, user interface designs, a design system, and accessibility, working closely with a couple of in-house engineers. Quest! was designed as the curriculum and overall framework were still in development. We made mistakes. We planned for things that never happened, and we added features we never anticipated needing. Our approach was heavy on feedback loops, frequent iteration, small releases. Amidst the constant change, the voice of the platform remained constant: friendly, inclusive, direct, easy to understand, encouraging, knowledgeable, warm, and positive.
I later transitioned into a Design Director role, leading a small team of product designers. I now serve as OE's Creative Director, which began in January of 2019, which meant a transition away from the Platform Team. I now provide the occasional critique and brand alignment guidance. I played varying roles in the designs you'll see here, and am more than happy to discuss them in more detail if you're curious!
What I Might Have Done Differently
Sometimes it's difficult to slow down and rethink a product while you're in the midst of rapid iterations, especially when the end game is foggy at best. Still, with the course structure, what we built was conceptually good but a fundamentally flawed user experience. It took too long for students to get to content, and progress bars added clutter rather than clarity.
In this quick reimagining exercise (above), I've made quests look more like apps in their shape, which is more fitting given the kind of active learning that awaits students inside. I'm placing levels on a horizontal path, so that forward and backward movement is more obvious, and so that space can be used more efficiently (now that the curriculum is complete, we now know that the number of quests within a level is usually small). Students can navigate between levels in a familiar and intuitive way, with a swipe or click of a neighboring card. With quests arranged in a list, and with more prominent and consistent state iconography, students can easily monitor their progress with a quick scan with minimal visual clutter or distractions.