Content Integration Dashboard

Blackboard had a parent communication app for school districts which they paired with the K-12 Web Community Manager CMS. Both of these tools allowed teachers and district staff to communicate information to parents and students. Our goal for this project was to display information from both platforms in a unified dashboard so that parents could view all the data and updates from one location. I designed pieces of the experience initially and was then assigned as the lead UX designer in charge of ensuring that the entire dashboard experience was cohesive.

 
 

 

The Problem

Parents are busy, students are busy and no one wants to have to look in different places to find information related to the same thing. Teachers share and send valuable content and it could easily get lost since it was sometimes unclear where to go to find it. Our team, working heavily with product management, set out to unify the data and the experience so that parents and students would have a hub to find all their information with one login.

 

 

Wireframing

I came into this project after some initial design work and flows had been started. At first different members of my team worked on separate pieces of the dashboard design. My first contribution was a design for the activity stream area which would display posts from both the app and the website in chronological order. After discussing the idea with the team, I created wireframes to start designing the interactions. I worked with a software architect who determined how the data would be pulled in and how we would prevent duplicate information.

A wireframe of the activity stream

A wireframe of the activity stream

Wireframes showing the detail when calendar events are clicked in the activity stream

Wireframes showing the detail when calendar events are clicked in the activity stream

 

 

Socializing the Idea

Since this project involved a large and very visible enhancement to the end user interface of our product, we wanted to make sure that upper management as well as our colleagues in client services, sales and other areas understood the idea and knew what was coming. I created two graphics to visualize the basic concept and posted them around the office. My director also shared them in several meetings with stakeholders. 

A graphic showing information from each child integrated into the activity stream

A graphic showing information from each child integrated into the activity stream

A graphic showing all the data sources that feed into the activity stream, both from the website and the app

A graphic showing all the data sources that feed into the activity stream, both from the website and the app

 

 

Development

After receiving high res assets from our visual designer, the engineering team developed the first few parts of the dashboard experience - the basic navigation structure, an introduction tour and the activity stream. While they were working on that we started designing an area for parents to see information relating to each of their children.

 

The activity stream in production

The activity stream in production

 
 

 

More Wireframing and Development

We designed sections for student data such as assignments, grades and lunch balances into the experience. We used our usual process of sketching and wireframing, getting feedback then developing each feature. 

A wireframe of a student's assignments

A wireframe of a student's assignments

The assignments screen in production

The assignments screen in production

 

 

Ongoing Process

As this project progressed and I became the lead designer, it was clear that there were inconsistencies between areas of the dashboard as well as between the dashboard and the mobile app. We needed to develop a more cohesive flow, experience and visual treatment. I planned to map out both experiences, compare them and then strategize ways to bring them more closely together. I also worked to make small adjustments that could be implemented during the development cycle that was happening at the time in order to make progress in the short term. This project is ongoing.