Design of a Performance Management Application for schools and colleges

Seal Tabs, a Performance Management Application for schools and colleges that gives visibility to the school management about the efficacy of its teachers, and it helps students understand their strengths and potential areas of improvement.

Nissi Agency is a data driven organisation, improving the way students learn and sculpt their careers by using cutting edge technology. They make products for educational establishments and students to help solve their everyday problems as well as unleash their full learning potential. Founded in 2011, Seal Tabs today has partnered with over 30 academic institutions in South India, helping more than 50,000 students and their parents. 

DESIGN INTERVENTION

Seal Tabs has been in business for three years before coming to Twist Open. The application had evolved over that time, with ad-hoc features being added to the system every year, without an overall framework for the user experience and no architecture planned to accommodate feature road-maps. An added complexity was that this platform had 6 different access points, for the teacher, the student, the parent, the school head and the system admin; each of them seeing sections of the application that were only relevant to them, and prioritised for their needs. Hence the platform had 6 different landing pages, based on the user role who had logged in. The design requirement was a complete overhaul of the application and its role based authentication.

Brief

• A heuristic evaluation on existing version 2.0 of Seal Tabs

• User Research

• Collaborate with the in-house development team working on new back end platform for Information Architecture synchronous with the system architecture and data functions.

 

• Design the Seal Tabs version 3.0 which would be a complete revamp of version 2.0 :

- Ideate new features for the product
- Design task flows
- Information layout
- New visual design and identity for Seal Tabs

Heuristic Evaluation for Sealtabs 2.0

Key to handle Complexities:

The functions in the application were complex; taking attendance, entering marks, sending SMS notices, profile management, etc.); information (academic performance, report cards, overall reports, etc.) and analysis (task indicators, performance indicators, analytics reports, etc.) - being accessed by different roles of principal, school administration, teachers, students, parents and in-house support team.

 

In addition, the application’s system had to align with the a variety of curriculums (CBSE, ICSE, Engineering, etc.)

The application is designed and developed in a manner to accommodate the institution's various administrative activities, wherein a lot of man hours are spent in handling papers to finally provide instant reports, whether monthly, quarterly or annually.

Challenges Faced

• Very limited resources for user research

• Accommodating together the spectrum of info types generated by various tasks done by different users, only then to be conditionally accessed by different users.

• No solid wireframes done due to lack of time because of which it was hard to imagine and validate the design to proceed further. This also lead to limited monitoring in the consistency of flows and had to be checked thoroughly after the visual design.

 

• Achieving standardisation in the navigation, task flows and information access for 6 different roles of users

• Finishing the whole design for one user at a time and then going for the next user lead to iterations back and forth.

• Compromising some of better designs due development constraints under tight deadlines

Design Approach

Identifying the busiest user first and design flows for them only to make it more easier for other users to use. Due to a variety of tasks and information handled by the users which already increases the cognitive load, going for the best, simple and limited practices on the UI. But at the same time balancing for advanced use by having dashboards with relevant and personalised analysis, indicators, quick links and info for the users. Smart and targeted labelling for different users on the higher level of navigation for easy recognition and learning. Longer task flows segregated into micro flows using inline updation, save and continue wizards, etc. to increase efficiency. When dealing with a large application consistency plays a much bigger role.

The Portal at Launch & Various Dashboards

Principal's Dashboard

Attendance Entry

Class Performance Report

Settings Wizard

Chat Interface