In 2015 I worked on a project we called Personalized Learning on the Cloud, which eventually found its way into the then-new offering Watson Education.
I conducted primary and secondary research into the business of higher education management software. Through significant research into our competitive landscape, we found that many products offered and bought by customers often do not match the needs of users as much as the customers. For example, we found that users of another popular education software vendor often complained about the lack of integration with other software the school had purchased as well as integration with their personal workflows. Students as well as advisors and other administrators lamented this, signaling a key to the market for our project.
I also took responsibility for blogging our progress daily. I used this blog to keep tabs on what we had accomplished in order to quickly translate that into weekly playbacks to our executive stakeholders, as well as to continuously inform our design iterations. I conducted many interviews, surveys, and secondary research through literature reviews and competitive analysis to understand the roses, buds, and thorns of education software users. Most notably, we were successful in challenging the initial brief from our stakeholders on the primary user groups.
Based on this research, I created interactive prototypes on Invision, wireframes, and sketches of our interface. Every week, we evaluated our iterations with the product implementation team, and we presented more high-level updates in formal playbacks to our executive stakeholders, including Doug Hunt, Jeff Douglas, Katharine Frase, Fahad Osmani, and Adam Cutler.
After seven weeks, my team of four delivered a high-fidelity interactive prototype of a new offering. Unfortunately, these artifacts are IBM-owned and confidential, so I cannot show them here. We presented this and our research to our executive stakeholders who were extremely pleased with our results and intended to translate this into priorities for the product team immediately.